JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – The Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center has established an all-volunteer force of 39 members whose focus is to seek solutions to existing diversity and inclusion issues across the organization.
The AFIMSC Diversity & Inclusion Council will identify and assess several key areas including the overall work climate and barriers to opportunity so senior leaders can implement corrective measures where needed.
Addressing the council’s first virtual meeting recently, AFIMSC Commander Maj. Gen John Wilcox said, “Many of you have told me you’d love to be part of making AFIMSC better for every member of the enterprise. This is one of those watershed events and I think this council is the right approach.
“What we are doing is respecting and embracing our differences. It’s about understanding one another and being stronger together. Our council is going to be key. Let’s get after it. I need your help, your ideas and your motivation to get us there.”
The council is finalizing its charter, one that will clearly define its purpose and objectives, said AFIMSC Diversity & Inclusion Manager Carol Dallas.
“Our goal is to build a culture and a workforce based on merit, dignity and respect that successfully integrates everyone,” Dallas said. “To that end, we will identify and recommend opportunities that enhance diversity and inclusion through professional development, education and training that ensure equal opportunity to all our AFIMSC Airmen.”
Earlier this year, AFIMSC updated its strategic priorities to emphasize the value of diversity and inclusion within its organizational culture. The council conducted 18 initial sensing sessions to get a glimpse of the organizational pulse across AFIMSC. Leaders are reviewing and discussing feedback from these sessions to determine focus areas that need attention.
Other ongoing activities include diversity and inclusion certification for cadre who will provide enterprise-wide training, and “Let’s Connect” seminars that teach tough-conversation and change-management skills.
“This is not a one-and-done; we can’t let it be that. We must keep the dialog going,” Wilcox said. “What can we do to be a better team where everybody feels valued, everyone’s opinion is heard and, at the end of the day, everybody wants be part of our center … part of our work environment? It’s our opportunity.”