Spotlight on Commerce: Michelle A. Crockett, National Program Manager EEO and Diversity, NOAA National Ocean Service
As National Program Manager for Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Ocean Service (NOS) I serve as the principal advisor to the Assistant Administrator, Deputy Assistant Administrator and other senior management in fostering the principles and practices of NOS’ Diversity Program, and its Equal Employment Office (EEO) Program, and to assure compliance with affirmative action laws and regulations. I formulate, develop, recommend, and implement policy, procedures and programs in collaboration with NOS Program and Staff office representatives. I am responsible for planning, developing, and implementing NOS EEO program and diversity activities, which includes; coordinating all phases of policy analysis, planning, implementation and communications to support NOS EEO and diversity management initiatives. The most important function of my position is I have the opportunity to work with both managers and employees to seek resolution for conflict occurring in the workplace.
My life has been shaped from experiences I had growing up in the small southern town of LaGrange, GA. My parents instilled in me the importance of a strong work ethic and education, cultivated in a faith centered home. My parents experienced discrimination and they were always aware of its existence, but they would never allow me to use it as an excuse for not working hard to achieve success. My father’s favorite quote was, “hard work is its own reward” and I have to agree that these words have served as the catalysis for my success. I received my bachelor’s degree in Business Administration for Georgia Southwestern University and my Certification in Equal Employment Opportunities Studies from the School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University.
I began my federal career within the Department of Defense, Defense Commissary Agency as an Accounting Specialist, but my true passion for equal rights and opportunities lead me to my position here at NOS. It may sound like a cliché but I truly love my job. No two days are the same and every day I have the ability to foster and generate a greater awareness for organizational diversity. People are diverse in many ways. We all have a number of differences that offer substantial opportunities and possibilities to make organizations successful and our world a better place. When we accept our differences and learn to work with them, we enrich our lives and improve the creativity and productivity of the organization. Hence, when we are able to fully embrace and implement an effective diversity strategy whereby everyone feels validated the need for enforcement policies are diminished.