On March 8, President Biden issued an Executive Order (“EO”) On Establishment of the White House Gender Policy Council (the “Council”). The purpose of the Council is to promote gender equity and equality with the goal of advancing equal rights and opportunities regardless of one’s gender or gender identity. The EO seeks to promote workplace diversity, fairness and inclusion across the Federal workforce and military.
The President instructed the Council, comprised of cabinet secretaries and other high ranking government officials, to coordinate the Federal government’s efforts to advance gender equity and equality by developing policies and programs to combat systemic discrimination including sexual harassment, increase economic security and opportunity by addressing structural barriers to women’s participation in the labor force, address caregiving needs of American families, promote gender equity in leadership, address the needs of women and girls arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and promote gender equity and combat stereotypes in education, including STEM fields. The Council is responsible for submitting a recommended strategy to the President within 200 days addressing the Council’s goals and objectives as outlined in the EO and for providing annual updates thereafter.
While focused on the public sector, we all understand these issues permeate our society. Employers may find the Council’s recommendations instructive on how to improve their workplace environments. Hopefully this is the beginning of a renewed effort to address this systemic challenge we face as a society both in the public and private sectors.