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AFMC progresses DEIA initiatives, focuses on future

  • Published
  • By Marisa Alia-Novobilski
  • Air Force Materiel Command

The Air Force Materiel Command continues to make progress on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility across the enterprise, as it readies a new strategy to institutionalize efforts for the years to come.

“AFMC DEIA expectations are foundational to working collaboratively to drive innovation and organizational outcomes. We know our DEIA efforts must be active and focus on ensuring opportunities for all,” said Keith Tickle, Chief, AFMC Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Strategy Division. “We must be inexhaustible to position AFMC as a model employer that values and promotes equity for all AFMC Airmen.”

In 2022, AFMC progressed several DEIA initiatives, institutionalizing best practices across the enterprise.

A new Anti-Harassment Program, managed by Inclusionary Program Managers, was established at all AFMC installations. This program provides an opportunity to address and mitigate workplace issues negatively affecting work climate and culture. During its initial year, the program helped resolve 140 conflicts across the enterprise, saving an estimated $2.2 million in Equal Employment Opportunity Office processing.

“The goal of the Anti-Harassment Program is to mitigate issues at the ‘acts of bias’ level before they become cases of discrimination for which the agency can be held liable,” said Tickle. “We want to provide our Airmen the opportunity to have issues and conflicts heard so that we can resolve them before they escalate.”

Training and education on DEIA topics expanded in 2022, with AFMC teams expanding the e-training library to host more than 628 diverse course offerings that correspond directly to command needs. An AFMC-specific Unconscious Bias Course was also established to expand on the Department of the Air Force computer-based training. The course is offered in-person at AFMC bases, taught by Inclusionary Program Managers, and it can also be attended virtually, expanding the learning opportunities for Airmen regardless of installation.

AFMC also rolled-out a new DEIA PULSE training program, with PULSE standing as an acronym for pause, understand, listen, share, and empathize. PULSE aims to help leaders facilitate difficult conversations around various DEIA topics such as race, gender, and harassment. The training includes e-learning resources, guided questions and conversation points for leaders who may be nervous about hosting difficult conversations and sensing sessions.

“By developing and offering AFMC-specific courses, we ensure that our Airmen are trained and educated on the issues that affect us the most,” said Tickle. “We are also working to train individuals to facilitate Air Force virtual DEIA training, leveraging the Leading Inclusively Virtual Experience, which walks participants through difficult conversations with a human-led avatar, creating a safe space for them to practice and learn.”

AFMC efforts have also impacted departmental DEIA efforts. Command teams partnered with experts in the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center to create a Diversity Data Dashboard (D3), which tracks 390,000 employment demographic metrics to help identify triggers to potential employment barriers. The entire system was adopted by the Air Force Personnel Center in an effort to create better awareness and transparency on barriers to employment across the enterprise.

“We have the largest number of civilians of any Air Force organization, so we feel it’s important to set a baseline standard for all to follow,” said Tickle. “The D3 also helped us to analyze data from AFMC Exit Surveys which are given to all civilians who voluntarily leave the organization. The analysis helped identify areas in which we need to improve across the enterprise so that we can ensure diverse talent is retained for the future.”

The AFMC DEIA team is currently finalizing the command’s DEIA Strategic Plan which will operationalize the enterprise strategy for strengthening development, retention and inclusionary culture. The plan will focus on four key DEIA Lines of Effort that include mission alignment, leadership accountability, inclusionary culture and institutionalizing of DEIA principles across the enterprise.

“The DEIA Strategic Plan will establish a framework for the command to better achieve equitable outcomes for all AFMC Airmen and civilians,” said Tickle. “The plan will outline our efforts and will act as a roadmap for achieving DEIA goals. We hope to finalize it and communicate it to our workforce in the next few weeks.”

To learn more about AFMC Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility efforts, visit