The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission



Speech To Executive Leadership Council Highlights Shared Vision, Key Partnership

MIAMI - Cari M. Dominguez, Chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) addressed corporate executives in a keynote speech late this evening to the Executive Leadership Council (ELC) - an independent, non-partisan, non-profit organization founded in 1986 to support senior-level African-American executives in Fortune 500 corporations and increase diversity in the business community.

In remarks to the ELC's annual membership meeting in Miami, Florida, Chair Dominguez praised the organization for working in partnership with the Commission to promote fair and open competition in the workplace and foster diversity efforts in Corporate America.

"The mission of the Executive Leadership Council is vitally important," Ms. Dominguez told the gathering, "and I commend you for your commitment, your leadership, and your willingness to partner with federal agencies like the EEOC, which share your vision for workplace equality."

Chair Dominguez thanked the ELC for its instrumental role in the launch of EEOC's national "Freedom to Compete" campaign to eradicate discriminatory employment barriers and create a level playing field for all workers. To generate national awareness of the initiative, EEOC produced and disseminated four public service announcements (PSAs) to coincide with the Salt Lake 2002 Winter Olympic Games. The PSA's feature among others ELC member Lloyd Ward, the first African-American Chief Executive Officer of a Fortune 500 company (Maytag Corporation) and CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee. Chair Dominguez noted that the PSAs have aired on over 135 television stations in 41 states, according to tracking reports, in media markets from coast to coast.

"Freedom to Compete has been one of our most visible and successful outreach efforts," Ms. Dominguez said. "Because of organizations like the Executive Leadership Council, the initiative has taken shape and is already making an impact on target audiences throughout the United States especially communities with sizable diverse populations."

In addition to the PSAs, the ELC has actively participated in EEOC's "Freedom to Compete" roundtables, which were convened with hundreds of business representatives, civic leaders, executives and attorneys across the country to promote an open dialogue on EEO and diversity issues.

"Our Freedom to Compete roundtables generated candid and thought-provoking discussions about the hidden and blatant career barriers facing women and minorities," Ms. Dominguez told the group. "The sessions also produced some innovative ideas to help the EEOC make a greater impact in the workplace, particularly in the private sector."

She noted that EEOC is currently gathering and assessing the information obtained during the "Freedom to Compete" roundtable sessions and plans to publicly release the results with accompanying implementation measures in the near future.

"Whether you are a first-line manager, a group executive, or a CEO we all have a stake and genuine responsibility in the national calling to give every individual the freedom to compete on a level playing field, regardless of sex or skin color," said Ms. Dominguez. "The Executive Leadership Council has fully embraced this responsibility and, in doing so, has brought a new level of visibility of diversity to corporations all over America."

Streaming video of EEOC's "Freedom to Compete" PSAs, as well as other information about the agency, are available on its web site at Further information about the Executive Leadership Council is available on its web site at

EEOC enforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act; the Equal Pay Act; Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits employment discrimination against people with disabilities in the private sector and state and local governments; Rehabilitation Act of 1973's prohibitions against discrimination affecting individuals with disabilities in the federal government; and sections of the Civil Rights Act of 1991.

This page was last modified on May 31, 2002.

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