Food and Drug Administration, Office of Equal Employment Opportunity (OEEO) 2017-11-28T14:58:03+00:00

Project Description

Priyanka Surio, ERPi Senior Consultant

Priyanka Surio

Senior Consultant

Food and Drug Administration, Office of Equal Employment Opportunity

Along with our teaming partners, ERPi supported the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Office of Operations – Office of Equal Employment Opportunity (OEEO) on an organizational assessment and strategic plan for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) outreach. The FDA is committed to promoting and protecting the public health by ensuring safe and effective products reach the market, monitoring these products for continued safety after they are in use. As the U.S. becomes more diversified, it is increasingly important to ensure that those charged with this mission, represent the population they are serving. While FDA’s workforce has become more diverse, they have struggled with fostering an inclusive work environment.

OEEO tasked ERPi with conducting an organizational assessment. We identified gaps and proposed recommendations for how OEEO could better serve a growing diverse FDA workforce, which is significant when considering the percentage of minority employees who either leave FDA or are not represented within the agency’s leadership. As a senior consultant on the project, I participated in stakeholder interviews, analyses, and building recommendations to improve FDA’s diverse STEM workforce.

Why This Work Matters

FDA’s OEEO office has experienced a declining workforce, skill gaps, and inefficiencies, all of which forced OEEO to scale back on critical functions, including diversity and inclusion activities. Additionally, minority groups are considered underrepresented in FDA’s STEM job series; therefore, OEEO seeks to address this through a STEM outreach program that targets minorities. This work was particularly meaningful, as I was directly involved with strengthening the programs that will provide opportunities for and invest in underrepresented communities.

Making a Difference

ERPi’s diverse and robust community were sources of inspiration in my work developing strategies to improve the overall culture at FDA. Knowing I was directly involved with strengthening the programs that will provide opportunities for and invest in underrepresented communities was empowering and reminded me of ERPi’s culture of serving others.

As the sole ERPi team member on this project, I leaned on our Collaborative Advisory Methodology (CAM) when working with our teaming partners and clients to provide a sound assessment and recommendations that the client supported. Our work at FDA is another example of how ERPi continues to provide expertise in process improvement and organizational excellence.