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The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE         Media Contacts:  David Grinberg October 12, 2005                               (202) 663-4921                                Program Contact: Jay Friedman                                                (202) 419-0577                                           TTY: (202) 663-7124                                       


Honoring Best Practices that Promote Fair and Open Competition in the Workplace

WASHINGTON - Cari M. Dominguez, Chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), today launched the EEOC's second annual "Freedom to Compete Award", announcing that the agency will accept nominations through Jan. 18, 2006.  The Chair will present the distinguished award in June to employers, organizations, or other entities that have demonstrated results through best practices in promoting fair and open competition in the workplace. 

The award is part of the EEOC's Freedom to Compete Initiative, a national outreach, education and coalition-building campaign to provide free and unfettered access to employment opportunities for all individuals.  The central theme of the initiative, launched by Chair Dominguez in 2002, is that every individual deserves the opportunity to compete and advance on a level playing field as far as his/her talent and ability allows without regard to discriminatory barriers.  As part of the Freedom to Compete campaign, the EEOC has been forging strategic alliances and partnerships with a cross-section of stakeholders to influence positive change in the workplace.

 "The Freedom to Compete Award is about showcasing, recognizing, and rewarding a specific practice that produces results; a practice that sets an example and reflects abiding commitment to access and inclusion in the workplace," Chair Dominguez said.  "We were impressed with the high-impact practices featured in the 2005 awards program, and look forward to receiving a new round of nominations for 2006."

The six award recipients in 2005 covered a range of industries and professions including high-tech, manufacturing, insurance, retail/distribution, law, and public service.  Nominations for the 2006 awards may be made by the public or an entity may nominate itself.  Eligibility criteria for nominees include:

  • The nominee must be a public or private employer, corporation, association, organization or other entity whose activities exemplify Freedom to Compete goals.
  • Nominees must have implemented a specific practice that has removed barriers that hinder free and fair workplace competition and has increased access, inclusion, and/or promotional opportunities for qualified workers.
  • Recipients of the Freedom to Compete Award will agree to participate in programs, meetings, or other collaborative efforts with the Commission to publicize the award-winning practice and share information to assist other entities seeking to replicate the practice.  The chief executive officer is expected to participate in the award ceremony June 14 at the EEOC's Washington headquarters.

The nomination submission requires an application containing the following information:

  • Profile of the organization, including its mission, size, number of employees, nature of work, and description of products or services;
  • Description of the specific practice, including what led to its implementation, the level and commitment and/or executive involvement, and tangible results;
  • Description of what made the practice effective and how it has positively affected the lives of employees; and
  • Description of potential joint activities the organization and EEOC can undertake to share the practice with other entities and promote Freedom to Compete principles.

Further information about the nomination submission criteria, procedures, and previous award winners is available on the Commission's web site at  Nomination packages must be received by EEOC no later than January 18, 2006, and may be sent by e-mail to, standard mail, or otherwise delivered to Jay Friedman, EEOC, Office of Research, Information and Planning, 1801 L Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.  20507.   

This page was last modified on October 12, 2005.