The purpose of a CMCE, as described at 41 CFR 60-2.30(a), is to determine whether individuals are encountering artificial barriers to advancement into middle and senior-level corporate management. During CMCEs, COs pay special attention to components of a contractor’s employment process that affect advancement or promotion into middle and senior-level positions.
As in other compliance evaluations, the CMCE focuses on a contractor’s efforts to ensure a discrimination-free workplace. To ensure a thorough analysis of EEO compliance, CMCEs focus not only on personnel activity data at the corporate headquarters, but also on affirmative action policies and procedures that ensure EEO leading to advancement throughout the organization.
Therefore, during a CMCE COs begin their analysis of middle and senior-level management positions by focusing on two areas:
- Potential discrimination; and
- Affirmative action.
a. Potential Discrimination. When focusing on the potential for discrimination, COs are typically seeking answers to two questions:
- Does unlawful discrimination exist in the selection processes and practices for middle and senior-level management positions?
- Does unlawful discrimination exist in employee performance review procedures or in employee developmental assignments?
In addition to these questions, COs are also seeking to determine whether individuals currently in these positions are treated in a nondiscriminatory manner in all aspects of their employment, including assignments, total compensation, development opportunities, reasonable accommodation and any other benefits or privileges associated with their positions.
b. Affirmative Action. The obligation to ensure EEO extends to all levels of a contractor’s activities, including the recruitment, development and selection processes for middle and senior-level management positions. The contractor’s efforts are particularly important when evaluating higher-level positions. This is so because the selection criteria for these positions often become more subjective. Moreover, the selection criteria at these levels are closely related to corporate culture and values. COs, therefore, must evaluate whether and to what extent the contractor:
- Examines its development and selection criteria and practices for middle and senior-level management positions;
- Identifies EEO problems or potential barriers to equal opportunity; and
- Devises and implements effective strategies to address identified problems within the context of its own particular corporate environment.