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Federal Women's Program (FWP)

The Federal Women’s Program (FWP) is a special emphasis program which was established in 1963 to enhance employment and advancement of women. Executive Order 11478, signed in 1969, brought the FWP into the overall Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Program and placed it under the stewardship of the Director of EEO.

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

Debbie Williams, Phone: (509) 323-2928

Washington's Federal Women's Program Manager

Debbie Williams

My name is Debbie Williams. As the FWP manager, I hope to be a strong advocate for women who work for or are customers of NRCS. This is my first experience on a Civil Rights Committee, and I am excited to have this opportunity.

I began working for NRCS since 2009 in a variety of roles, and am now assigned to the Washington State Office as an acquisitions specialist.  I am a single mom with a young son, so a lot of my time away from work is dedicated to him. I also enjoy our many pets and have a tendency to attract all sorts of “rescues” as well. I’m a home improvement DIYer, sewer, knitter, and avid reader, but my favorite hobby is gardening and landscaping.

Program Goals:

The Federal Women's Program was established in 1963 as a vehicle to provide opportunities for recruitment, selection, training, and advancement of women in the federal government. The primary purpose of the Federal Women's Program is to improve the status of women in the federal government through education and counseling of its members and agency employees and by providing management officials with information on workforce trends (source:

To ensure that agencies meet the requirements of the EEO laws, Executive Orders, and 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.

The Federal Women’s Program is designed to:

  •  Ensure that the women receive equal treatment in all aspects of employment.
  • Increase the number of women employed in all professional, administrative, technical, clerical, and other categories, series, and grade levels.
  • Provide opportunities to participate in training, career development, and leadership programs.
  • Encourage the participation of women in all NRCS-sponsored programs and activities.
  • Provide a network of professional support for women.
  • Provide mentoring support to women in the workforce.
  • Educate all NRCS employees by raising the level of awareness of women’s workplace issues. 

March is Women's History Month

Women’s history month was designated to highlight the past and present contributions that women have made to American History.

Other awareness observances:

  • August 26th is Women’s Equality Day. The date commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920, which granted women the right to vote. The day also brings attention to those that have struggled for women's rights, and those who continue to work toward equal opportunities for all people, regardless of sex.

  • March 8th is International Women’s Day

  • The 4th Thursday in April is Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. The "Take Our Daughters to Work" program was created in 1993 by a non-profit organization to improve self-esteem and foster career exploration for young girls. In 2003, the program was expanded to include boys. During the day, parents and mentors are encouraged to help 8 to 18 year olds explore career options and begin short and long-term life planning.

  • April 12th was proclaimed National Equal Pay Day. The President “called upon Americans to recognize the full value of women's skills and their significant contributions to the labor force, acknowledge the injustice of wage discrimination, and join efforts to achieve equal pay.”  Press Release

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FWP Facts

  • 2010 was the centennial of women’s suffrage in Washington State
  • Take the Women’s History Quiz
  • Quick Stats on Women Workers, 2009
  • Women are more likely to graduate college than men
  • On average, women earn 77 cents for each dollar that a man earns
  • According to the 2009 census, only 9% of production and craft occupations were filled by women

Specialty items of interest

  • 2011 Women's History Month Poster  (PDF; 634KB)  Nation Bulletin Announcement NB-230-22-15
  • National Directive offering guidance to nursing mothers who express milk in the workplace:  NB_230-11-13
  • NRCS telecommuting policy:  GM 360 429 Part 429  Subpart A - General
  • NRCS policy about flexible work schedules including part-time employment:  GM 360 427  Part 427  Subpart A - General
  • NRCS Anti-Harassment Policy
  • Sexual Harassment – What is It?
  • Guidelines on Discrimination Because of Sex - Code of Federal Regulations, Title 29, Chapter XIV, Part 1604
  • The Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
    EAP helps NRCS employees resolve personal and work problems through professional assistance. The Employee Assistance program can assist with many types of life challenges, such as parenting, work-related stress, aging, emotional or psychological struggles, and financial management. EAP is free of charge to you as an employee. The NRCS EAP provider is Sand Creek Group, Ltd., which can be reached at 1-888-243-5744 or at


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