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Inspiring Words from the 462 Symposium

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton Pays Tribute to EEO Professionals at MicroPact’s Annual Event

Roger Hughlett's avatar

By: Roger Hughlett

September 22, 2014 | Company News

Eleanor Holmes Norton

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton opened MicroPact’s 12th Annual 462 Symposium with inspiring words and her personal reflections of the important work done on a daily basis by EEO and HR professionals within the federal government and in the private sector.

“I am pleased with the work you are doing. I come to congratulate you, commend you and thank you for the work you are doing for government employees and therefore for the American people,” Norton told the audience of more than 200 EEO professionals from all major federal agencies including the Department of Defense, the General Services Administration, the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Veteran Affairs.

Norton went on to acknowledge the significant role technology – specifically MicroPact’s icomplaints® software, which is used to process more than 80 percent of all EEO claims within federal agencies – plays in the mission of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Before being elected to Congress by the citizens of the District of Columbia, Norton served as chairman of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. She was appointed to serve by President Jimmy Carter.

“You all work on the part of the mission of the EEOC that is dearest to my heart,” she said. “You are able to track complaints to keep the system from being bogged down and to keep people from losing confidence in laws that we have known after 50 years are important to the advancement of people of color and women and with parents of all backgrounds.”

Norton has played an important role in the history of EEO laws and EEO enforcement from both appointed and elected posts in Washington.

Appointed by President Jimmy Carter as the first female Chair of the EEOC in 1977, Norton released the EEOC's first set of regulations outlining what constituted sexual harassment and declaring that sexual harassment was indeed a form of sexual discrimination that violated federal civil rights laws. She was also responsible for enforcing both the 1963 Equal Pay Act and the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

“We did that without the technology that you have today,” Norton told the room of icomplaints users. Being able to track complaints is extremely important to federal agencies in order to prevent backlogs of complaints from getting out of hand, and in the process ensuring that all Americans have faith in the laws that protect them at work from discrimination.

About the Author

Roger Hughlett was a member of the Marketing Team with MicroPact from 2013 - 2015.