1 answer

Why are women and minorities historically underrepresented in the Foreign Service?

Asked Dallas, Texas

1 answer

Katie’s Answer

Updated Austin, Texas

I can't answer why, but I'll try to share some of what they are doing to help. Historically like many government institutions only white men were allowed, when women began serving they only could serve if they were unmarried. The Department is trying to correct that these days by actively recruiting minorities and women. They still aren't where they should be or where lots of people want them to be, but they are trying. I think part of it is that a lot of people don't know about them. I can say when I first starting working at State and I would tell people they would ask me which state. That is the first problem, most people don't know what the State Department has to do with the rest of America and think of it as a Washington elite. I think in the past a lot of people that did the recruiting also only went to the same places and targeted the same people. I'm not sure if they are doing a better job at that or not and I don't think it is my place to judge that, but I know a lot of good people that work there that think that diversity is needed and will only make the department stronger. I'm not sure that this helps much, but here are some resources for you to understand more about the history of it if you want to do your own research:

https://foreignpolicy.com/2016/05/22/state-department-race-gender-diversity-susan-rice-kerry/

http://www.afsa.org/foreign-service-women-today-palmer-case-and-beyond

http://www.usdiplomacy.org/history/service/representative.php