FEW President’s Award Winner Gives Back

Caronell LaMalle Diew wants to give the next generation a head start, something she never had herself.

That’s why she decided to join Federally Employed Women (FEW) in 2009.

“I didn’t think FEW could help me,” recalled Diew about her decision to join the organization. “I thought I could help FEW. FEW was an avenue where I could bring early-on training, awareness and development to the next generation of professionals. These opportunities were not available to me when I began in federal government in the early ‘80s.”

Diew’s dedication and hard work to the community earned her FEW’s 2021 President’s Award.

“I found this person to be a miracle worker, a force unmovable and unstoppable,” said FEW National President Karen Rainey about Diew during the award ceremony. “She is an advocate for women on the job, in the community and in FEW. She is a no-nonsense person who always gives a helping hand. This person has your back. I can say her presence on this board has helped us raise the bar for FEW.”  

Diew was involved recently with several important FEW projects that helped advance the organization’s mission. 

She identified the artist, Lisa Jones, who updated FEW’s commemorative print, which is now used for fundraising. Jones has created commissioned work for the White House and celebrities. “The organization had a commemorative print that was quite outdated,” Diew said. “It didn’t represent the current state of women and the growth of women so the president asked me to identify an artist who could represent through artistry where we are today and where we would like to be in the future.”

Rainey announced the unveiling in April

“The print represents our diversity, our unity and the bonding circle of friendship and support received from FEW,” Rainey said. “Seen are a combination of moms, executives, federal employees and business owners all committed to giving back to the community and bonding through sisterhood.”

Diew also helped increase sponsorship for FEW by working with different agencies that have similar models for developing women in the workplace, including diversity, equity and inclusion. She helped identify matching federal agencies and brought them together in a collaborative effort at events—a long-term objective for FEW.

“It is good for our members to see their agencies participate with FEW,” Diew said. “It’s good for FEW to participate with more agencies, and it’s good for the agencies to have another organization support their initiatives.”

STEM Day is a New Day for Women

Diew also served as chair of FEW’s recent STEM Day in 2021. It is a full-day agenda of government, private industry and academia leaders who share a wealth of information on key areas of concentration in the STEM arena to create an awareness and attract the next generation of STEM professionals.

“This is something that will continue to grow forever, as long as we are on the Earth,” Diew says. “It will continue to evolve. We want to continue to support the next generation. STEM-related careers are a path that will continue forever.”

Diew is a strong advocate for the next generation to pursue careers in STEM and STEM-related fields of concentration. In 2019, she learned one of the goals of the then newly-elected FEW President Rainey was to develop a STEM initiative for the organization.  

A little while later, Diew approached President Rainey to inquire about supporting FEW in developing a STEM Program. Soon after, President Rainey reached out to Diew to get her perspective on developing a STEM Program. After a few phone calls, STEM Day was planned, with Diew as the chair. The inaugural STEM Day was scheduled to take place in-person in Florida in 2020. However, due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the event was canceled.  

However, Diew didn’t give up as the chair and strong supporter of STEM outreach. As the world was shifting operations to virtual platforms because of the pandemic, she encouraged President Rainey to present FEW Virtual STEM Day, which eventually took place in fall 2021. The inaugural program was simply phenomenal.   

STEM Day’s premier sponsors were Blue Cross/Blue Shield and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Agency (NOAA), representing speakers and/or exhibitors from National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA); Department of Transportation (DOT); Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA); Federal Aviation Administration (FAA); Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); NOAA; Department of Labor (DOL) and Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI). STEM Day also included a virtual exhibit showcase and career fair. There were nearly 900 combined students and entry-level professionals in attendance from across the United States. To cast a wider net of attendees, Diew proposed STEM Day to remain on a virtual platform to especially reach rural, disadvantaged and under-represented areas.  

Joined FEW to Serve

Diew joined FEW in 2009 after attending an event at the U.S. Department of Transportation. After listening to her speak during a Q-and-A session, a FEW officer approached her and asked her to join. So Diew joined and quickly became vice president of her local chapter—for two terms.

She has continued to contribute to the cause ever since.

“FEW is an organization that has four pillars: training, legislation, diversity and compliance,” Diew said. “The four pillars can be advantageous as they work their career development plan. Through FEW, there was another opportunity to use my skillset and see another viewpoint of an organization. You always want to learn more about methodologies. It makes you more aware.”

She will continue to focus on helping the next generation. “I will support them in their training and development, including shadowing assignments with me on projects,” Diew said. “Having them learn new avenues, techniques and management styles gives them more awareness to help them grow in their career path, especially in leadership roles.”

FEW helps more than one million women in the military and civilian workforce become strategic leaders. Since 1968, the nonprofit has advocated for equity and diversity for women. FEW works toward advancing women in government with innovative training, nationwide networking and invaluable insight. For more information, please visit FEW.org.

FEW’s Cynthia Dunn: Why She Continues to Climb

Cynthia Dunn says she doesn’t drink coffee.

Yet, she works around the clock. And most of her time is spent helping other people.

She is the longest serving EEO/Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Director for the Internal Revenue Service. As part of her job, she delivers many presentations.

In recent years, however, educating the members of Federally Employed Women (FEW) has become one of her priorities.

Dunn has put her FEW membership to good use. She keeps her presentation skills sharp by using them repeatedly at FEW events. (She has delivered more than 30 FEW presentations since 2017.)

Her presentations also help her network, which allows her to maintain existing relationships and build new ones.

“I have a passion for helping people,” Dunn said. “Passion is fueling me. At the end of every presentation, the last slide has my contact information. If you have a question later, you can call me. I give them my direct number.”

Dunn’s presentations cover a wide range of topics, ranging from how to collaborate with other people and how to stand out in a crowd. She led five virtual courses at FEW’s 52nd Annual National Training Program, which included “Resilience in Times of Stress & Uncertainty” and “Creating Your Personal Brand and Soar to New Heights.”

“The classes were awesome,” said a federal employee after listening to Dunn’s “Providing Reasonable Accommodations for Qualified Individuals with Disabilities”presentation. “I’ve been in the government for almost 30 years, and I can honestly say that I learned more with you in three days than I have over the last 10 years on those three topics alone. Even if I thought I knew something you gave more clarity to the ‘gray’ areas. You did a marvelous job, and you should be proud. I really do hope the new leadership will let you continue to share your extensive knowledge with others in the federal government. It is necessary and truly appreciated. Oh, I forgot to mention the best part, you let us ask questions (no matter how silly we thought) and made us feel empowered to implement based on facts and laws. Not only am I implementing this week with my staff but I’m scheduling a meeting with my management to see if we (my department) can implement some ideas and tools that I picked up from your workshops. Keep up the good work!”

After attending Dunn’s “Promoting Your Professional Potential,” presentation, one federal employee pledged new resolve:This was by far the most rewarding class that I attended. I felt motivated, encouraged and ready to take a leap of faith. For the last few years in civil service, I have tried endlessly to grow within my career. People have tried to hinder my progress and I do not let that stop me. The booklet that was provided is sitting right here on my desk. It is being put to good use. Now is the time for me to go around those who have tried to hold me back. I am a mentee in need of a dynamic mentor. Thank you for all that you do!”

In addition to educating groups of federally employed women, Dunn continues to give back by offering to serve as a mentor—to more than 100 individuals in recent years. After answering questions from attendees, a portion asks her for one-on-one time. Typically, Dunn obliges.

FEW National President Karen Rainey has noticed.

“As an organization committed to education, training and ensuring equality for women and all federal employees, Cynthia has demonstrated that she embodies our purpose,” Rainey said about Dunn in a letter of support. “Cynthia has shown great leadership and strength in the pursuit for fairness for all. She is not afraid to share her knowledge or uplift others to ensure everyone’s voice is heard. Cynthia is a shining example of this organization’s mission. She has an unrelenting spark and I trust she will go far in representing women and improving the status of women in the government.”

Dunn doesn’t hesitate to share her experience with any one she counsels. One helpful insight about building a career: “Take the unwanted assignments,” she said, “the ones that people say, ‘That’s not my job.’ People will see that you are committed.”

Members of her audience have been known to go out of their way to sit in on her other classes to hear her again.

“Her style was so impressive that I skipped another class that I had signed up for in order to attend the ‘Prevention of Workplace Harassment’ workshop that she also taught,” said one attendee. “At the end of the day, I feel like I learned a lot, and I now have a better understanding of things that I thought I knew. It is safe to say that I’d definitely attend another class if she is the speaker. Great job!”

Without the help of caffeine, Dunn leverages feedback and her desire to give back as the needed fuel to sustain her efforts. She remembers how other women had helped throughout her career. “I love the satisfaction of people saying, ‘Because of you, I’m here now,’” she said.

Why People With Better Stories Make More Money

Every person is a “brand,” which is a story that makes a promise.

Federally employed women who have a better brand, for example, receive a higher pay grade.

And that’s why it is so important to join Federally Employed Women (FEW). The association helps more than one million women in the military and civilian workforce develop their personal brands and become strategic leaders with its four-pillar program: training, legislation, diversity and compliance. Since 1968, the nonprofit has advocated for equity and diversity for women. FEW works toward advancing women in government with cutting-edge training, nationwide networking and invaluable insight.

As a byproduct of volunteering with FEW, you will develop a better story for yourself, which can position you for better opportunities. The formula for building a better brand is simple: Reputation + Relationships = More Opportunities (i.e., income).

Fortunately, FEW provides many opportunities for its members to build better reputations and better relationships.

Everything Begins With Reputation

Here’s one key point that is often overlooked: Volunteering is networking.

FEW offers training programs on the national, regional and chapter levels. Guess what every program and every level needs to make it successful? Volunteers. That’s great news for you because it creates an opportunity to work alongside another, which is the best form of networking. It allows you to show off your expertise, communication skills and ability to work as part of a team. Before long, you will have an even better reputation and another reference to leverage for your next promotion.

Joining an association like FEW is an important step in advancing your career. But it is not the last step. The magic doesn’t happen because you join. It happens when you treat FEW like a tool, which you consciously decide to pick up and use to build a better path for you and your family.

Winning organizational awards is another great way to build your reputation and generate interest for your accomplishments.

If you spend some time on FEW’s website, you will see several members who have committed themselves to our cause and have been recognized for their performance. Kimberly Smith (Southeast Region), Caronell LaMalle Diew (DC Metro Region) and Dr. Karen Milner (Southeast Region) were recently honored with the President’s Award. Bernette Menefee (Great Lakes Region) and Kayla Lewis-Baltimore (DC Metro Region) won the Barbara Boardman Tenant Award and the Allie Latimer Award, respectively.

And those were just a few of the individual awards. FEW also offers awards for chapters and agencies that you can leverage as a team member.

Relationships Unlock Opportunities

Mentoring programs are a great way to quickly build meaningful relationships. For mentors, the effort reinforces the things they know, which allows them to improve existing skills. For mentees, they gain valuable insight from new allies that have experiences to share. From either perspective, the ability to help one another with trust and transparency creates the foundation for a new relationship.

FEW’s exclusive, annual mentoring program begins with the competitive selection of FEW members to participate followed by 12 months of focused learning objectives, webinars, training sessions and direct mentorship by senior leaders with the federal government. To be eligible for the program, a mentee candidate should be a current federal employee and an active FEW member who holds an elected or appointed position at the regional or chapter level.

At the chapter level, FEW members who represent specific chapters have been able to advance their careers in part from the relationships they built with agency leadership over the years as they worked to improve workplace environments.

FEW also offers a similar style of networking with its community outreach programs, which are supported at the local, regional and national levels. Each year, FEW donates its time and funds to various nonprofit organizations for the benefit of women, veterans, children and families of federal workers. The organization’s outreach program makes a difference in various activities that assist in educational programs, veterans’ trainings and events that support our members through giving opportunities.

FEW chapters can sponsor a coat drive, donate supplies to local schools, make donations to a local women’s shelter or organize a “sit in” at a local Veteran’s Administration facility.

In a “Spread Some Cheer To Our Troops” card drive for United Soldiers And Sailors of America, FEW members contributed hundreds of holiday cards to share their gratitude with military personnel who serve our nation in the most honorable way.

FEW’s outreach program was created to bring awareness to the many resources available to enrich its members. Programs hosted by the nonprofit’s partners, as well as regions and chapters, give members an advantage in career enhancement tools and knowledge sharing.

Developing yourself as a leader will take time and talent. A better story for your career, leveraging your reputation and relationships, will help you realize the effort.

FEW can help you advance your career in many ways.

The Grassroots of FEW: How the VP of Training Lewis-Baltimore Evolved

Kaya Lewis-Baltimore had her self-awareness “Ah-Ha” moment in 2012. Her shift in thought gave her a new perspective. She states, “Sometimes, changing your life is about changing your mindset.”
Lewis-Baltimore realized that she had a federal career path in front of her and she started to take ownership of her career by earning her degree, graduating from her agency’s Administrative Professional Excellence (APEX) program and taking advantage of detail opportunities throughout her agency.

In 2015, she attended her first National Training Program (NTP) hosted by Federally Employed Women (FEW). “I believe in FEW’s mission and what it stands for.” As a result, she quickly joined the organization and persisted to do more—Lewis-Baltimore co-founded the Bright Knights Chapter at her agency. The successful launch of the Bright Knights Chapter propelled
her FEW career.

Lewis-Baltimore eloquently but firmly states, “It’s not about what FEW can do for you, it’s about what you can do for FEW.” She used FEW’s platform to rebrand herself by gaining confidence and pushing beyond her comfort zone. Through FEW, she has taken advantage of the various skillsets that have proven valuable in her career. She encourages members to
volunteer and lead programs. “I developed essential skills such as project management, event planning, public speaking and networking with prominent senior executives throughout the federal government and private sector.”

She deeply believes, “What you put in FEW is what you will get out of it.” Her gifts of building new relationships and motivating others led her to recently win FEW’s prestigious Allie Latimer Award. This overall achievement award recognizes an extraordinary grassroots effort working
to achieve FEW’s mission. Latimer was the first women and the first African American to serve as general counsel of a major U.S. federal agency. To bring federal government into compliance with the Civil Rights Act, she founded FEW.

In her 2018-2020 term, Lewis-Baltimore held three concurrent positions in all three-tier levels at FEW. She consistently provided leadership as the Immediate Past President of the Bright Knights, Regional Representative for the D.C. Metro Region and National Vice President of Training. Presently (2020- 2022) she continues to serve as the Vice President of Training and
has been voted as the National Training Program National Event Chair of 2022. In addition, she also serves as the Training and Education Chair for the Bright Knights Chapter.

During her journey with FEW, Lewis-Baltimore has re-established or created new programs that continue to advance the careers of the organization’s membership:

  • In 2017, she co-developed the Administrative Support Empowerment Program for non-supervisory positions GS-3 to GS-12 at her agency to motivate employees to take charge of their professional careers. The program, which started as a pilot, has helped more than 180 employees to date.
  • In August 2018, her idea to celebrate Women’s Equality Day with an outdoor concert became a well-received and entertaining Lunch & Listen event in Dulany Gardens. The team partnered with the City of Alexandria, the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer and the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity at the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
  • She revolutionized the National Shadow Program, which engaged more than 30 participants and gained five new members. “One of Kaya’s gifts is that she is a good trainer,” says Shabiki E.C. Clarke, who is FEW’s Vice President for Congressional Relations. “She sees certain things that can be brought out in an individual. She gets the best out of people.”
  • In February 2020, she orchestrated the Homebuyer Workshop to empower and promote the message that federally employed women can afford a house at any federal grade level. The program included all four of FEW’s focus areas: compliance, diversity, legislative and training.
  • In July 2020, she volunteered to lead FEW’s first Virtual Leadership Summit on short notice. The national online forum generated more than 900 attendees. She received praise from the national board of directors, the D.C. Metro Region and her peers.

Lewis-Baltimore plans to remain active on all levels to help move FEW, its mission and herself forward. “At each level, you learn more about yourself and the people who you serve,” she adds. “The mission is still relevant and so am I. We need to trailblaze for the next one.”

About Federally Employed Women

Federally Employed Women (FEW) helps more than one million women in the military and civilian workforce become strategic leaders with its four-pillar program: training, legislation, diversity and compliance. Since 1968, the nonprofit has advocated for equity and diversity for women. FEW works toward advancing women in government with cutting-edge training,
nationwide networking and invaluable insight. For more information, please visit FEW.org.

Happy Thanksgiving from FEW

Thanksgiving is a special holiday when we show gratitude for the things that we hold dear.

As we continue our march forward for equity and equality in the workforce, we must not forget our blessings from 2021.

In January, President Biden issued an executive order that revoked barriers to federal employees’ due process rights. Schedule F was a new classification of federal employees who would not been allowed to engage in collective bargaining or any sort of due process when facing termination. It would have shifted the selection process to favor the whims of agency/presidential administrations, rather than the qualifications of candidates.

In June, the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives voted to establish “Juneteenth National Independence Day,” a federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery. Peaceful protest arising out of the police killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd fueled a conversation that become the new holiday. It’s the first federal holiday created since Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983.

In October, an all-female changing guard served the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery’s most iconic memorial—for the first time. Army soldiers have performed a 24-hour changing of the guard ceremony for 84 years, but this time all three soldiers were women. Women were not allowed to volunteer for the Tomb Guard Platoon until 1994.

And yet our mission continues. Our national theme for Women’s History Month still rings true: Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to Be Silenced. Women are still underrepresented on the federal and state level.

Our struggle may be long and hard, but we are grateful that we continue together.

Thank you for being an invaluable member.

Women’s History: 3 Leaders You Should Know

The tale of women in leadership roles is also a story of suffering and sacrifice.

With undying persistence, that’s how they overcome and move ahead.

The National Women’s History Museum, one of Federally Employed Women’s sponsors, hosts a collection of stories about important figures in women’s history.

The following are excerpts from the collection; here are three leaders that FEW members should know.

Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for her work advocating for the rights of women and girls.

Her father, who played a pivotal role in her life, was a teacher who ran a girls’ school in Pakistan, where the family lived. He believed Yousafzai should have all of the same opportunities as boys. But by the time she turned 10, Taliban extremists took control of their region. And before long, girls were banned from attending school. Owning a television, playing music and dancing were all prohibited.

By 2009, the Taliban had destroyed more than 400 schools. As a response to the dismantling of girls’ education in her country, Yousafzai started to blog secretly for the British Broadcasting Corporation about life under Taliban rule and her desire to go to school. Over the years, Yousafzai and her father began speaking out in support of girls’ education in the media. By 2011, she was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize. Although she didn’t win, she did earn Pakistan’s National Youth Peace Prize.

But that type of recognition made her a target.

On October 9, 2012, the 15-year-old was on a bus returning from school with her friends. Two members of the Taliban stopped the bus and asked, “Who is Malala?” When they identified her, they shot Yousafzai in the head.

Fortunately, she was airlifted to a Pakistani military hospital and then taken to an intensive care unit in England. Although she suffered no brain damage, the left side of her face was paralyzed.

On her 16th birthday, Yousafzai spoke at the United Nations and published her autobiography entitled, “I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban.” She was awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought by the European Parliament for her activism.

In 2014, Yousafzai and her father established a fund to advocate for women and girls around the world. Later that year, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, becoming the youngest person to be named a Nobel laureate at the age of 17.

To read more of her story and other special women, visit the National Women’s History Museum.

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou is a world-famous author, known as a pioneer for her autobiographical writing style, as well as a poet, dancer, singer, activist and scholar.

Her work was influenced by a traumatic childhood event at the age of 7 years old when she was raped by her mother’s boyfriend. The perpetrator was killed upon his release from prison. As a result, Angelou felt her confession about the sexual abuse played a role in the man’s death, and she became mute for six years.

In the 1950s, African American writers in New York City formed the Harlem Writers Guild to nurture and support the publication of Black authors. Angelou was one of the Guild’s early members. During these years, Angelou began writing her most famous work, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, an autobiography of her life. The book was published in 1969, and she was nominated for the National Book Award the same year. Her autobiography has since been translated into numerous languages, and it has sold more than a million copies.

Angelou is also noted for her many and varied singing and dancing styles, including her calypso music performances. She has written numerous poetry volumes, such as her first book of poetry, entitled Just Give me a Drink of Water ‘fore I Diiie. She has also recorded spoken albums of her poetry, including “On the Pulse of the Morning,” for which she won the Grammy for Best Spoken Album in 1994. The poem was originally written for and delivered at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration in 1993. She also won a Grammy in 1996 and again in 2003 for her spoken albums of poetry.

Angelou died on May 28, 2014. Several memorials were held in her honor including those at Wake Forest University and Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco.

To read more about her story and other special women, visit the National Women’s History Museum.

Gloria Steinem

Gloria Steinem, a journalist and trailblazing feminist, became one of the most visible leaders of the women’s movement in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

Steinem started her professional career as a journalist in New York, writing freelance pieces for various publications. Getting plumb assignments was tough for women in the late 1950s and 1960s, when men ran the newsrooms and women were largely relegated to secretarial and behind-the-scenes research roles. Steinem’s early articles tended to be for what was then called “the women’s pages,” lifestyle or service features about such female-centered or fashion topics as nylon stockings. Steinem once recalled that, “When I suggested political stories to The New York Times Sunday Magazine, my editor just said something like, ‘I don’t think of you that way.’”

Undeterred, Steinem pushed on, seeking more substantial social and political reporting assignments. She gained national attention in 1963 when Show magazine hired her to go undercover to report on the working conditions at Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Club. While Steinem’s expose—“I Was a Playboy Bunny”—revealed the not-so-glamorous, sexist and underpaid life of the bunny/waitresses, Steinem struggled to be taken seriously as a journalist after this assignment. She worked hard to make a name for herself, and in 1968, she helped found New York magazine, where she became an editor and political writer.

At New York magazine, Steinem reported on political campaigns and progressive social issues, including the women’s liberation movement. In fact, Steinem first spoke publicly in 1969 at a speak-out event to legalize abortion in New York State, where she shared the story of the abortion she had overseas when she was 22 years old. The event proved life-changing, sparking Steinem’s feminism and engagement with the women’s movement. She attended and spoke at numerous protests and demonstrations, and her strong intellect and good looks made her an in-demand media guest and movement spokesperson.

In 1970, feminist activists staged a take-over of Ladies Home Journal, arguing that the magazine only offered articles on housekeeping but failed to cover women’s rights and the women’s movement. Steinem soon realized the value of a women’s movement magazine and joined forces with journalists Patricia Carbine and Letty Cottin Pogrebin to found Ms. magazine. It debuted in 1971 as an insert in New York magazine. In 1972, Ms. became an independent, regular circulation magazine. Steinem remained an editor and writer for the magazine for the next 15 years and continues in an emeritus capacity to the present.

Steinem’s life has been dedicated to the cause of women’s rights, as she led marches and toured the country as an in-demand speaker. In 1972, Steinem and feminists such as Congresswoman Bella Abzug, Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm and feminist Betty Friedan formed the National Women’s Political Caucus. It continues to support gender equality and to ensure the election of more pro-equality women to public office. Other organizations Steinem has co-founded in her vast career include the Women’s Action Alliance (1971), which promotes non-sexist, multi-racial children’s education; the Women’s Media Center (2004) to promote positive images of women in media; Voters for Choice (1977), a prochoice political action committee; and the Ms. Foundation for Women. In the 1990s, she helped establish Take Our Daughters to Work Day, the first national effort to empower young girls to learn about career opportunities.

In 2000, at age 66, the long single Steinem married for the first time in a Cherokee ceremony in Oklahoma. Her husband, entrepreneur and activist David Bale, sadly died of lymphoma four years later.

An award-winning and prolific writer, Steinem has authored several books, including a biography on Marilyn Monroe, and the best-selling My Life on the Road. Her work has also been published and reprinted in numerous anthologies and textbooks. In 2013, President Barack Obama presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor. In her honor, in 2017, Rutgers University created The Gloria Steinem Endowed Chair in Media, Culture and Feminist Studies.

To read more about her story and other special women, visit the National Women’s History Museum.

About Federally Employed Women

Federally Employed Women (FEW) helps more than one million women in the military and civilian workforce become strategic leaders with its four-pillar program: training, legislation, diversity and compliance. Since 1968, the nonprofit has advocated for equity and diversity for women. FEW works toward advancing women in government with cutting-edge training, nationwide networking and invaluable insight. For more information, please visit FEW.org.

4 Ways To Exert Your Power of Influence

All leaders, regardless of title, have the capacity to be great.

Influential leaders inspire and motivate talent, which can turn any organization into a winning team.

“A transformational leader understands the significance of influence and inspires others through a genuine interest in them,” says Walter Anderson, CEO of Anderson Consulting & Training. “Influential leaders create productive and contagious workplaces when everyone understands the invaluable skill of influence.”

Anderson provided training on “The Power of Influence” a skill set that speaks to leadership at any organization, during Federally Employed Women’s Virtual Leadership Summit II. Workshop attendees learned to:

  • Explore the three myths of influence  
  • Identify the characteristics of an influential leader
  • Define how to lead without authority
  • Explore the behaviors required to create a contagious culture 

According to Anderson, here are four ways people lead with influence:

Build Relationships

Everything begins and ends with relationships. Your influence at work is no exception.

When it comes to building relationships, it’s important to remember two things: 1) People do business with people they like, and 2) People like people who help them.

Building rapport with your colleagues will play a big role in them accepting your vision—or not. And they will be more inclined to help you along the way.

Listen To Others

The most important part about communications isn’t talking. It’s listening.

In fact, when you actively listen to someone, you will actually know what to say when you start speaking.

Listening to others gets them involved with you and your ideas. That’s critical because involvement—the new buzzword is “engagement”—is the secret to commitment. If you want someone to commit to you, to support you, you must get them involved with you.

Listening is a good first step.

Lead By Example

Practicing what you preach goes a long way.

When team members see you roll up your sleeves and do things no one else wants to do, like working nights, weekends and holidays, it goes a long way. It will encourage some team members to follow suit and give a little extra to support the cause.

This is how “me” becomes “we.”

Become an Expert

Everybody knows the score.

When you present yourself with confidence and back it up with expertise, people will respect you. Once you have earned their respect, you will be able to influence and lead.

To become an expert, you will need to have an honest conversation with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses. What are the high-value skills needed to do your current job? How about your next job?

Identify degree programs, webinars, training and certifications that will bolster your current knowledge and place you in a position of authority.

Fair Day’s Pay? Women’s Pay Gap Persists

Women made 82.3% of men’s annual earnings last year.

And that’s not the most concerning bit of news, according to a U.S. Department of Labor report that reviewed the pay gap based on gender.

Today, women’s earnings still trail men in more than 350 occupations. To make matters worse, the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed women’s participation in the workforce back by 30 years. In February 2021, women’s labor force participation rate was 55.8%, which was the same rate back in April 1987.

Michael C. Fallings, a partner at law firm Tully Rinckey PLLC, says there has been a recent uptick in Equal Pay Act cases due to societal movements and employers’ failure to conduct full reviews before setting pay.

“Federal employed women can ask for desk audits of their current position to determine if they are being paid appropriately,’’ Fallings says. “They can also file claims so that the agency can conduct an investigation into the pay discrepancies.”

According to Fallings, federal employees may file claims under the Equal Pay Act (EPA) directly in federal court.  

EPA claims against the Federal government amounting to more than $10,000 must be filed in the Court of Federal Claims.  A federal action under the EPA must be filed within two years of the last discriminatory paycheck or, in cases where there is willful conduct, three years since the last discriminatory paycheck.  This option should allow the claims to be processed quicker but does not provide an investigative record to rely upon.

Federal employees may also file claims with the EEO office at their agency.  If the EPA claim is first filed with the agency, the federal employee must allow the agency 180 days to complete the investigation of the claims before moving to federal court or an EEOC Administrative Judge. These claims must be filed within 45 days of the last discriminatory paycheck.  This option may take longer but allows an investigation to help gather evidence to support the claims. 

Federal employees can prove an EPA claim by establishing that they engaged in substantially similar work as an employee of the opposite sex and were paid less than the employee of the opposite sex.  The burden then shifts to the Government to prove that the discrepancy in pay was for a reason other than sex.  The key difference between the burden of proof under the EPA versus Title VII claims is that the EPA does not require the complainant to prove intentional discrimination.

Key Factors in Equal Pay Act Claim

The EPA considers content of a job, not its title, to determine whether jobs are substantially equal.

There are several factors that establish a job’s content:

  • Skill: This factor considers experience, ability, education and training required to perform the job. It does not consider the skills that the individual employees may have.
  • Effort: The amount of physical and mental effort needed to perform the job is considered.
  • Responsibility: The level of accountability would also be considered in performing the job.
  • Working Conditions: Factors include various characteristics, such as temperature, ventilation and possible hazards.
  • Establishment: The distinct physical place of business is a key part of the mix.

Differences in pay are allowed in certain situations when they are based on quantity or quality of production and seniority.

As a trusted partner of FEW, Tully Rinckey PLLC promotes professional development, leadership and equity for the inclusion of women.  FEW and Tully Rinckey have a Memo of Understanding, and with this agreement, FEW members are entitled to one free half-hour telephone consultation each year with one of Tully Rinckey’s experienced attorneys, and members who pursue their legal claims with Tully Rinckey will be entitled to a 10% discount in legal fees. For more information or to schedule a consultation with a Tully Rinckey attorney, please call (888) 529-4543, or visit www.tullylegal.com

Science Says: How to Lead, Motivate People

Motivation is a more insightful factor when forecasting career success, compared to intelligence, ability and salary, according to research. Here are four time-tested, science-supported ways to motivate other people so you will have a winning team:

Pay Them With Purpose

Research tells us that rewards work. In fact, they tap into perceived self-interest and account for about 75% of personal motivation toward accomplishment. However, this tactic tends to be successful when the task is tied to manual labor.

When the job calls for more creativity and analytical thinking, a reward can hinder results. To be clear, you should pay your team members enough to stop them from thinking about money. Once that happens, you can motivate them with autonomy, mastery and purpose. As a leader, it will be up to you to create those environments.

Sell Them on an Emotional Level

Feelings are powerful motivators.

The human brain is set up to do what we feel.

To motivate others, you will need to make them feel something long before they think something.

The recipe is simple in theory: Feel + Think = Believe. This equation is how you change people’s minds and their behaviors. Think about all the things that you believe. It’s because you feel it with the emotional side of your brain and it’s because you think it with the logical side of your brain.

In the workplace, if you address your team members’ feelings, you can change their behavior.

Show Them Progress

When it comes to motivation, progress is the most powerful factor.

As a leader, facilitating progress for your team members is a big part of your job. In fact, satisfaction is 22% more likely for individuals with a steady stream of minor accomplishments than those individuals who only express interest in major “wins”, according to research.

Persistent people, who continue despite challenges, think about what they have accomplished twice as much as the amount work that remains.

Unfortunately, motivation dies when team members believe their effort is useless and the objective is meaningless.

Tell Them a Story

Stories bring people together and give meaning to work.

It’s been said that, “stories are the most powerful weapon in the leader’s literary arsenal.”

A story is a form of currency, which begs the question, “How will you spend it?”

To get the biggest bang for your buck, start your storytelling with the motivation behind the task. Great stories begin with why, not what or when.

People are more interested in why we do things, as opposed to what we do. Make them believe in the mission by telling them a story.

FEW Hosts Virtual STEM Event Sept. 22

Federally Employed Women will soon empower the public sector to motivate more women to undertake careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

FEW’s free virtual event, Back2STEM, will be held September 22 virtually from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. To register, visit www.few.org/stem today.

Several federal agencies, such as National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Department of Transportation and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, are supporting this ground-breaking event.

“At FEW, we pride ourselves on being part of the solution,” said FEW National President Karen M. Rainey. “We are grateful to bring a large swath of the federal government together with entry-level professionals, as well as college and high school students to focus on technology. We must always build tomorrow today.”

Although women are catching up to men in STEM professions, they still lag. Women make up 48% of all employees, but only account for 27% of the jobs in the STEM sector. 

Women accounted for only 32.4% of all STEM degree recipients, even though the top STEM professions can generate seven-figure incomes:

  • Petroleum Engineering (Median Salary: $129,990)
  • Computer Engineering (Median Salary: $111,730)
  • Mathematics (Median Salary: $111,110)
  • Aerospace Engineering (Median Salary: $107,830)
  • Nuclear Science & Engineering (Median Salary: $102,950)
  • Software Development (Median Salary: $100,690)

Back2STEM is a full day of training and live demos with an interactive career fair focused on sharing a wealth of information in key science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) studies. The event is geared for entry-level professionals in STEM careers or related STEM careers, STEM colleges and universities, as well as high school juniors and seniors with an interest in STEM.

There will be several cutting-edge topics that will be featured during the action-packed day:

  • Aviation
  • Climate Control & Meteorology
  • Cybersecurity
  • Drones
  • Engineering with Special Emphasis in Robotics
  • Exhibit Hall & Career Fair
  • Information Technology & Space
  • STEM Career Pathways in the Federal Government & College Readiness

To register for this unique event, visit www.few.org/stem today.

FEW Helps Federally Employed Women

Federally Employed Women (FEW) helps more than one million women in the military and civilian workforce become strategic leaders with its four-pillar program: training, legislation, diversity and compliance. Since 1968, the nonprofit has advocated for equity and diversity for women. FEW works toward advancing women in government with cutting-edge training, nationwide networking and invaluable insight. For more information, please visit FEW.org.

Consider how the association’s experience helps advance its members:

  • Training: FEW provides members with knowledge about 1) the federal system, 2) career development and planning techniques and 3) personal effectiveness and awareness of the broader issues that impact women. The nonprofit produces nationwide training on the national, regional and chapter levels.
  • Mentoring: FEW offers mentoring opportunities to advance professional development and leadership skills through the year.
  • Networking: FEW delivers opportunities for members to network and develop mutually beneficial, professional relationships that will help them advance in their careers.
  • Community Outreach: FEW provides countless community outreach opportunities on the chapter level that give back to communities, sparking fellowship among members. 
  • Legislation: FEW represents federal employees’ concerns and interests before legislative and judicial bodies. We also produce a “scorecard” that recognizes congressional members who support FEW’s agenda.
  • Diversity: FEW develops strategies to identify and eliminate barriers and increase diversity by examining the demographics of the workforce, including socioeconomic status, communication, thinking styles and family composition.
  • Compliance: FEW works with federal agencies to help deliver a more equitable and diverse workforce. We monitor the progress made by the federal government in achieving equal employment opportunity evidenced by its adherence to statutory civil rights protections. 
  • Member Benefits: FEW offers various member benefits ranging from a job bank, legal consultations, a newsletter and discounts on training.

To join our special community and advance your career, please visit our website today.