Strategies to Increase Diversity in the Civilian Sector: Applications and Effectiveness of the Rooney Rule and Similar Approaches
Although all units and positions were officially opened to women as of December 3, 2015, gender diversity in the military remains nominal, especially at the highest echelons of Department of Defense leadership. Some branches have introduced or are considering several diversity initiatives, including efforts to increase diversity in key military development positions. Insight conducted this literature review for the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (known as DACOWITS) to summarize how the Rooney Rule—a National Football League (NFL) policy that requires teams to interview minority candidates for senior coaching and management positions—is being used in the civilian sector to improve diversity in higher level jobs. This report provides an overview of diversity in the military and the civilian sector, describes the Rooney Rule and its effectiveness in the NFL, presents applications in the civilian sector, and identifies ways to increase diversity within organizations moving forward.