Skip to Content
Texas State University
Texas State University

Ida Castro

Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Thursday, June 29, 2000 · Alkek Teaching Theater · 7:30 p.m.

Ida L. Castro, chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), earned her reputation as a labor and employment attorney. She came to the EEOC in 1998 after four years with the Department of Labor as acting director of the Women's Bureau, deputy assistant secretary and director of the Office of Workers' Compensation. She is the first Latina to head the EEOC.

Founded in 1965 during the administration of President Lyndon Johnson, the EEOC enforces federal civil rights laws that pertain to employment discrimination on the basis of gender, age, disability, race, color, religion or national origin. Fifty field offices across the country handle some 80,000 cases each year brought by individuals who believe their employment rights have been violated or by EEOC commissioners who believe they have found such a violation.

Under Ms. Castro's leadership, the commission has been on the cutting edge of enforcing the nation's anti-discrimination laws through a com­prehensive enforcement approach, winning the respect and praise of many who have been critical of the agency in the past. She has expanded outreach, education and technical assistance to a broad range of stake­holders and has increased efficiency so that the agency is now resolving charges faster than they are being filed.

Ms. Castro's lecture ended a day of seminars focusing on the work of the EEOC in recognition of the agency's 35th anniversary. The day's events were part of Texas State University's (then Southwest Texas University) continuing Chautauqua Series. 

—Adapted from the original event program distributed at Ida Castro's LBJ Distinguished Lecture

“As we review the challenges which lie ahead of us, it is clear that despite the significant progress the nation has made, there is still much left to be done before equal employment opportunity becomes a reality for all.”

“Discrimination rears its ugly head in ways that cannot be easily proved — like I said, smoking guns are hard to come by, unless you are a low-wage earner, of course. Then there are smoking guns, smoking ropes, smoking whips, smoking everything.”