November 16, 2020
At NeW, we believe in supporting strong women during their education, but also beyond in the workplace and as community leaders. Meet NeW alumna, Andrea Lucas, Commissioner on the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Lucas was nominated by President Trump on March 16, 2020 and was confirmed on September 22, 2020 to serve as Commissioner, for a term expiring July 1, 2025.
Prior to her appointment to the EEOC, Commissioner Lucas was a senior associate in the Washington, D.C. office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. She was a member of the firm’s labor and employment practice group as well as its litigation department. She has represented and advised employers on a wide-range of matters, including significant work around employment discrimination. Commissioner Lucas received her B.A., magna cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania and her J.D. from the University of Virginia.
Lucas shares how NeW has impacted her and gives advice to NeW women today.
Why did you want to serve as an EEOC Commissioner?
Professionally, I have been interested in and focused on employment law, particularly employment discrimination law, since law school, and I was very excited by the prospect of being able to work on a mix of legal and policy issues in the position. And personally, I have seen the value of equal employment opportunity in my life, including as a female attorney and young working mother. It is such a privilege to use my skills and abilities to serve our country in this position. In particular, I hope to use my position to help the agency examine, prevent, and remedy discrimination based on some protected characteristics that employees often overlook when considering their rights.
What led you to your job at the EEOC? What work experience helped you the most?
When the Administration was looking for Commissioner candidates, I raised my hand. I successfully made the case that I was a good fit for the position given my passion for key issues involving the EEOC and my significant experience advising large employers on sensitive and high-stakes compliance and pre-dispute counseling matters. While I also had significant litigation experience in employment discrimination cases as a management-side attorney, my compliance and counseling work often involved me advising and training clients on the right answer under the relevant laws while considering both employer and employee interests, which especially helped prepare me for the EEOC's mission of both preventing and remedying employment discrimination. I'm also so grateful for Justice Clarence Thomas, who served as Chair of the EEOC earlier in his career, and Secretary of Labor, Gene Scalia, with whom I worked at my prior firm, for encouraging me during the lengthy confirmation process.
How has NeW impacted you?
It is such an encouragement to know that there are other young, conservative, intellectual women out there, and that NeW provides them with a place and means to gather together and support one another in a culture - both on campuses and in society more broadly - that often seems offended at their very existence.
What advice do you have for young conservative women?
Be resolute and courageous. By speaking up and standing up for your principles, you can be a breath of fresh air in an age of deception and give hope to many others who are afraid to voice their opinions.
What has been the best piece of professional development advice you have received throughout your career?
You often are your own best advocate and you won't get things you don't ask for. Feel confident in speaking up for yourself and being clear and direct about goals and desires you have! Most of my biggest career opportunities have been the result of me asking for stretch opportunities.