White Sands Missile Range Hall of Fame

Frances Williams
Chief of Equal Employment Opportunity Programs
Served 1969 – 1987
Inducted 1995

Ms. Frances Williams was born on Oct. 16, 1928 in Philadelphia. She was raised in Brooklyn, NY where she attended Girls High School.

Williams came to White Sands in 1952 as a fiscal accounting clerk. Until 1973, Williams held a number of administrative jobs that included several non-traditional positions for women. For instance, she was the accountable property officer for all automotive and aircraft spare parts in transportation and logistics. During this time she also volunteered as an equal employment opportunity counselor and the range’s federal women’s program manager.

In 1969 Williams developed the range’s first affirmative action plan for women. In 1973 she was appointed as the first full-time federal women’s program manager and served in that position until 1976 when she was selected as the equal employment opportunity manager for White Sands. She is credited with energizing the program.

During her tenure, the equal employment opportunity program flourished and became a model for other federal agencies. The program received outstanding ratings from both the Army and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Williams created an atmosphere that ensured all employees at White Sands had the opportunity to better themselves, if they had the desire. She developed a number of training seminars, career counseling opportunities and emphasized improved education and long-term training. She worked closely with the civilian personnel office to establish the range’s upward mobility program. As a result, 10 women were initially accepted in the program as electronic technicians. These were the first women to enter the electronic technician field at White Sands.

Others also recognized the work Williams did at White Sands. In 1974 she was appointed by the governor to the, New Mexico Commission for the Status of Women. In 1976 the governor of New Mexico appointed her to the task force on affirmative action. The force assisted local, county and state officials in developing affirmative action plans. For 12 years she also served as the chairperson for the Las Cruces Review Board for Grievances and Discrimination Complaints.

Williams ended her career with White Sands when she retired in 1987 after 35 years of service. She and her husband Ausvel live in Las Cruces. They have two children.