Science Support

​​​​​​​308.56 – Workplace Equity, Engagement, and Excellence Council (WE3)

 

Date: 1/13/2021

OPR: Office of Administration

Instruction: This is a new Survey Manual (SM) chapter. This Council serves as the executive body that provides general direction, guidance and oversight for the programs, policies, procedures and practices that address issues and concerns impacting the culture of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and the proactive and preventative initiatives designed to improve the culture of the organization.

 

1. Establishment. This SM chapter authorizes the establishment of the Workplace Equity, Engagement, and Excellence Council (WE3), formerly the Anti-Harassment Executive Steering Group (AHESG), in the USGS and serves as its charter.

 

2. Background and Purpose. The Workplace Equity, Engagement, and Excellence Council (WE3) serves as the executive body that provides general direction, guidance, and oversight for the programs, policies, procedures, and practices that address issues and concerns impacting the culture of the USGS, and the proactive and preventative initiatives, activities, and efforts designed to improve the culture of the organization. The Workplace Equity, Engagement, and Excellence Council (WE3) is best positioned to lead workplace culture and equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives because of the membership composition of the Council and experience with providing direction to and oversight of the efforts of the Anti-Harassment Program and the USGS Civility and Inclusion Council. This Council’s membership coincides with the membership of the Complementary Workplace Efforts (CWE) Team. The Workplace Equity, Engagement, and Excellence Council (WE3) is well positioned to encompass the activities and goals of CWE, which is to coordinate across workplace teams to identify opportunities for mutual benefit and leverage resources when possible. Therefore, with the establishment of the Workplace Equity, Engagement, and Excellence Council (WE3) and this charter, the CWE is disbanded.

The Council is intended to unify resources (offices, programs, and groups) that foster equity, engagement, and excellence across the USGS, where all employees have an opportunity to contribute their greatest talents in support of our science mission. The following is a list of the USGS resources that play a role in these endeavors:

  • USGS Offices and Programs:
    • Anti-Harassment Program
    • Collaborative Action and Dispute Resolution Office
    • Employee and Labor Relations Office
    • Office of Employee Development
    • Office of Organizational Development
    • Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity
    • Office of Science Quality and Integrity
  • USGS Groups:
    • Civility and Inclusion Council
    • Workforce Planning Executive Steering Committee
    • Diversity Engagement and Inclusion Council
    • Youth Outreach Working Group
    • Employee Resource Groups (ERG)1

The Workplace Equity, Engagement, and Excellence Council (WE3) provides general direction, guidance and oversight of the initiatives, activities, and efforts of all the USGS resources that have a role and responsibility associated with workplace culture to ensure a coordinated and collaborative effort. Coordination and collaboration ensure all USGS resources are utilized efficiently and effectively to achieve the desired workplace environment and culture.

 

3. Function. The functions of the Workplace Equity, Engagement, and Excellence Council (WE3) are to:

A. Set general goals and objectives relating to the Council’s initiatives, efforts, and activities.

B. Oversee coordination and collaboration of USGS resources assigned or identified to address workforce culture and equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives, efforts, and activities.

C. Review and approve new [non-ERG] USGS groups intended to address the Council’s focus.

D. Review and approve the disbanding of groups previously established to address the Council’s focus.

E. Review and vet policies and procedures relating to the Council.

F. Identify financial and other resources needed to address the Council’s issues and concerns.

G. Provide direction, guidance, and oversight of existing and new initiatives, efforts, and activities to include ad hoc projects.

H. Assist the offices, programs, and groups tasked with executing related initiatives, efforts, and activities with identifying and securing financial and other resources to execute these initiatives, efforts, and activities.

I. Provide a platform for exploring and recommending new ideas and initiatives relating to the Council.

J. Provide a conduit for communicating the Council’s initiatives, efforts, and activities to the bureau workforce.

K. Review and provide direction and guidance for new workplace culture and equity, diversity, and inclusion tasks issued by DOI.

L. Advise the Director on the Council’s initiatives, efforts, and activities.

M. Review and approve the workplace culture related action plans.

N. Review and approve the USGS quarterly report to DOI on the Workforce Culture Transformation (WCT)/Anti-Harassment Action Plan.

 

4. Membership Composition.

A. Chairpersons. The Associate Director for Administration and the Director for the Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity serves as the Chairpersons.

B. Members. The Council is comprised of:

(1) The USGS Deputy Director, Administration and Policy

(2) 1-4 Regional Directors

(3) 1-3 Mission Area Associate Directors

(4) Office of Science Quality and Integrity Director

(5) Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity Chief

(6) Office of Communications and Publishing, Internal Communications Team Chief

​​​​​​C. Membership Tenure. Member terms are indefinite, and members who request to rotate off the team will work with the Deputy Director, Administration and Policy, and the Chairpersons to identify a replacement.

D. Membership Considerations. To the extent possible, Associate Director and Regional Director membership should be chosen to ensure representation and connectivity to the groups described in section 2.

 

5. Type of Organization. Permanent.

 

6. Reporting. The Council reports to the USGS Director.

 

7. Staff Support. The Chairpersons will ensure appropriate resources are available to support the facilitation and coordination of the council meetings to include agenda development and facilitation, recording of council decisions and actions, and tracking action status where appropriate. The Chairpersons will utilize staff members with relevant knowledge of workplace culture topics.

 

8. Resources. Salary expenses for the time required for council members to participate in council activities will be funded by their respective cost centers. Non-salary related expenses, if needed, will be funded as agreed upon by the Chairpersons and the council members.

 

9. Meetings. The Workplace Equity, Engagement, and Excellence Council (WE3) will meet bi-monthly to provide oversight and guidance to ongoing Council activities; typically, via a conference call or MS Teams. The Workplace Equity, Engagement, and Excellence Council (WE3) will meet quarterly to provide updates on initiatives, activities, and efforts. The time allotted for the quarterly meetings will typically be longer than the one-hour designated for the bi-monthly meetings. Additional meetings may be called at the discretion of the Chairperson for the purpose of collaboration on special projects, learning exchanges, and other related activities.

 

10. Decision Making. Decisions regarding functions listed in section 3 will be made by majority rule when more than half the members vote in favor.

 

11. Termination Date. None. The Workplace Equity, Engagement, and Excellence Council (WE3) will review the need for this charter every 3 years.

 

1Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are employee-led groups with members who are drawn together by a common interest and work towards advancing relevancy, diversity, and inclusion throughout the organizations. ERGs have charters with specific goals and objectives the group aims to achieve. ERGs are encouraged to identify a Leadership Liaison (LL). An LL means a DOI manager (generally at the GS-15 level or above) who provides advice and counsel to guide the ERG's development, keeps the group focused on organizational goals, supports the group through communication and visibility, and keeps the ERG connected to DOI leadership. The LL serves in an advisory capacity and may not lead or be an officer of the group. (from DOI PERSONNEL BULLETIN NO. 17-07 https://www.doi.gov/sites/doi.gov/files/elips/documents/recognition_procedures_and_departmental_support_for_employee_organizations_non-labor.pdf)

 

/s/ Roseann Gonzales-Schreiner                                                            January 13, 2021

___________________________________________                         _____________

Roseann Gonzales-Schreiner                                                                  Date
Deputy Director, Administration and Policy