When you think of an FBI agent, it's almost always a man that comes to mind. But that stereotype is starting to fade away with a diverse cast featuring women and minorities.
From a booth at Dallas Market Center, FBI Special Agent Recruiters Patricia Ortiz and Niambi Tillman are also setting the record straight.
The speech they give, seemingly on loop, is that special agents make up less than half of the employees at the Bureau and that, right now, they need people from different backgrounds, like nurses, photographers, and engineers, who would staff the professional wing.
"You do not have to carry a gun, you do not have to be between the ages of 23 and 36, you do not have to run after the bad guys. What you do is... your mission is to support the agents in the overall mission," said Ortiz.
Ortiz has been with the FBI for 22 years and said the drive to get women and minorities in the Dallas bureau has never been stronger.
"Society is changing, in order for us to effectively do our job, and to work together with community, we have to look like the community," Ortiz said.
The drive for diversity has recently led major organizations to hire diversity and inclusion officers. Earlier this year, Uber hired Bo Young Lee. A similar position already exists at Facebook and Google. Just last month, the NFL posted a similar opening.
"You can't just say, 'I want more diversity' and keep doing things the way you were doing it," said Miguel Quinones, professor of business at SMU's Cox School of Business.
Quinones said part of the drive for inclusion stems from the low unemployment rate. At four percent, he said employers are fighting to find staff. It's forcing them to become more resourceful.
"The talent that exists out there in these diverse communities has been generally overlooked," Quinones said. "We see a lot of evidence, recently, that organizations that have a diverse board and a diverse executive team are outperforming those that have the least diverse."
Despite the current push, Tillman and Ortiz said recruiting women and minorities have long been staples at the FBI. Nationwide they want to hire 900 people, what they call the the best and the brightest.
The salary range for the jobs of the FBI is looking to fill range from $40,000 a year to $130,000, plus locality pay. Applicants must be 18 years or older. A college degree is not necessary for all jobs such as telecommunications. A military, law-enforcement, or criminal justice background is also not required.