Office of Resolution Management, Diversity & Inclusion (ORMDI)
Federal Women's Program
Federal Women’s Program
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) proudly leads the effort to build a diverse workforce and cultivate an inclusive work environment. We do this by developing and implementing policies and programs that promote diversity and inclusion in our workplace as we strive to ensure that VA’s workforce is drawn from the broadest segments of society so that it is poised to meet the present and future needs of our Nation's Veterans, their families and beneficiaries.
The Federal Women's Program (FWP) is one of several federally mandated programs. See 29 Code of Federal Regulation, Part 1614.102(b)(4) for more information. The FWP began with the passing of the 19th Amendment on August 26th, 1920, which granted women the right to vote in the United States. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin.
VA observes two commemorative events on behalf of women’s achievements. Since 1971, August 26th is recognized annually as “Women’s Equality Day” and activities are encouraged to memorialize the strenuous fight for women’s equality. Additionally, VA commemorates the month of March each year as “Women’s History Month” in alignment with “International Women’s Day,” celebrated in Europe on March 8th. During this time, VA pauses to recognize women’s achievements and contributions to our world and our communities.
The Equal Pay Act (EPA) of 1963 protected men and women who perform substantially equal work in the same establishment from sex-based wage discrimination and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 bolstered worker protections against pay discrimination, both steps towards ensuring women’s rights and equality in the workplace. The struggle, however, continues. According to the U.S. Census, Equal Pay Day was originated by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) in 1996 as a public awareness event to illustrate the gap between men's and women's wages. Since Census statistics showing the latest wage figures are not available until late August or September, NCPE leadership decided to select a Tuesday in April as Equal Pay Day. This date symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year and a Tuesday is selected to represent how far into the next work week women must work to earn what men earned the previous week.
In VA, where equality for and inclusion of both employees and the Veterans they serve are of utmost importance, there is still room for improvement. As of December 31, 2020, women represent 61.29% of the overall VA workforce, 11.83% above the National Relevant Civilian Labor Force (RCLF) benchmark of 49.46%. Women are already above the benchmark of the National RCLF and have increased representation from 60.62% on September 30, 2019 to 61.29% on December 31, 2020. In VA’s leadership pipeline (GS-12 through GS-14), women hold 64.36% of those positions. Though women are well-represented in the leadership pipeline, women have less than expected representation in holding 40.56% of VA’s executive leadership positions (GS-15 and Senior Executive Service positions).
Each Federal Agency has designated an FWP Manager, who is tasked with carrying out the responsibilities of the role. This individual assists in the recruitment, development, training, and advancement of women in their respective workforces. The FWP Manager responsibilities are:
- Advise management on the unique concerns of and barriers to equal opportunity for women.
- Monitor and evaluate human resource policies, practices, and procedures to determine the existence of barriers to full participation; and report findings to the appropriate officials with recommendations for corrective action.
- Participate in studies and systemic analyses to identify barriers to equal employment opportunity.
- Educate supervisors, managers and employees on the goals and objectives of the FWP.
- Assist in identification of training needs and recruitment sources for women in areas they have less than expected participation rates.
- Serve as representative with various organizations with common goals.
- Coordinate and/or partner for educational programs including seminars, workshops, and FWP observances.
- Be involved in the planning and implementation of proactive prevention measures for women in the workforce.
Executive Order 11375 – Amending Executive Order No. 11246, Relating to Equal Employment Opportunity (adding sex as a protected category) [PDF]
Executive Order 11478 – Equal Employment Opportunity in the Federal Government (prohibited discrimination based on sex in Federal employment)
Executive Order 13583 – Establishing a Coordinated Government-wide Initiative to Promote Diversity and Inclusion in the Federal Workforce [PDF]
Executive Order 13985 – Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government
Executive Order 14035 – Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Federal Workforce
MOUs and Partnership Agreements
VA maintains Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with the following affinity organizations:
External Affinity Conferences Approved for VA-wide Participation
(VA External Affinity Conferences Memo [PDF])
For more information on external affinity conferences approved for VA-wide participation, please visit the following:
- Women's History Month (March)
- Women's Equality Day (August 26)
ORMDI does not offer or conduct employment services. Please visit the following:
- VA Careers
- Veteran Employment Program (VEP)
- National Diversity Internship Program (NDIP)
- Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP)
- Pathways at VA
- Department of Labor, Career One Stop
- Center for Women Veterans
- National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics
- VA Benefits and Programs for Women Veterans
External Government Resources
- Census, Women’s History Month
- Census, Women’s Equality Day
- Deborah Sampson Act
- Department of Labor, Women's Bureau
- Library of Congress: American Women
- National Archives, Women
- National Archives, Women’s History
- National Archives, Women’s History Research
- National Archives, Women’s Rights and the Civil Rights Act of 1964
- National Archives, Veterans Service Records
- National Park Service, Women’s History
- Women in the U.S. Air Force
- Women in the U.S. Army History
- Women in the U.S. Coast Guard
- Women in the U.S. Navy
- Women in the U.S. Marine Corps
- Veterans History Project, Women
Other External Resources
- Discovering American Women's History Online
- Hispanic Women's Corporation
- Institute for Women's Policy Research
- International Center for Research on Women
- MANA, A National Latina Organization
- Military Women's Firsts
- Minnesota Women's Press, Inc.
- Ms. Foundation for Women
- National Organization for Women (NOW)
- National Women's Hall of Fame
- National Women's History Museum
- National Women's History Alliance
- National Women's Law Center
- The Women's Research & Education Institute
- ThoughtCo. Women's History
- Women in Military Service For America Memorial, Inc.
- Women Work! The National Network for Women Employment
- Women’s Congressional Policy Institute
- Women's Suffrage: A World Chronology
Ms. Tynetta Lee, VA’s National Federal Women’s Program Manager, ORMDI.
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