Survey reveals gender/race-based discrimination at US federal agency


Washington, Dec 3 : Some 30 per cent of employees at the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said they were discriminated against based on their gender or race, a survey has revealed. The report, which featured responses from nearly 9,000 employees at the FEMA surveyed last year, was released on Wednesday, reports Xinhua news agency. It found that 20 per cent of employees reported harassment and discrimination on the basis of sex, and more than 18 per cent reported violations based on their race or ethnicity. Although the data from this survey is more than a year behind, the findings are "alarming and simply not acceptable", FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor said in a statement. Gaynor added that the agency would be taking additional measures in the coming months. The survey by RAND Corp. was conducted in response to an internal report that the former head of the agency's personnel office, Corey Coleman, had improper sexual contacts with subordinates. Coleman resigned after the agency took measures to address the allegations. Coreen Farris, the lead author of RAND's report on FEMA, said the results will provide a baseline for a follow-up survey. "Changing organizational culture and climate is no easy task, but one vital component is measurement of the problem," she said. /IANS


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