My Coast Guard
Commentary | Jan. 19, 2022

Unlock powerful D&I resources provided by the ILEAD Council

A portal site will help Coast Guard employees have a greater voice issues like leadership, diversity, equity and inclusion.   

The site was launched by the Coast Guard’s new Inclusive Leadership, Excellence and Diversity (ILEAD) Council, which supports unit level Leadership and Diversity Councils (LDACs) and advises Coast Guard senior leadership on pressing workforce needs.  

The new ILEAD Council Portal site provides tools like policies, instructions, data, and other job aids that members -  especially those affiliated with LDACs and affinity groups – may find helpful in their roles. The Portal site also contains a form for employees can submit their questions, concerns, and recommendations.  

“In order to build an inclusive Coast Guard, we need to make a daily commitment to live inclusively, and to take purposeful action to drive culture change” said Cmdr. Hannah Kawamoto, ILEAD Council co-chair and Pacific area (PACAREA) Leadership, Diversity & Inclusion Officer.  

Feedback submissions will be reviewed by the ILEAD Council, and the council will work with program offices to assess and prioritize issues to be briefed to the Commandant during the twice yearly ILEAD briefings. Another feature to highlight is the enterprise-wide SharePoint calendar whereby LDACs, affinity groups, and units can easily publicize their professional and leadership development events to wider audiences and de-conflict events. The calendar is currently linked on the ILEAD Council Portal Site and will be made available in the future on the LDAC Community of Practice (COP) site. The LDAC COP site is scheduled to go live at the end of March 2022. However, the shared events calendar is currently available, and LDAC and affinity group leaders are encouraged to input upcoming events onto the shared calendar, now. 

Inclusive leadership is built on input from every part of the organization. Inclusive leaders listen and seek out feedback, not just from those around them, but from those of different cultures and background to ensure they are suitably challenged, and that they are not in an echo chamber among their closest supporters. The journey to building an inclusive Coast Guard starts with this engagement. As such, the Coast Guard’s ILEAD Council is focused on engaging with and hearing from the unit-level LDACs about issues and best practices across the workforce related to leadership, diversity, equity and inclusion.  

The Coast Guard ILEAD Council is currently chaired by members from the DCO and PACAREA LDACs.   

“Employees are encouraged to participate in LDAC meetings and provide meaningful feedback to drive solutions and organizational change within their units and throughout the Coast Guard at large,” said Capt. Eugenio Anzano, ILEAD Council Co-Chair and DCO LDAC Chair.   

More improvements are on the horizon. The ILEAD Council initiated the LDAC Chair Rapid Task Analysis with a team from the Performance Technology Center in June 2021. The purpose of the analysis was to clarify the roles and responsibilities of LDACs and the ILEAD Council.  The results provided recommendations on how the ILEAD Council can support LDACs to include specific performance support for unit LDAC chairs and leaders.  As a follow-on effort to the analysis project, an LDAC Community of Practice (COP) Working Group was stood up to implement the recommendations from the analysis report.  

“As a unit LDAC Chair, it is challenging to create special observance or leadership events, much less drive new initiatives that might improve inclusion at your unit. The outputs of the LDAC Chair Rapid Task Analysis and LDAC COP Working Group will simplify some of the recurring tasks required of LDACs and provide leaders access to a vibrant community of diversity and inclusion practitioners.  I’m most excited about the prospect of breaking down geographical silos and partnering with other LDAC leaders across the Coast Guard who are passionate about promoting diversity and inclusion in our service” said Lt.Cmdr. Xiaobin Tuo, District 8 LDAC Chair.  

Additional resources are being added to the site all the time, including job aids and digital communication support tools, and will create an online COP site to host these tools. The online LDAC Community of Practice is scheduled to go live March 2022.  

The ILEAD Council’s goal is to enhance leadership development practices, foster a diverse and inclusive workforce, and bring leadership and diversity issues up to the highest levels of the Coast Guard.  The reestablishment of the council is one important step, among many, that the Coast Guard has taken to more directly engage with field personnel concerning leadership, diversity and inclusion matters.  Every Coast Guard employee is represented by an LDAC and is encouraged to share their feedback with senior leaders through the LDAC network and ILEAD Council.  It is only through this continued practice that the Coast Guard will continue the journey to building a strong and more inclusive organization.  

 

Resources:

For more information contact the ILEAD Council Co-Chairs: Capt. Eugenio Anzano Eugenio.S.Anzano@uscg.mil (DCO LDAC) or Cmdr. Hannah Kawamoto Hannah.K.Kawamoto@uscg.mil (PACAREA Leadership, Diversity & Inclusion Officer)  

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