Lack of Diversity in U.S. Coast Guard Greater in Higher Ranks; Comprehensive and Sustained Changes Recommended to Improve
Aug 11, 2021
Researchers sought to identify the root causes of underrepresentation for women and members of racial/ethnic minority groups in the U.S. Coast Guard; factors shaping representation at each phase of the career life cycle; and facilitators of and barriers to increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion.
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The U.S. Coast Guard seeks to attract, recruit, and retain a workforce that represents all segments of U.S. society. However, in the current active-duty Coast Guard, representation of women and of members of racial and ethnic minority groups declines as rank increases, ultimately resulting in a less diverse senior leadership. These demographics are largely the cumulative effect of the service's personnel system in which the pool of potential senior leaders narrows at each stage of the career life cycle, along with the number of candidates from underrepresented groups.
To identify the root causes of the underrepresentation of women and of members of racial and ethnic minority groups in the Coast Guard, researchers used a mixed-method approach involving literature reviews, analysis of personnel data, interviews with subject-matter experts, focus groups, and a survey of active-duty personnel. The team examined the factors that shape representation at each phase of the military career life cycle — recruiting, career development, promotion and advancement, and retention — and identified facilitators of and barriers to improving diversity in the Coast Guard. The report includes recommendations to help the Coast Guard achieve its ultimate goal of a workforce that looks like the nation it serves.
Improving the Demographic Diversity of Accessions Through Outreach and Recruiting
Improving Career Development of Underrepresented-Minority Personnel
Improving the Advancement and Promotion of Underrepresented-Minority Personnel
Improving Retention of Underrepresented-Minority Personnel
Active-Duty Personnel's Perspectives on Coast Guard Climate
Demographics of Coast Guard Personnel Versus Department of Defense Military Personnel
Potential Lessons Learned from Civilian Organizations
Quantitative Methods for Advancement, Promotion, and Retention Analyses
Coast Guard Administrative Data Sources and Data Gaps
Focus Group Methodology
Focus Group Protocol
HSOAC is a federally funded research and development center operated by the RAND Corporation under contract with DHS.