A group of female agents have negotiated with officials for nine months in an attempt to bring to light and eradicate widespread discrimination and bias against women agents. The women claim that they are often assigned to lower prestige jobs, passed over for promotion, and denied assignments in the violent and organized crimes divisions — which often lead to high-profile careers. They implicate the F.B.I. hierarchy of existing as an “old-boys network” where women are not given opportunities to suc ceed and advance in their fields. F.B.I. Director Louis Freech formally acknowledged the negotiations last week in a letter he sent to all female agents, stating that the Bureau is committed to equal opportunity. Those talks, however, are now at a stand still as both sides complete statistical evaluations of disputed practices. Lawyers for the female agents are now considering filing a formal complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as a first step towards a class action civil lawsuit.