Skip to Content

Celebrating Women Who Advocate for Equity

March 2024 Women's History Month-Celebrating Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: Norma Johnson, EEO Manager Diversity & Inclusion

I am Norma Johnson, EEO Manager of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. I am committed to advocating for and protecting equality and diversity at the Washington DC VA Medical Center.

As a result of personal and family experiences, I am committed to assisting anyone who believes that they are being treated differently due to who they were as an individual.  Serving Veterans and healthcare professionals in a very diverse medical center gives me an opportunity to assist employees with equality and diversity concerns.  

To be able to uphold EEO laws, regulations and policies while assisting employees with resolving their concerns is gratifying. No one wants to be treated differently based on their race, age, sex, or disability. The adage of “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words do not hurt,” is not necessarily true. Words matter, words influence the way we respond to each other, they can change who we are as individuals, and severely impact the workplace and the customer. 

 An employee who is angry, hurt, or saddened by what is occurring in the workplace becomes a disgruntled employee.  Employees who are experiencing difficulties in the workplace, based on their protected categories, usually believe that they are the only ones being treated in such a way. They may feel that no one is listening to their concerns, or they may be afraid of reprisal if they come forward. Well, I advocate for employees who fall into these categories. Everyone deserves to work in an environment free of discrimination. So, being able to provide professional support to employees by supporting them with information and resources which address, communicate and/or remedy their concern is very rewarding. 

Since joining the Washington DC VA Medical Center team in 2015, I have seen improvements in the way management addresses employee concerns, resolving issues efficiently and at the lowest levels. I have also seen an improvement in employees feeling more comfortable about coming forward with their concerns. I am committed to continually advocating for diversity and inclusion.