Women - About

EDI strives to advance diversity and inclusion at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and ensure that the civil rights of all employees are protected. The Women’s Employment Portfolio at NIH is directed at ensuring that this constituency remains a successful part of a broader diversity and inclusion strategy for the NIH. This Portfolio is federally mandated, having its authority grounded in Presidential Executive Orders.


Our work aims to identify barriers to equal opportunity for women, and to create strategies to remove those barriers. Our portfolio is an important part of the Agency-wide effort to provide equal employment opportunities to every NIH employee. Our team of strategists is responsible for the implementation of the program, and the Women’s Employee Committee is dedicated to providing strategic support and guidance. We count on the commitment and support of leaders and management officials from all NIH Institutes and Centers.

EDI works in partnership with the Office of Human Resources (OHR), the Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity (COSWD) and NIH leadership to support the Women’s Employment Portfolio. Together, we develop collaborations to advance the representation of our women in all occupations of the NIH workforce and support this constituency in achieving their fullest potential.

At NIH we understand that our responsibility to diverse groups extends well beyond federal mandates. We define diversity broadly to include elements of our human identities and encompass every aspect of difference. Within EDI, we are interested in leveraging the ideas of each NIH employee to fuel innovation and drive health discovery. The women's constituency is a critical piece of our overall diversity strategy.


Emma Kaufman

Emma Kaufman

Emma Kaufman is a lawyer with a deep commitment to justice, equity, and service.

Ms. Kaufman earned her J.D. at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. While in law school, Ms. Kaufman was published in the University of Maryland Law Journal on Race, Religion, Gender, and Class, served as president for the Women's Bar Association, and as president for If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice. In addition, Ms. Kaufman deepened her knowledge of reproductive justice, racial justice, and economic equality by providing policy and legal support to NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland, the Women's Law Center of Maryland, the Rebuild, Overcome, the Rise (ROAR) Center at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and the Center for Reproductive Rights during her law school career.

Prior to law school, Ms. Kaufman worked as a marketing and development professional for several community-based nonprofit organizations. Ms. Kaufman is also a graduate of St. Mary's College of Maryland, where she earned her B.A. in political science. Ms. Kaufman is thrilled to work within NIH's Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and serve alongside others who share her values.

Ms. Kaufman lives in Baltimore, Maryland, where she enjoys rock climbing, trivia, and spending time with loved ones.

> Contact Emma


The Committee promotes the Women’s Employment Portfolio and addresses issues concerning employees by:

  • Identifying and discussing mission areas, and diversity and civil rights issues.
  • Educating and training through observances, forums.
  • Assisting with recruitment, retention, and succession planning.
  • Coordinating and facilitating with the Women's Employment Portfolio Strategist on program activities.
  • Reviewing and implementing action plans established pursuant to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Management Directive (MD) 715 for adequacy and assess progress toward achieving affirmative employment goals, including reviewing statistical data on workforce composition.



  • In 1961, President Kennedy established the Commission on the Status of Women, chaired by Eleanor Roosevelt, to look into problems women encountered in employment in the Federal Government.
  • In 1963, based on recommendations of the Commission, the Federal Women's Program (FWP) was established as a vehicle to provide opportunities for the recruitment, selection, training, and advancement of women in the Federal Government.
  • In October 1967, Executive Order 11375 added sex to other prohibited forms of discrimination such as race, color, religion, and national origin in the Federal Government.
  • In August 1969, Executive Order 11478 integrated the FWP into the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Program and placed the FWP under the direction of EEO for each agency. OPM regulations implementing Public Law 92-261 require that federal agencies designate a FWP Manager to advise the Director of EEO on matters affecting the employment and advancement of women. This law also requires that federal agencies allocate sufficient resources for their Federal Women's Programs. 
  • In March 1972, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was amended to apply equal employment opportunity protection to the Federal Government. The designation of a Federal Women's Program Manager was codified in the Code of Federal Regulations (29 CFR 1614.102) as appropriate for carrying out equal employment opportunity functions in all organizational units of an agency, and at all agency installations.