The Smithsonian Institution Women's Council (SIWC) was formally established by the Secretary of the Smithsonian on April 19, 1972. The Council was originally organized as an informal group of women employees to discuss promoting the status of women within the Institution's hierarchy. The Council's goals are dedicated to the achievement of women employees, especially in their gaining access to jobs previously closed to them because of their sex. In addition, it lends cooperative strength to individuals and groups seeking to promote the good of all Smithsonian employees. The SIWC's membership operates as a voluntary support group, representing the concerns of employees to the Smithsonian administration. The Council reports directly to the Assistant Secretary for Administration, and its fiscal authority lies with the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity. From 1973 to 1979, Council members were elected annually by Smithsonian employees; thereafter, elections were held biannually. The Council consists of the twenty members who receive the highest number of votes in the election; the remaining nominees serve as alternates. The Council convenes once a month to conduct its business meetings. During these meetings, projects and proposals are discussed, direction of Council activities is examined, and formal action is taken on various issues. The Executive Committee of the Council consists of the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer, and Historian. It meets weekly to establish administrative priorities and the agenda for the next SIWC meeting, provide an update on current projects, and discuss sensitive issues. The stated goals and objectives of the SIWC are achieved through providing training opportunities, employee benefit programs, lectures, and the publication of its newsletter, Four Star. The Four Star was first issued as a bimonthly from June 1980 to April 1983, and with the June/August 1983 issue, it became a quarterly publication. Chairpersons of the Smithsonian Institution Women's Council have included Edna Owens, 1972; Gretchen Gayle, 1973; Edith Mayo, 1974; Mary C. Quinn, 1975; Diane G. Walker, 1976; Penelope A. Packard, 1977; Rosemary M. DeRosa, 1978; Charlene James, 1979; Audrey B. Davis, 1980; Margaret Santiago, 1981; Elizabeth Beuck, 1982; and Susan Kalcik, 1983- .