When podcast host Alex Tremble recognized unsung heroes of federal service for their leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic, he bestowed his honor on several worthy individuals who shined during a time of uncertainty in 2020.
But he made one exception. Tremble also honored one organization for its ability to adapt and serve its members. And that award went to Federally Employed Women (FEW).
Out of more than 500 write-in nominations, FEW was the one organization that people chose as their unsung hero.
“This organization is on fire!” Tremble proclaimed on “The Alex Tremble Show” as it honored FEW.
During a national shutdown in 2020, FEW quickly adapted and moved its operations online so its members—stretched out over 10 regions and 90 chapters across the country— could continue to network, train and communicate.
FEW’s National President Karen Rainey, who appeared on “The Alex Tremble Show” to accept the honor, said the pandemic ultimately motivated the organization to expand its reach globally by shifting its operations online.
Oddly, the organization found itself in the right place and right time. Rainey’s strengths in project management, IT and communications positioned FEW to help more people when more people were searching for a lifeline.
“I’m a servant,” said Rainey when asked about her purpose. “I try to assist as many people in the world to find their purpose and their dreams. That is my purpose—to elevate people to achieve more to conquer more to dream bigger—and that’s why it’s so exciting to serve as president of FEW.”
Rainey said the contributions from members have made FEW a successful organization that continues to advance women in government for 53 years. FEW is open to new volunteer members who are willing to give their time and talent to something bigger than themselves.
“When you volunteer, you are gaining relationships,” Tremble said. “You are building skills.”
As a lifelong member of FEW, Angela Lewis made the decision to invest in herself and develop her professional skills so she could advance her career. Earlier this year, Lewis used her drive and determination to shatter a glass ceiling, when the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane’s Division promoted her to technical director. She is the first women to hold that position.
As the senior civilian at the command, she leads 3,800 military and government civilians, providing the Navy with multi-domain, multi-spectral, full life cycle support in the mission areas of Expeditionary Warfare, Strategic Missions and Electronic Warfare.
From Lewis’ perspective, helping FEW means helping yourself.
“It’s great to see what the organization can do for you, but it can only be as strong as the people are willing to give,” Lewis said. “They will only get out of it what they are willing to invest.”
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.
“I help people soar,” Rainey said. “To soar, you have to climb first.”
If you are ready to climb so you can develop yourself, join FEW today and begin the journey.