On Monday, the CIA launched its new website, with the hopes of onboarding a much more diverse set of spies who will bring a broader range of life experiences. Earlier limited to highly-educated male candidates, the CIA is now in search for a more diversely placed league, considering the fact that now- the CIA director is a woman and women head all five of the agency’s branches, including the directorates of science and technology, operations and digital innovation.
Now, with the revamped website, the CIA is on the lookout for a better representation to cater to the thousands of job applications they receive annually. The CIA wants to do more to ensure its workforce reflects national demographics.
“We’ve come a long way since I applied by simply mailing a letter marked ‘CIA, Washington, D.C.,'” said CIA Director Gina Haspel, who joined the agency in 1985. She said in a statement that she hopes the new website piques the interest of talented Americans and gives them a sense of the “dynamic environment that awaits them here.”
The new website features links for browsing CIA jobs complete with starting salaries and requirements, sections on working at the agency, and a streamlined application process, being a lot more transparent in their approach.
A paradigm shift appeared in the way people were recruited since Haspel joined the organization, with more advertising on streaming services, a new Instagram account, and an online “onion site,” that makes both the information provider and the person accessing information more difficult to trace.
In the year 2019, all spy agencies in the US, including the CIA, featured 61% of male intelligence professionals compared with 39% women, according to an annual demographics report compiled by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. In the same year, the intelligence community saw an incremental increase in the number of minority professionals – 26.5%, up from 26.2%. But that’s still lower than 37 percent in the federal workforce as a whole and 37.4 percent in the civilian labor force, the report said.
The largest minority or ethnic group at all the intelligence agencies, including the CIA, was Black or African American at 12% followed by Hispanic at 7% and Asian at 4%. Persons with disabilities represent 11.5% of the workforce at all the U.S. intelligence agencies – up a point from the year before.
Speaking about the progress in 2020, as a prelude to the launch of the website and the year ahead, CIA spokesperson Nicole de Haay said, “Even with all the challenges 2020 posed, it was a standout recruitment year for CIA. Our incoming class is the third-largest in a decade and represents the most diverse talent pool, including persons with disabilities, since 2010.”