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Federal Women's Program

Program Manager: Nakaya Rife
Phone: 406-429-6646
E-mail: Nakaya Rife

Observance Month: March

Mission: Promote a thorough understanding of the women's special emphasis program as a means of achieving equal opportunity and diversity within the work place.

The Federal Women's Program (FWP) is a special emphasis program that was established in 1963 to enhance employment and remove employment barriers for women. Executive Order 11478, signed in 1969, brought the FWP into overall Equal Employment (EEO) Program and placed it under the stewardship of the Director of EEO. To ensure that agencies meet the requirements of EEO laws, Executive Orders, and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidelines, the Federal Women's Program Manager (FWPM) position was established to advise management and to analyze policies, practices and procedures which may present barriers to the hiring and advancement of women employees. Let's continue to “Write Women Back into History” and develop opportunities to improve equality and promote diversity in our workforce and in the customers we serve, as we "help people help the land.".

Program Objectives

  • Increase the total number of women employed in professional, administrative, and technical occupations.
  • Eliminate concentrations of women in single-interval occupational series, to diversify and create advancement opportunities throughout all occupational levels and disciplines.
  • Encourage the participation of women in all NRCS-sponsored programs and activities.

Women and Hispanic Claims Program

The United States Government is establishing a Claims Process to make available up to $1.33 billion or more to farmers who alleged discrimination by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) based on being female, or based on being Hispanic, in making or servicing farm loans during certain periods between 1981 and 2000. If you qualify and submit a timely claim, you could receive an award of up to $50,000 or up to $250,000 in cash, depending on the evidence that you submit. USDA will also provide a total of up to $160 million in debt relief to successful Claimants who currently owe USDA money for eligible farm loans. Successful Claimants may also receive an additional amount, equal to 25% of the combined cash award plus the principal amount of debt relief, to help pay federal taxes that may be owed.

Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers who allege discrimination by the USDA in past decades can file claims between September 24, 2012 and March 25, 2013.

Roles of the Montana Federal Women's Program Manager

  • Serve as a liaison between regional and national program managers and the state conservationist on FWP objectives and activities at national and state levels.
  • Provide information to Montana NRCS employees on FWP activities and responsibilities.
  • Develop recruitment, retention and advancement strategies for women in the NRCS workplace.
  • Increase respect for abilities and accomplishments of women employees.
  • Promote employee advancement potential by providing information on planning, training and educational opportunities.
  • Identify problems and solutions for recruitment, retention and advancement of women in NRCS.
  • Eliminate sexual harassment in the workplace.
  • Identify and address barriers to women participating in NRCS programs.

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