believed that ONR was doing what it could to increase diversity. Whether fact or perception, such significant differences in employees' views of the same organization are counterproductive and undermine the ability of the agency to function as an integrated unit.
A number of program officers, especially women, described an atmosphere in job interviews, briefings, meetings, and competition for funds that was adversarial or confrontational. Many senior executives were emphatically committed to the adversarial approach to communication, stating that the ability to argue successfully for one's budget priorities is essential in a sometimes hostile bureaucratic environment, and that imposing this kind of hurdle on job candidates is important to finding the right people.
Whatever their mode of communication, a number of scientists and engineers do not relate to the prevailing management style and perceive that they have a difficult time at ONR. Providing a work environment that is supportive of all employees, not just those in the dominant groups, is critical to productivity.
ONR has initiated a number of activities in the past two years to increase the diversity of its S&E work force, including a comprehensive diversity plan and a standing diversity committee. Significant strides have been made, but much remains to be done.
Like most other mission agencies, the Office of Naval Research administers a substantial portfolio of multidisciplinary research and education programs that support its mission as a whole. The purpose