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The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights  & The Leadership Conference Education Fund
The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

Equal Opportunity in Employment & Contracting

Equal opportunity initiatives in the employment context are designed to ensure that all individuals have a fair chance to access opportunities in the workplace. These initiatives include: 

  • Recruitment and outreach efforts to make sure that qualified women and minorities are in the talent pool when hiring decisions are made
  • Training, mentoring, and workforce diversity initiatives to give all employees a fair chance at promotions
  • Management tools for measuring progress in opening opportunities such as flexible goals and timetables

Equal opportunity programs have opened job opportunities for qualified women and minorities in the workplace. However, barriers to the highest levels of advancement still remain in the workplace and in non-traditional occupations.

In addition, the persistence of a wage gap for women and minority workers still remains in the American workplace. While the wage disparity has decreased since the passage of the 1963 Equal Pay Act, the statistics are still bleak.

Equal opportunity programs include efforts to encourage the awarding of government contracts to qualified women and minority-owned businesses. While equal opportunity policies and programs have improved the success of women and minority-owned business enterprises, these businesses still receive only a fraction of total federal and state contracting dollars.

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