Affirmative Action Programs

Overview

Affirmative action programs contain a diagnostic component which includes a number of quantitative analyses designed to evaluate the composition of the workforce of the contractor and compare it to the composition of the relevant labor pools. Affirmative action programs also include action-oriented programs.

An affirmative action program also ensures equal employment opportunity by institutionalizing the contractor's commitment to equality in every aspect of the employment process. Therefore, as part of its affirmative action program, a contractor monitors and examines its employment decisions and compensation systems to evaluate the impact of those systems on women and minorities.

An affirmative action program is, thus, more than a paperwork exercise. An affirmative action program includes those policies, practices, and procedures that the contractor implements to ensure that all qualified applicants and employees are receiving an equal opportunity for recruitment, selection, advancement, and every other term and privilege associated with employment. Affirmative action, ideally, is a part of the way the contractor regularly conducts its business. The OFCCP has found that when an affirmative action program is approached from this perspective, as a powerful management tool, there is a positive correlation between the presence of affirmative action and the absence of discrimination.

If women and minorities are not being employed at a rate to be expected given their availability in the relevant labor pool, the contractor's affirmative action program includes specific practical steps designed to address this underutilization. Effective affirmative action programs also include internal auditing and reporting systems as a means of measuring the contractor's progress toward achieving the workforce that would be expected in the absence of discrimination.

Western's AAP

As a federal contractor, Western Washington University maintains and updates an Affirmative Action Plan (AAP) each year. Leadership and deans/department chairs are provided annual updates to the University’s Affirmative Action Plan. Special efforts should be made to recruit qualified candidates who are representative of underutilized groups (e.g. minorities, women). Western's Affirmative Action is published annually and is available for review in the Western Libraries. A summary of AAP data is available on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion website. 

What are Good Faith Efforts?

Good faith efforts outline steps that can be taken in the recruitment and hiring process to ensure a diverse pool of candidates are considered for positions and provides candidates equal opportunity to compete for jobs

Search committees should conduct proactive, targeted outreach whenever the position being filled falls into a job group in which women or people of color are underrepresented according to Western’s Affirmative Action Plan, as well as proactive outreach to veterans and people with disabilities in every search.

Search committees should include personnel who are committed to inclusive excellence. Units have a responsibility to ensure that personnel with diverse backgrounds and perspectives have an opportunity to serve on search committees.

Governmental Reporting Requirements

In order to meet federal and state affirmative action compliance requirements, the University must request information on the race/ethnicity, sex, disability, and veterans status of all applicants to a specific job.