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.


  • The Chief of Naval Research should assume the responsibility to develop specific, numerical targets for the hiring of women, minorities, and persons with disabilities into science and engineering positions at ONR. These targets should be based on a periodic assessment of the underutilization of qualified individuals from these groups, using data from national pools.
  • The Chief of Naval Research should appoint an external committee composed of individuals who are experienced in the management of science and engineering and sensitive to the issues of diversity to assist ONR in achieving its diversity goals. Reporting to the Chief of Naval Research, the committee would meet periodically to review the targets ONR has set and to evaluate progress against those goals.
  • ONR should expand its recruitment efforts and improve the hiring process to increase the likelihood that members of the target groups will learn about positions at ONR will apply, and will be given serious consideration.
  • ONR should improve the work environment to increase productivity, to enhance employee development, and to establish ONR as a place where women and minorities want to work.

Part Two:
Using ONR's Corporate Programs to Enhance Diversity

Observations on ONR's Corporate Programs

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

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