Why Diversity Matters
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is committed to the strength of collective intelligence. With diversity at the helm, ATF achieves its mission by capitalizing on the different cultures, backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives to provide the best law enforcement support to the communities we serve. Diversity and cultural awareness are intricate components of ATF’s dynamic response to global missions. Individual uniqueness is welcomed within ATF, which makes the agency an optimal law enforcement organization.
ATF is charged with building, developing, and sustaining a work environment that values differences; encourages collaboration; and fosters personal development to enable all employees to achieve their full potential in fulfilling the ATF mission. ATF also provides a foundation that engages the ATF workforce to uphold the core values of professionalism, integrity, diversity, commitment, innovation, and excellence.
Hiring New Talent
ATF, like many law enforcement agencies across the country, does not have enough women or people of color in management positions. It is bureau’s goal to understand and address barriers for diverse groups in promotions or career development and ensure that our workforce is reflective of the country’s diversity.
In 1984, ATF created the Minority Impact Program to address inequities in recruitment, training, evaluation, and promotion of female and minority special agents. The Minority Impact Program evolved into the Diversity and Career Impact Program, which helps build up a diverse roster of qualified candidates for employment across ATF’s many career paths.
Creating a diverse workforce requires a major environmental, cultural and organizational shift in the way we recruit, hire, and train our staff. ATF is committed to recruiting, developing and retaining a diverse workforce for our domestic and international offices.
Supporting Our Employees
We strongly believe that a diverse workforce in an inclusive environment will improve individual and organizational performance and bettering relations with the public, staff, and other partners.
The Piscataway Indian Nation Singers and Dancers at ATF's 2020 Native American Heritage Month celebration
ATF’s employee resource groups are internal support networks that allow employees to come together to share common experiences, advocate for positive change, raise critical issues to leadership, organize celebration and awareness events, and lend individual and group support to one another.
These groups are also a great way for recently hired employees to connect with new colleagues across the agency while growing their skills in community building, organization and leadership.
Current employee resource groups at ATF include:
- ATF Pride
- Black Employees Resource Group
- Disabled Veterans Association
- Emerald Society
- Generations Together
- Hispanic Employees Organization
- Pan Asia Employee Association
- Special Needs Resource Group
- Women Employees Resource Group
Career Development and Training
ATF offers a number of services through our Diversity and Inclusion Branch to help employees achieve their full professional potential. Resources available to employees include:
- Executive Coaching: One-on-one coaching for employees looking to advance in their careers, as well as managers who want to help their employees succeed
- Job Shadowing: Opportunities for employees to explore possible new fields of interest by shadowing senior employees and learning about their day-to-day job
- Meeting Facilitation: Independent meeting facilitators or coaches who keep critical meetings on track and help participants stay focused on achieving their objectives
- Mentoring: Matching service for employees from all job series and levels within ATF to connect with experienced leaders and peers
Dr. Lonise Bias speaks to employees at ATF's 2020 MLK Jr. Day program
Celebration and Awareness Events
Throughout the year, ATF organizes internal events for employees to celebrate diversity together and educate staff about critical issues facing our communities.
Recent events include:
- Black History Month program with guest speaker Roland S. Martin
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Day program with guest speaker Dr. Lonise P. Bias
- Native American Heritage Month celebration with a performance by the Piscataway Indian Nation Singers and Dancers