196. Memorandum From President Carter to Heads of Departments and Agencies1

Executive Order 11375, signed by President Johnson on October 13, 1967, prohibited discrimination on the basis of sex in Federal employment. Ten years later, it is an appropriate time to reaffirm the Executive Order, assess the progress we have made, and evaluate our current efforts to be a truly equal opportunity employer.

In recent months we have made substantial progress in appointing women to responsible non-career positions; I would like to carry this commitment and effort into the career service as well.

Special efforts will be required from all of us to achieve our goal. I have already asked each of you to cooperate in eliminating sex discrimination from our laws and policies. Today I ask that you work, aggressively and creatively, to provide maximum employment opportunities for women in the Federal career service. This means developing, within merit principles, innovative programs to recruit and hire qualified women and to be sure they have the opportunity for satisfying career development.

As part of the President’s Reorganization Project, the Personnel Management Project will soon propose program and policy changes [Page 801] for the civil service system.2 These proposals will have an impact on the employment and advancement of women, and that impact will receive thoughtful consideration.

I will also be receiving reports from the Chairman of the Civil Service Commission on the progress that you are making in increasing the numbers of women in the mid- and senior levels of your organizations. I expect to see significant improvements made in your department or agency as a result of your personal initiatives, and I hope you will be especially sensitive to the concerns of older women and women from minority groups.

Jimmy Carter
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 364, Special Trade Representative, 1977–1979, Box 47, White House Official, 1977. No classification marking. Also printed in Public Papers: Carter, 1977, Book II, p. 2034.
  2. See Document 152.