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Affirmative Action

Northwestern University is a federal contractor that actively participates in affirmative action planning in the areas of recruitment and retention of its employees.  Executive Order 11246; Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; and the affirmative action provisions of Section 4212 of the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act detail these requirements.  

Pursuant to these requirements, on an annual basis, Northwestern develops its Affirmative Action Plan (AAP).

Affirmative Action Plan

So, what is the “Action” in the Affirmative Action Plan?

  1. Northwestern identifies areas where barriers and disparities might exist in recruitment and employment activities. Northwestern identifies these barriers and disparities by conducting a workforce analysis that compares the composition of the University’s employee population to relevant labor pools in the market. This comparison is done through the development of job groups composed of similarly situated types of work for an effective comparative analysis. 
  1. Northwestern takes steps to remove those barriers and disparities through:
    • establishing equitable policies, processes, and procedures;
    • identifying where additional outreach and recruiting efforts can be focused to attract applicants from underrepresented groups
    • monitoring those efforts for progress.
  2. The concept of affirmative action in employment is for employers to take proactive steps to rid themselves of obstacles or barriers that might prohibit women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and protected veterans from receiving fair treatment, and to provide equal employment opportunities and nondiscrimination to all employees, applicants, and job seekers.
  3. To address areas of underrepresentation Northwestern University actively seeks applicants for employment and promotional opportunities who are women, minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities to maintain a University community that is based on equal opportunity, reflects the diversity of American society, and improves opportunities for women, minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities.
  4. Hiring decisions are based strictly on qualifications relevant to the job. Affirmative action does not require, nor does it allow any employer to hire individuals on the basis of any protected category. For more information regarding the OFCCP and AAPs, please see the U.S. Department of Labor’s website.

Information related to diversity and inclusion resources, community groups, initiatives, news, reports, and progress can be found on our Diversity Resources page.