An effort to increase diversity at the FBI

NOW: An effort to increase diversity at the FBI

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – In recent years, the FBI has been looking to increase diversity at the agency. Officials at the Milwaukee campus say it's working, but they're still looking to grow.

The FBI’s new effort doesn’t just apply to the Milwaukee area but throughout the entire federal agency. In 2021, a new position was created: director of diversity, in an attempt to make the agency to better reflect the country.

Milwaukee FBI Special Agent Jose Costabile says, “we interact with the entire gamut of society so it’s better in my opinion to be able to get people that understand whatever community you’re dealing with. Not just because they've gone into it but because they are immersed in it, grew up in it, and can really understand the intricacies of the nuances of ‘this is what it’s like to interact with this community.”

Special Agent Costabile has worked at the FBI for about 12 years, focusing on gangs. In a role like his, or any, Special Agents Costabile and John Sokolawski agree -- a diversity of viewpoints is crucial to the agency's ability to effectively carry out its mission.

“That’s the strength of the FBI. We have a lot of diversity based on backgrounds, experiences, where we grew up, put that all together and that’s what makes us successful at the FBI,” said Sokolawski, who works as a recruiter for the Milwaukee office.

Diversity at the FBI has changed over the years. As of December 2022, Latinos make up about 10% of special agents, analysts, and professional staff.

The group that has really shown its presence is women. Approximately 23% of the special agents are female, but they make up 58% of the analysts and professional staff.

“I've seen a lot more female special agents get hired. Which to me is a good thing, these are some of the smartest people that I work with, not only special agents but our analysts and some of the other professional staff that we have,” said SA Costabile.

So, no matter your background- if you are interested in becoming an agent - apply and be that difference in your community.

“For them, all things should be options for them. I’d hate for them to think any door is closed for them. Anyone that’s watching says if the FBI is where your sights are set, keep your sights there. Latinos, Latinas are very capable.

They're very smart and I've learned a lot from them. As far as women, I tell my own daughters that one of the agents - some of the smartest people in my organization are women, so I wanted women and Latinos and any other race to know that we want warm people, people with a lot of heart, people who care about serving others, that's the kind of person we want," said Costabile.
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