By Staff Sgt. Matthew Coleman-Foster | 50th Space Wing Public Affairs
SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — The 50th Space Wing Equal Opportunity office is responsible for promoting diversity and inclusion for the workforce within the units, promoting a healthy work climate for all personnel here.
“We are not only just promoting healthy human relations,” said Staff Sgt. LaToya Walker, 50th SW EO advisor. “We also put on special observances to highlight certain cultures and educate personnel on different cultures and ethnicities that exist throughout our military.”
The team also includes: Edward Vaughn, 50th SW EO chief and Tech. Sgt. Darren Woods, 50th EO noncommissioned officer in charge. The role the team carries out is far-reaching when it comes to enhancing mission readiness, but one area where they see the fruits of their work is in the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute Equal Opportunity Climate Survey.
“Giving valuable feedback to leadership so they can have an actual visual representation of where their unit is at is important,” Walker said. “Everything within the climate assessment is going to affect the mission in one way area or another, whether its connection, job satisfaction or problem areas with individuals feeling they are not a part of the team. The whole point is to get to where we can all complete the missions and be effective.”
The team enforces the Air Force’s zero tolerance policy in regards to discrimination. “There’s no room for it at all in the Air Force,” Walker said. “We have a diverse force. We have members from all walks of life and cultural backgrounds. I think our diversity is one of the driving factors making us a strong force.”
One of the ways the team encourages acceptance of the diverse force is through special observances.
“We are starting to work on Diversity Day and should be observing Days of Remembrance in April,” Walker said. “In addition to complaints and special observances, we also offer tools such as mediation and facilitation for individuals who have issues within our units and conduct DEOC Survey.”
Walker said one of the most rewarding parts of her work is making a difference on both sides of an office issue.
“Making a positive change in the person who came to our office is rewarding,” Walker said. “Showing those who are doing harm exactly what they are doing, and how it is detrimental, is imperative to change as well.”
According to Vaughn, the Air Force and Space Force Equal Opportunity offices will continue to evolve to support leaders and teams to ensure teams operate with dignity and respect for all.
“We must depend on leaders at every level to protect its most vital asset,” he said. “That’s our members, both military and civilian, without regard to personal bias or political leanings. After all, it is the team that is most important.”
For further information on Equal Opportunity and the services provided by their team, call 719-567-5308.