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Frequently Asked Questions - Diversity

How is Diversity different from Equal Employment Opportunity?

CDC cannot have an inclusive work environment without the interdependent elements of Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity.

  • Eliminates discrimination in human resources policies and practices
  • Provides equal access and opportunity
  • Legally mandated
  • The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces all of these laws. The EEOC also provides oversight and coordination of all federal equal employment opportunity regulations, practices and policies.
  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) – Prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin
  • The Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA) - Protects men and women who perform substantially equal work in the same establishment from sex-based wage discrimination
  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) - Protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older
  • Title I and Title V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) - Prohibits employment discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in the private sector, and in state and local governments
  • Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 - Prohibit discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities who work in the federal government
  • The Civil Rights Act of 1991 - Among other things, provides monetary damages in cases of intentional employment discrimination


  • Acknowledges, appreciates and respects the many differences we recognize in each other including the varied perspectives, approaches and competencies of those with whom we work and of the world population we serve. Workforce diversity provides the impetus and rationale for organizations to align, integrate and leverage initiatives designed to ensure their success in the 21st century. As a management philosophy, diversity emphasizes:
    • The importance of recognizing, respecting and appreciating individual differences in order to achieve a positive work environment where all employees have the opportunity to reach their potential and maximize their contributions to the mission of CDC.

The responsibility of CDC employees to demonstrate cultural proficiency in their relationship with CDC constituents and customers.

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What is diversity? What is cultural diversity?

Diversity is the sense that no matter where you come from, who you are, or what your background is, there is a place for you.

Cultural diversity is the variety of human societies or cultures in a specific region, or in the world as a whole. There are also more obvious cultural differences that exists between peoples, such as language, dress and traditions.

What is the NAPA Plan?

The National Academy for Public Administration (NAPA) was contracted by the CDC in April 2005 to conduct a two-phase examination of its leadership development, succession planning and diversity strategies and programs. This was to include assessing their operations, recommending improvements and outlining steps to strengthen the agency’s ability to attain its mission-related goals “as the sentinel for the health of people in the United States and throughout the world. The report, prepared by NAPA, is called the Action Plan to Achieve a Diverse Workforce.

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