By Andre Jennings
Establishing a diversified workforce is a necessary goal for any organization that recognizes and values the advantages of expanding its organizational culture. The U.S. Embassy in Nepal has embraced the Department’s strategic vision of a workforce that reflects the public it represents through the adoption of an aggressive Diversity and Outreach Program. This program aims to develop a highly qualified and skilled workforce that echoes the unique diversity of the Nepali society. Within the Diversity and Outreach Program, the Employment Skills Development and Awareness initiative was designed to educate potential employees and students from disadvantaged backgrounds. This includes individuals from marginalized and disadvantaged communities located in remote geographical areas, lower social castes, disadvantaged women and individuals with disabilities. Embassy Kathmandu is pursuing this initiative by using different outreach methods including training sessions, workshops and presentations about internship opportunities that enables individuals to compete for positions within the embassy and ultimately in the local and international job market.
In just eight months since the implementation of this program, Embassy Kathmandu has reached more than 1,000 students and young professionals in eight cities and 10 universities and organizations that work for youth and underprivileged communities in Nepal, including the Feminist Dalit Organization, Dalit NGO Federation and Himalayan Society for Youth and Women Empowerment. Additionally, the embassy also collaborated with the Public Affairs Section and the American Centers to attain this outreach goal.
To date, post has provided internship opportunities to 15 students from diverse backgrounds, giving them the exposure and experience they were unlikely to have obtained due to social and cultural disadvantages. Embassy Kathmandu plans to continue this successful initiative. The impact of this program has been tangible and converted even the most ardent skeptics into the strongest promoters of diversity.
Andre Jennings is the human resources officer at Embassy Kathmandu.