The Evolution of U.S. Diversity

1942: Congress of Racial Equality, a civil rights organization, formed with the mission to fight “for the rights and interests of minorities and the impoverished.”

1963: The Equal Pay Act of 1963 amended the Fair Labor Standards Act and aimed to abolish the wage disparity between males and females.

1964: Congress enacted Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit discrimination in the workplace based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin.

1965: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission assembled to eliminate illegal discrimination in the workplace.

1965: President Johnson signed Executive Order 11246, mandating that federal construction contractors cannot discriminate based upon Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and must take affirmative action to make sure minorities are employed.

1966: National Organization for Women established to advocate for equal pay and eliminate discrimination and harassment of females in the workplace, schools and the justice system.

1972: Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment, which provided a constitutional guarantee of equal rights for women. The amendment was not ratified by the minimum number of states before the deadline in 1982, so it was never adopted.

1972: Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 formally outlawed discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded education programs.

1975: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Regents of California v. Bakke that admission based upon racial quotas was unconstitutional, but said diversifying the classroom could be used in the admissions process for public colleges.

1981: Sandra Day O’Connor appointed by President Ronald Reagan as the first female on the U.S. Supreme Court.

1984: Geraldine Ferraro named first female vice presidential nominee for a major party.

1987: The Hudson Institute published “Workforce 2000,” which established the idea of work-life balance and predicted women and minorities would make up the majority of new entrants into the workplace by 2000.

1991: The U.S. Department of Labor established the Glass Ceiling Commission to study the barriers women and racial minorities face in the workplace.

1998: Companion cases Burlington Industries Inc. v. Ellerth and Faragher v. City of Boca Raton in the U.S. Supreme Court formally mandated that employers are liable for sexual harassment.

2002: Surveys indicate more than 75 percent of Fortune 1000 companies have formal diversity initiatives in place that focus on race, gender and ethnicity.

2012: U.S. Census estimates reveal minorities surpass whites in number of U.S. births annually.