As a follow up to the Inauguration Day recession of former President Trump’s Combatting Race and Sex Stereotyping Executive Order, the Biden Administration has issued a White House Diversity memo providing further direction on rolling back any remaining tenants of Executive Order 13950.
The memo, dated March 2, 2021, was published by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and
provides detailed instructions for agencies to ensure the complete rollback of agency actions that were taken pursuant to E.O. 13950.
Directed at federal agencies who took action to implement the rescinded Executive Order based on previous OMB guidance, the memo states
agencies must take appropriate actions to ensure the complete reversal of agency action implementing the now-rescinded OMB policy memoranda.
This includes removal of authorization for agencies to include language referencing the Executive Order in contracts and the treatment of contracts which may already include reference to the Order.
The memo also notes that The Office of Personnel Management will “rescind its guidance to Chief Human Capital Officers and Human Resources Directors issued on October 2, 2020, and cease reviewing diversity and inclusion training for compliance with E.O. 13950.”
In addition to reversing the Executive Order, the White House is taking the affirmative step of establishing a White House Gender Policy Council. By Executive Order signed March 8, 2021, President Biden has directed the creation of the council to
establish and pursue a comprehensive approach to ensure that the Federal Government is working to advance equal rights and opportunities, regardless of gender or gender identity.
In recognizing that “advancing gender equity and equality is a matter of human rights, justice, and fairness” as well as “a strategic imperative that reduces poverty and promotes economic growth, increases access to education, improves health outcomes, advances political stability, and fosters democracy”, the administration believes “the full participation of all people — including women and girls — across all aspects of our society is essential to the economic well-being, health, and security of our Nation and of the world.” The Gender Policy Council has a multi-faceted list of responsibilities and will involve cross-Agency participation and representation.
And President Biden is calling for quick action. Within 200 days, the Council is ordered to develop and submit to the President a “government-wide strategy for advancing gender equity and equality in the United States.”