Women and black employees at the Central Intelligence Agency: from fair employment to diversity management

Van Puyvelde, D. (2020) Women and black employees at the Central Intelligence Agency: from fair employment to diversity management. Cambridge Review of International Affairs, (doi: 10.1080/09557571.2020.1853052) (Early Online Publication)

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Abstract

This article examines US intelligence through the lens of its personnel and the socio-political and organizational conditions that affect them. In the last decades, the CIA has sought to portray itself as an increasingly diverse organization. But to what extent has the CIA been a genuinely diverse and inclusive organization? When and why did its personnel policies change to improve the situation of marginalized employees? To answer this question the article uses an intersectional approach that combines three levels of analysis (structural, organizational and individual) to study the position of women and black employees from 1947 to today. The history of women and black employees at the CIA shows how the national security establishment has struggled to overcome gender and racial hierarchies in its own workforce, thus producing forms of insecurity in its own midst. Throughout its history, the CIA has largely failed to anticipate social change and struggled to adapt to it. Change, when it occurred, was linked to broader societal shifts, which spurred federal and organizational reforms, and empowered marginalized employees to defend their rights. When it comes to equal opportunity, the CIA has been more reactive than proactive.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Early Online Publication
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Van Puyvelde, Dr Damien
Authors: Van Puyvelde, D.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > History
Journal Name:Cambridge Review of International Affairs
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN:0955-7571
ISSN (Online):1474-449X
Published Online:04 December 2020

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