In 1990, an academic colleague and I received a small grant to undertake a research project1 relating to the practice of equal opportunity in higher education institutions in one Australian state: New South Wales. We set out to examine Equal Employment Opportunity Coordinators‘ (EEOCs’) perceptions of the effectiveness of EEO and affirmative action in universities and colleges, but we also wanted to document the experiences of these specialist staff in undertaking the difficult job of assisting their organisation to implement strategies to achieve equal opportunity in employment. This paper selects aspects of data contained in interviews with EEOCs which relates specifically to their personal experiences in undertaking EEO work. Although those employed in this field are called by various titles ‐ EEO Officer, EEO Coordinator, Equal Opportunity Coordinator ‐ for the purpose of this paper, and to avoid identification, all staff have been called EEO Coordinators (EEOCs).
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