Latino watchdog faults FCC on hiring


FCCOne of the long-standing goals of the FCC is to increase ethnic and gender diversity among the licensees it regulates, but National Hispanic Media Coalition thinks the Commission should also be worrying about increasing the ethnic diversity of its own staff. NHMC said the FCC’s already-low percentage of Hispanic employees actually decreased from 2009 to 2010.

NHMC cited statistics from the latest Equal Employment Opportunity Commission report on the diversity of the federal workforce, noting that the problem is widespread. It said, however, that it deals most with the FCC and there, the problem is especially acute.

According to the report, which covered 60 agencies, only 7.9% of the relevant workforce was Latino, and that 34 of the agencies actually lost ground during the term of the study despite experiencing an overall increase in workforce size.

The FCC’s results were even more disheartening for NHMC. It said that the FCC started low at 3.27% and actually edged a little bit lower, to 3.21%. It also noted Latino representation in the FCC’s well-paying and decision-making positions was exceptionally limited.

NHMC VP Jessica J. González  stated, “Although it was difficult to imagine that the state of Latino employment at the FCC could get any worse, regrettably, it has. At NHMC we find it hard to understand how an agency that is mandated to promote diversity in the fields of media and telecommunications is, itself, so lacking in diversity. And indeed we must look no further than the Commission’s inadequate attention to diversity issues in the broadcast ownership proceeding to see evidence that the FCC is in dire need of immediate improvement in this area. We know that there are many champions within the FCC that believe strongly in diversity and inclusion, and we call on those individuals to place ‘increase Latino employment’ on their 2012 priority list.”

Gonzalez is a member of the FCC’s Advisory Committee for Diversity in the Digital Age.