Expanding the talent pool in the area of Homeland Security
Yee, Lai Sun M.
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The attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 spurred the growth of the field of homeland security in the United States. It would be beneficial to expand the talent and brain pool from which leaders can be drawn by increasing the number of women and minorities in the area of homeland security. This thesis will discuss the people who would seek careers in government; look at the experience of the military for increasing women officers; examine the mentoring programs in government and the private sector; and the importance of diversity in communicating to the public during an attack or an emergency. The area of homeland security encompasses the fields of law enforcement, fire fighting, emergency medical services, and emergency management. In order to increase the diversity of these fields, it will be necessary to attract, identify, recruit, and mentor women and minorities. Studies and anecdotal information indicate that mentoring programs are beneficial to women and minorities, especially if one' mentor is a senior official or executive in the organization. Such a mentoring relationship is usually fruitful in that the mentee may be exposed to higher level decision makers if selected for important projects and if one's mentor can provide information about the unwritten rules of an organization. Mentoring programs alone will not increase diversity in the area of homeland security. Such change will need the support of senior leaders. It will be necessary to persuade senior leaders that it is to their advantage to have their organizations reflect the diversity of America. This thesis makes some recommendations as to how senior leaders in homeland security can work to increase diversity. Again, nothing can change without the support of senior leaders in actively opening doors and nurturing talented women and minorities.
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