FEW Online Training Features Leadership Development

Virtual Leadership Summit II Set for August 9-13

In the workplace, leaders have the responsibility of managing the well-being of an organization, while reacting in real-time to developments going on around them.

Leadership roles are defined yet evolving constantly.

So how are you doing?

As part of the Federally Employed Women’s Virtual Leadership Summit II, Mallary Tytel, PhD, of Healthy Workplaces, will provide training on leadership development, a skill set that speaks to today’s and tomorrow’s bottom line for any organization.

It’s also a timely skill that is in great demand. According to a recent Gallup survey, only 22% of teams believe leaders have a clear direction for their company.

Tytel’s workshop at the Virtual Leadership Summit II, August 9-13, will accomplish the following:

  • Explore a common understanding of leadership and leadership development.
  • Practice an opportunity for individual assessment and feedback.
  • Identify and explore the critical skills and competencies of leaders.
  • Understand the concepts and implications of problem solving, decision making, adapting to change, communication, and planning.

“Leadership is more than position or title,” writes Tytel on her website. “It is a participatory process that acknowledges the importance of taking a proactive position: mutual responsibility and accountability, learning and growth, informed decision making, inclusion, and creating economic, political and social change. We work to optimize personal leadership and maximize the success of both the individual and her organization.”

An experienced, hands-on CEO, Tytel has a unique blend of business, government, education, and community-based practice spanning more than 20 years. She is a skilled architect in start-up, turn-around, and acquisition situations, with expertise in human systems dynamics, complexity science, culture change, strategy, and leadership development. Effective at diagnosing key issues and problem solving, she has a strong track record and commitment to excellence, innovation and results. Most recently, her work is devoted to leveling the playing field: supporting women leaders at all professional levels and building diverse, inclusive, and equitable communities.

Tytel is the former CEO of an international nonprofit behavioral health and human resource development corporation. She has served as a key advisor to senior-level civilian and military personnel within the U.S. Department of Defense and she has provided oversight for three Congressionally mandated pilot programs in 16 communities across the country as well as delivered an innovative leadership training program in more than 40 diverse communities worldwide.

Tytel offers a checklist on how managers can be begin nurturing and developing leadership at their respective organizations:

  • Start a formal, high-level succession-planning process that includes senior executives, HR, and external experts. Outline specific activities and cascade it through the company.
  • Create leadership development programs that bridge gaps in your company’s talent pool to ensure a deep bench for critical positions within the organization.
  • Although HR can be a great resource for development tools, business units themselves should own the leadership development activities.
  • Reshuffle rising stars throughout the company, taking care that “A” players are exchanged for other “A” players.
  • Make sure that your leadership development program is in sync with your strategy, reinforces your company’s brand, and has support from your managers and employees.
  • Be sure that your board of directors and top management are visible and vocal in their support and commitment to leadership development. 

To sign up for Tytel’s training about leadership development, click on the registration page for the Virtual Leadership Summit II.

Why You Need Project Management Training

Project managers should be comfortable with data.

So let’s start with some numbers that underscore the need for you to learn some project management skills:

  • $1 million is wasted every 20 seconds, which equates to $2 trillion a year, by organizations globally because of shoddy implementation of business strategy from poor project management practices, according to a global survey by Project Management Institute.
  • A pending shortage of project managers may result in a $207.9 billion GDP loss by 2027.

That’s why you should register for this year’s Virtual Leadership Summit II event.

Federally Employed Women (FEW) will deliver a premier experience, August 9-13, that will help their members advance their careers. The week-long, online training event will offer more than 100 specialized courses on a variety of topics, including EEO, human resources, information technology, project management, as well as management and leadership. All courses align with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Executive Core Competencies (i.e., leading people, leading change, business acumen, result driven and building coalitions). FEW’s virtual platform also will have interactive exhibition features and plenty of opportunities for networking. Registration is open.

As part of this year’s offerings, “Introduction to Project Management Basics” will be available to attendees. This introductory course will provide an overview of project management, explain the five phases of project management and explain basic tools that can be used to manage any project. The participants will get a chance to actively practice completing a simple project plan during the course. The target audience for this session includes human resources professionals, managers, supervisors or those preparing for leadership roles, those new to project management, those who have not managed projects recently and those who have never taken a formal approach to project management.

Sheryl Vogt of Vogt Consulting Inc. will be the instructor for the upcoming training course. Citing a recent trends piece in Forbes magazine, she said project managers will embrace customized or hybrid project management approaches and methodologies. “To be prepared for this trend, anyone who is managing projects should be aware of and comfortable using recognized project management methods,” she says. “This course will introduce new project managers to the five phases and relevant tools for traditional project management. With this introduction, new project managers will have the basis to start using this method and tools in their own projects and also will have taken the first step toward understanding what they will need if they want to advance their project management skills for larger projects.”

Vogt has been working with process improvement programs such as Lean and Six Sigma since 1996 when she was trained as one of the first Black Belts at the General Electric Co. After working successfully as a Black Belt and Master Black Belt in manufacturing, engineering and service areas for General Electric, she began work as an independent consultant in 2000 and started Vogt Consulting Inc. in 2002.

As a consultant, she has assisted numerous organizations in all aspects of their continuous improvement efforts, including developing deployment plans with organizational leaders, mentoring and training individuals and facilitating improvement teams. She has developed and delivered Lean Six Sigma programs for manufacturing, service, health care and government organizations and has trained and mentored hundreds of Black and Green Belts on their projects.

Vogt holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a master’s degree in industrial engineering from Purdue University.

Register today for FEW’s Virtual Leadership Summit II and start advancing your career with more than 100 training opportunities.

FEW Presents Virtual Leadership Summit II: New Training Helps Members ‘Soar to New Heights’ August 9-13

Federally Employed Women will present its new premier training event, Virtual Leadership Summit II, on August 9-13 to help its members advance their careers.

The week-long, online training event will offer more than 100 specialized courses on a variety of topics, including EEO, human resources, information technology, project management, as well as management and leadership. All courses align with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Executive Core Competencies (i.e. leading people, leading change, business acumen, result driven and building coalitions). FEW’s virtual platform also will have interactive exhibition features and plenty of opportunities for networking. Registration is open.

“It’s always the right time to improve yourself and soar to new heights,” said FEW National President Karen M. Rainey. “Our online event, Virtual Leadership Summit II, will help attendees develop their skills in countless ways without the expense of lodging and travel. Now is the time to rise and create new opportunities for a richer life—from the comfort of your home.”

The Virtual Leadership Summit II offers a range of invaluable workshops, including:

  • Workplace Civility
  • The Human Dimension of Leadership
  • Critical Thinking: A Focused Path to Problem Solving
  • Introduction to Project Management Basics
  • Building Your Beach – Keys to Building a Leadership Pipeline

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.

FEW members experience a comprehensive program that positions them for professional development and a fulfilling career in the federal workforce.

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 federally employees’ concerns and interests before legislative and judicial bodies. We also produce a “scorecard” that recognizes congressional members who support our 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 a job bank, legal consultations, a newsletter and discounts on training.

For more information about advancing your career, please visit FEW.org.

Unsung Hero: Alex Tremble Awards FEW for Leadership

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.

Happy Mother’s Day

It’s Mother’s Day! Federally Employed Women send our sincerest appreciation to our mothers — as well as those who have “mothered” us.   You have cared for us, nurtured us and helped us along the way and we recognized the importance you bring to our lives.  As we now reflect on the joy mothers and mother-figures bring to our lives, let the nation remember the importance of women and the fact that they are the one’s who can be the doctors, lawyers, psychiatrists, teachers and so much more. Hers is the voice that reassures us.  Hers is the touch that give a sense of home and security. Her actions are the example that resonate our actions. In recognition of this immensely important role, FEW want you to know that we THANK YOU.

Happy Mother’s Day!

FEW National Fundraiser

FEW Commemorative Print – Artist Lisa Jones
Commemorative Print – Size 17 x 24
Unsigned Print $40.00
Place your print order today by email at few@few.org or purchase via Paypal below.
Prints will come with the biography of the artist Lisa Jones

We did it! Federally Employed Women (FEW) cordially invite you to support and participate in this FEW national fundraiser. After years of discussion, FEW has commissioned an renowned artist to produce a print representative of the purpose and vision of the organization.

I can’t tell you how much all of us appreciate our members and the contributions to diversity and inclusion of women. The print you see above is represents our diversity, our unity and the bonding circle of friendship and support received from FEW.  Seen are a combination of moms, executives, federal employees and business owners all committed to giving back to the community and bonding through sisterhood. 

Everything in this commissioned painting is purposeful and meant to represent Federally Employed Women (FEW). From the synergy of the women (muses), their backgrounds, strengths; all the way down to the pose which represents the completion of the circle just like the one that protects and surround our scale in the logo. 

The Muses-a closer look

  • Jamaican born Erica Rowe is a strong leader, innovator who is known for her positive outlook and affirmations. She’s charismatic, motivating and a force to reckon with at all times.
  • Spiritual, strong, disciplined, and creatively gifted is business owner Amy Crescimanno-Word. Italian from the father’s side and mom is German and Scottish.
  • In awe of Gazal Modhera, a fearlessness philanthropist who speaks the truth for the good of others as she fights for Diversity in the federal workplace and issues facing women as a senior attorney in the OFO at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. 
  • Half Native American business owner Monica Archondo is the strong, straight forward and unapologetic one who has the ability to be good at anything she tries. I refer to her as the searcher who wears many hats.
  • The Scottish of the group and business executive Erin Masters is the quiet one who gives whole heartedly and if in need she’s there without blinking. She leads with her heart.
  • Born in Thailand Chantharaphon (Gift from the moon) Gift Wyatt mom is from Thailand and father of Irish German descent. Pure hearted and a giving soul is how I describe this amazing individual. This philanthropist leads quietly and then walks away. 

Thank you for your support and keeping FEW “Soaring to New Heights”

Equal Rights Amendment: Why It’s More Important Today

Do you remember 1972?

Gasoline was 55 cents a gallon. A new home cost a little more than twice your average income, which was just shy of $12,000 a year. Rent was $65 a month. And the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was passed by the U.S. Senate and sent to the states for ratification.

That was a real long time ago.

So we know what happened to a gallon of gas. It’s headed toward four bucks a gallon this summer.

But whatever happened to the ERA? Well, a lot. In any case, members of the Federally Employed Women (FEW) need to read carefully because this story will actually end with us.

“In order to understand the ‘why’ as it relates to the Equal Rights Amendment and its importance for women, you need to understand the journey of women as a class,” said Shabiki E.C. Clarke, who is FEW’s vice president for Congressional Relations. “It is impacted by the social, economic, political and moral components, which help to convey equality to women.”

The ERA is a proposal that would add gender and gender identity protections to the nation’s premier legal document, the U.S. Constitution. As written, the Constitution doesn’t mention “women” or “sex” (i.e. gender). Proposed language from section 1 of the ERA reads, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”

Some legal scholars believe women are already legally protected from legal discrimination based on the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the amendment protects women from sex discrimination. However, others including the late Justice Antonin Scalia believe there isn’t any explicit guarantee of protection against discrimination in the Constitution.

Women endure many forms of discrimination ranging from civil rights to health care, but one of the most damaging is lack of access to capital.

And where to women receive most of their capital? The workplace.

The U.S Department of Labor recently published findings that would reinforce why ratification of the ERA is more important today than when it was originally passed by the Senate:

  1. Women Still Earn Less. In 2020, women’s annual earnings were 82.3% of men’s, although the gap is slowly improving. Women made 57 cents per dollar earned by men in 1973, when the Department of Labor started its research.
  2. There are too many ‘Equal Pay Days’ in a year. Based on 2020 earnings, a woman must work until March 24, 2021 to make the same amount of pay as a man did in 12 calendar months. But that’s not true for most women of color. A Black woman would have to work until August 3, while a Native American woman would have to work until September 8. Latinas would have to work until almost Halloween (Oct. 21).
  3. Advanced degrees widen the pay gap for women. Compared to white men with the same education, Black and Latina women with a bachelor’s degree have a 65% pay gap, while Black women with advanced degrees earn 70% of what white men with advanced degrees earn.
  4. Pandemic has set women back 30 years. A locked-down economy in 2020 hit women the hardest between layoffs and lack of childcare, forcing many mothers to leave the workforce. In fact, women’s labor participation rate fell to 55.8%—the same rate as April 1987. Women of color who worked in low-income jobs were greatly impacted. “When they come back to work, those women are not coming back at the same level,” Clarke said. “The only way this will change is if the ERA becomes law.”

The Road to Equal Rights

When the Senate passed the ERA in 1972, the legislation needed 38 states for ratification. Originally, it needed to be done within seven years, but advocates lobbied Congress to extend the deadline to 1982. Momentum began to fizzle. The second deadline passed three states short of the goal.

Recently, Nevada ratified the legislation in 2017 and Illinois followed suit in 2018. Virginia became the 38th state to ratify on January 27, 2020. However, a federal district judge has ruled that the deadline for ERA “expired long ago” and recent ratifications involving the three states arrived “too late to count.”

Despite the ruling, the movement continues to push forward. A bill to remove the ERA’s time limit, H.J. Res. 17, has passed through the House of Representatives by a 222-204 bipartisan vote.

Moving Forward: Actionable Items

Clarke said FEW members can help ratify the ERA with a little resolve on their own behalf.

“FEW members can support the passage of the ERA by having the complete knowledge of what was happening before the ERA came about,” she said.

For starters, members can review Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. President L.B. Johnson signed Executive Order 11246 to amend the bill to now include federal government and civil services. The Equal Employment Opportunity Act helped necessitate the use of Affirmative Action policies in the hiring process, which increased the number of women and people of color in the workforce.

In addition, FEW chapters can lead monthly letter-writing campaigns at the local level of representation, followed by the annual Advocacy Day in early June. Members can begin by supporting H.J. Res. 17 in the House of Representatives and S.J. Res. 1 in the Senate, which would eliminate the ERA’s deadline.

Clarke said there is a percentage of women who are comfortable with the status quo, which ultimately could jeopardize ratification of the ERA. But FEW, bent on career advancement for its members, can help. “You might have to surround yourself with a team who will expose you,” said Clark who joined FEW three years ago and has been promoted twice recently. “You can find it if you want it.”

FEW Celebrates Women’s History Month: Janet Louise Yellen

FEW is celebrating the valiant women throughout history for Women’s History Month. FEW shined a spotlight on some historic figures of our great nation that fought for justice, equality and inclusion. Visitors throughout the month of March read about “Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to be Silenced.” We end our series with Janet Yellen. 

Janet Louise Yellan (1946 – )

Source: https://home.treasury.gov/about/general-information/officials/janet-yellen

Secretary Yellen is the first woman to lead the U.S. Department of the Treasury in its 231-year history, and the first person to have served as Treasury Secretary, Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, and Chair of the Federal Reserve. She has previously been confirmed by the Senate on four separate occasions. 

On January 26, 2021, Janet Yellen was sworn in as the 78th Secretary of the Treasury of the United States. An economist by training, she took office after almost fifty years in academia and public service. She is the first person in American history to have led the White House Council of Economic Advisors, the Federal Reserve, and the Treasury Department. 

Janet Louise Yellen was born in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn in 1946. Her mother, Anna Ruth, was an elementary school teacher while her father, Julius, worked as a family physician, treating patients out of the ground floor of the family’s brownstone. 

In 1967, Secretary Yellen graduated from Brown University and went on to earn her PhD at Yale. She was an assistant professor at Harvard until 1976 when she began working at the Federal Reserve Board. There, in the Fed’s cafeteria, she met fellow economist, George Akerlof. Janet and George would marry later that year. They would go on to have a son, Robert, now also an economics professor. 

In 1980, Secretary Yellen joined the faculty of the University of California at Berkeley, where she became the Eugene E. and Catherine M. Trefethen Professor of Business and Professor of Economics. She is Professor Emeritus at the university. 

Secretary Yellen’s scholarship has focused on a range of issues pertaining to labor and macroeconomics. Her work on “efficiency wages” with her husband George Akerlof studied why firms often choose to pay more than the minimum needed to hire employees. These businesses, they found, are often making a wise decision. Firms that offer better pay and working conditions tend to be rewarded with higher morale, reduced turnover and greater productivity. 

In 1994, President Bill Clinton appointed then-Dr. Yellen to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Three years later, he named her Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. 

In 2004, Secretary Yellen began her third tenure at the Federal Reserve, this time as President of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. From that post, she spotted a worrying economic trend – a 

bubble in home values. When the housing bubble popped in 2008, Secretary Yellen helped manage the resulting financial crisis and recession. In 2010, President Barack Obama, appointed her Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve, before nominating her to succeed Fed Chair Benjamin Bernanke as the nation’s top central banker. Secretary Yellen would serve as Chair of the Federal Reserve from 2014 until 2018. 

On December 1, 2020, then-President-elect Biden nominated Dr. Janet Yellen to the post of Treasury Secretary. “She has spent her career focused on unemployment and the dignity of work,” he said, “She understands what it means to people and their communities when they have good, decent jobs.” 

Prior to serving at the Treasury Department, Secretary Yellen was a Distinguished Fellow in Residence with the Economic Studies Program at the Brookings Institution. During 2020-2021 she served as President of the American Economic Association. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Council on Foreign Relations. She was also a founding member of the Climate Leadership Council. 

Secretary Yellen has served on the advisory boards of the Bloomberg New Economic Forum, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget and Fix the Debt Coalition (CRFB), and the Washington Center for Equitable Growth Steering Committee. She was elected to the Yale Corporation as an alumni fellow in 2000, serving until 2006. 

Dr. Yellen has received honorary doctorates from Bard College, Brown, the London School of Economics, NYU, the University of Baltimore, the University of Michigan, the University of Warwick and Yale from which she also received the Wilbur Cross Medal for dis

FEW Celebrates Women’s History Month: Kamala Harris

By Gregory Lewis McNamee

FEW is celebrating the valiant women throughout history for Women’s History Month. FEW will shine a spotlight on some historic figures of our great nation that fought for justice, equality and inclusion. Visit throughout the month of March to read about “Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to be Silenced.” This week we feature Kamala Harris. 

Kamala Harris (1964 – )

Kamala Harris is the 49th vice president of the United States in the Democratic administration of Pres. Joe Biden. She was the first woman and the first African American to hold the post. She had previously served in the U.S. Senate (2017–21) and as attorney general of California (2011–17). 

Photo courtesy of brittanica.com

Her father, who was Jamaican, taught at Stanford University, and her mother, the daughter of an Indian diplomat, was a cancer researcher. Her younger sister, Maya, later became a public policy advocate. After studying political science and economics (B.A., 1986) at Howard University, Harris earned a law degree (1989) from Hastings College. 

She subsequently worked as a deputy district attorney (1990–98) in Oakland, earning a reputation for toughness as she prosecuted cases of gang violence, drug trafficking and sexual abuse. Harris rose through the ranks, becoming district attorney in 2004. In 2010 she was narrowly elected attorney general of California—winning by a margin of less than 1%—thus becoming the first female and the first African American to hold the post. After taking office the following year, she demonstrated political independence, rejecting, for example, pressure from the administration of Pres. Barack Obama for her to settle a nationwide lawsuit against mortgage lenders for unfair practices. Instead, she pressed California’s case and in 2012 won a judgment five times higher than that originally offered. Her refusal to defend Proposition 8 (2008), which banned same-sex marriage in the state, helped lead to it being overturned in 2013. Harris’s book, Smart on Crime (2009; cowritten with Joan O’C. Hamilton), was considered a model for dealing with the problem of criminal recidivism.

In 2012 Harris delivered a memorable address at the Democratic National Convention, raising her national profile. Two years later she married attorney FEW Weekly Web Update March 22, 2021 Douglas Emhoff. Widely considered a rising star within the party, she was recruited to run for the U.S. Senate seat held by Barbara Boxer, who was retiring. In early 2015 Harris declared her candidacy, and on the campaign trail she called for immigration and criminal-justice reforms, increases to the minimum wage and protection of women’s reproductive rights. She easily won the 2016 election. 

When she took office in January 2017, Harris became the first Indian American in the Senate and just the second Black woman. She began serving on both the Select Committee on Intelligence and the Judiciary Committee, among other assignments. She became known for her prosecutorial style of questioning witnesses during hearings, which drew criticism—and occasional interruptions—from Republican senators. In June she drew particular attention for her questions to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was testifying before the intelligence committee on alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election; she had earlier called on him to resign. Harris’s memoir, The Truths We Hold: An American Journey, was published in January 2019. 

Shortly thereafter Harris announced that she was seeking the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. From the outset she was seen as one of the leading contenders, and she drew particular attention when, during a primary debate, she had a contentious exchange with fellow candidate Joe Biden over his opposition to school busing in the 1970s and 1980s, among other race-related topics. Although Harris’s support initially increased, by September 2019 her campaign was in serious trouble, and in December she dropped out of the race. She continued to maintain a high profile, notably becoming a leading advocate for social-justice reform following the May 2020 death of George Floyd, an African American who had been in police custody. Her efforts silenced some who had criticized her tenure as attorney general, alleging that she had failed to investigate charges of police misconduct, including questionable shootings. Others, however, felt that her embrace of reform was a political maneuver to capitalize on the increasing public popularity of social change. As racial injustice became a major issue in the United States, many Democrats called on Biden, the party’s presumptive nominee, to select an African American woman—a demographic that was seen as pivotal to his election chances—as his vice-presidential running mate. In August Biden chose Harris, and she thus was the first Black woman to appear on a major party’s national ticket. In November she became the first Black woman to be elected vice president of the United States. 

In the ensuing weeks Trump and various other Republicans challenged the election results, claiming voter fraud. Although a number of lawsuits were filed, no evidence was provided to support the allegations, and the vast majority of the cases FEW Weekly Web Update March 22, 2021 were dismissed. During this time Harris and Biden began the transition to a new administration, announcing an agenda and selecting staff. By early December all states had certified the election results, and the process then moved to Congress for final certification. Amid Trump’s repeated calls for Republicans to overturn the election, a group of congressional members, which notably included Senators Josh Hawley (Missouri) and Ted Cruz (Texas), announced that they would challenge the electors of various states. Shortly after the proceedings began on Jan. 6, 2021, a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol. It took several hours to secure the building, but Biden and Harris were eventually certified as the winners. She later denounced the siege—which many believed was incited by Trump—as “an assault on America’s democracy.” On January 18 she officially resigned from the Senate. Two days later, amid an incredible security presence, Harris was sworn in as vice president. 

About the Author: By Gregory Lewis McNamee, contributing editor, Encyclopedia Britannica; literary critic, Hollywood Reporter. Author of Moveable Feasts: The History, Science, and Lore of Food and more.

Where FEW Women Go: Is There Glass on Your Floor?

Angela Lewis remembers when the mere thought of public speaking made her uncomfortable.

As a lifelong member of Federally Employed Women, she 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.

Dr. Angela Lewis, Technical Director, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division

As the senior civilian at the command, she leads 3,800 military and government civilians, providing the Navy with multi-domain, multi-spectral, full lifecycle support in the mission areas of expeditionary warfare, strategic missions and electronic warfare. 

So how did she put herself in the position to earn top rank?

Lewis used FEW and its very active Hoosier Hills Chapter as a key to unlock her potential.

“Being able to work with senior leadership on women’s issues enabled me to build those relationships that helped me advance my career,” said Lewis, who earned her PhD., in management and human resources. “Being part of FEW is a great way to work with command and work outside your area.”

Here are three ways Dr. Lewis used the resources at FEW to develop her career:

Learn New Skills.

Early in her career, a supervisor strongly encouraged Lewis to join a professional organization to help her develop her skills. She chose FEW’s Hoosier Hills Chapter, which continues to have an impressive reputation surrounding its professional development opportunities.

Lewis remembers talking herself into developing a very important leadership skill around the time she became Chapter President of the chapter. “I had really little experience with public speaking,” she said. “I knew I was going to struggle as FEW’s Chapter President.”

But that trepidation didn’t stop her from growing.

“I can remember the first time I had to introduce a speaker in front of 150 people,” Lewis added. “I look back on that with fond memories.”

FEW provides it members with knowledge about the federal system, career development and planning techniques, as well as personal effectiveness and awareness of the broader issue that impact women.

FEW’s annual National Training Program is one of those unique opportunities that every federally employed woman should leverage to advance her own career. This year’s event, “Soaring to New Heights,” will be held July 26-30 at the luxurious Houston Marriott Marquis.

The National Training Program is FEW’s premiere training event that brings together presenters, speakers and attendees from across the country. The dynamic workshops align with the Executive Core Qualifications and fundamental competencies identified by the Office of Personnel Management. The objective is to help prepare FEW members with the tools needed to advance their careers back at their respective federal agencies.

For the first time, FEW has added a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics component to its 2021 National Training Program. It was added to support a diversified workforce inclusive of women in cybersecurity, space and technology, engineering and biochemistry. Women consist of 48% of the total workforce, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, but they only represent 26% of computer scientists and 12% of engineers.

Dr. Lewis supports a more diverse workforce with more women involved in various fields of science.

“As the first woman to serve in this role, I understand what this milestone represents to future generations and young girls interested in STEM and business fields,” said Lewis as part of the statement introducing her as CRANE’S new technical director. “It will take passionate people from diverse backgrounds to meet future mission needs.”

Meet New People.

Lewis credits her career advancement, in part, to her ability to build relationships with senior leadership at command. As a member of the Hoosier Hills Chapter, she had been able to connect with high-ranking officials at the Naval Service Warfare Center on common goals, such as creating a better workplace for all, especially women.

In her new position, Lewis is currently working with Hoosier Hills Chapter members on topics involving the virtual workplace and inclusion in the organization’s culture.

“FEW has an opportunity to mold senior leadership in a way that impacts employees,” Lewis said. 

Aside from networking opportunities in the workplace, 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 it’s 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.

Invest In Yourself.

To invest in herself, Lewis went back to school several times through her career, as well as donate her time and talent to help others.

In addition to training and community service, FEW also offers a mentoring program, which offers mentor and mentee opportunities so members can help themselves by helping another.

The 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.

Mentee applications must be submitted from April 1, 2021 through April 15, 2021. Chosen candidates will be notified in June, and the 12-month event will kick off at the 2021 National Training Program on July 26-30. Mentee graduation service will be held at the 2022 National Training Program the following July.

For more information about the program, prospective mentees and mentors should visit www.FEW.org/mentor.

“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.”