Training is a key strategy to your success.

We all know that training is an absolutely vital function to our success in business and in fully engaging collaborations. There are 3 reasons for this.

Registration open for FEW’s Virtual Leadership Summit II

First, it is expected. Today’s employees won’t work where they aren’t developed. Whether for personal or professional reasons, people don’t want the feeling the lack appreciation for the work they do to support agency goals.   Studies show that employees don’t stay where they are not kept up-to-date, fully trained, and given opportunities to develop.

The second reason is the speed of change. Whether in technology, in products, or in skills, training enables people to keep up to date with the market, the competition, and their own organization’s plans.  This provides tremendous insight for forecasting and delivering quality service.

And thirdly, we all know that people are their most valuable asset. Making the most of this asset is what training is all about. That’s why training skills are essential in the world today; not only for the advantage of the employee, but the government entity as well.

Important facts about training the workforce

  • The key difference between training and other forms of learning is that training results in a change of behavior.
  • The route to changes in performance lies in changes to knowledge, skills and attitudes.
  • Studies show that organizations that spend on training are more productive than those that don’t.
  • In times of change, it is more important to train people how to learn than in what they should know.
  • Individualize and unlimited potential expands when some form of training is provided.

Happy Father’s Day

Sunday is Father’s Day and a time to acknowledge the values that father’s pass on to the family, especially young impressionable women and girls. The image of a strong male is a good foundation for the values we uphold in FEW. These values are honesty, integrity and trust.  We feel these values were critical for building trusting relationships with our members and friend of FEW.   These values speak to the core of any healthy relationship.  In fact, our core values have helped us provide a level of excellence when servicing our members. 

FEW wish all the men who are fathers or mentors a very happy day of celebrating your values with those you love and have guided through their life’s journey. Please enjoy your special day and embrace that you do make a difference in the family!   Your legacy continues and you still make a tremendous difference. Thank you. 

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY !

We honor your service – #GovPossible

Happy Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW)!   On behalf of the National Board of Directors, I want to thank the millions of men and women who serve as employees across the nation. Now more than ever, public servants are working on the front lines, often potentially putting themselves at risk, to continue the daily operations of our society and provide critical rapid relief to this immense national crisis. We recognize your work to the public and we honor your service.  In 1996, FEW published a report on the day in life of federal workers and how we “Federal Workers Keep America Running.”

I am so proud of us.  National Public Service Recognition Week is celebrated the first week of May since 1985 to honor the people who serve our nation as federal, state, county, local, tribal principalities, and military employees. If we think back to what drew each of us to public service in the first place, it had to be based in the desire to help people, our families and work to make our country the best place to live. We all do that every day.  I know that the decisions and sacrifices our nation makes are tremendously difficult, but the quality of services we provide every day throughout the year get the job done.  We owe so much to our nation’s public servants and that must not go forgotten. Thank you for making #GovPossible.

It’s Membership Month!

As someone who knows firsthand the strength and leadership, we have within Federally Employed Women (FEW), I always look forward to celebrating Membership Month.  It’s our anniversary!

Each April, FEW acknowledges our greatest asset – our members.  As we celebrate 53 years of purpose, ambition and vision, we recognize the support of each member which has led us through another year of working for the advancement of women.  The past year had its challenges, yet we have shown ourselves adaptable and strong.  FEW continues to ascend to higher ground and reach across our communities and across nationalities, ethnicities, religious, and political divisions to unite people of all backgrounds and help improve the status of women in our workplace and homes.

Our leaders have shown their resilience, agility and the ability to pivot during towards the fulfillment of our mission.  The National Board of Directors and I are so overwhelmed with joy for each member we see representing our purpose and working to keep FEW “Soaring to New Heights” in the lives of millions of others.  You have navigated through difficult times and shown the enduring strength of what it means to be a member of FEW.   

As National President, I hear each day of our success stories, and that’s why I want to introduce another one. FEW commissioned an artist to capture the essence of being a member of FEW. 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 your scale. 

I am proud to announce the release of a commissioned print and a national fundraiser for FEW which represents our diversity, our unity and the bonding circle of friendship and support you will receive from FEW.  This fundraiser is for a limited time and on a first come, first served basis.  The cost is $40 however, we also have a limited number signed prints by the artist, Lisa Jones for $20 more.

Medium-acrylic, chalk and pencil on wood board

The Muses-a closer look

  • Seen are a combination of moms, executives, federal employees and business owners all committed to giving back to the community
  • 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 Caucasian 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. 

Again, my sincerest thank you to all those who serve along side of me and to the entire FEW membership for “Soaring to New Heights”.  Your investment into FEW not only benefits you, but every action taken helps advance the understanding of women’s roles, diversity, equality, goodwill, and peace for all.  Happy Anniversary FEW!

If you are interested in ordering a commemorative print please email few@few.org.

Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to be Silenced

For the entire month of March, FEW will recognize the valiant women who refuse to be silent. The courageous women who energized and transformed a grateful nation. Valiant is such a noble word, and descriptive of the plight of the Women’s Suffragist Movement and the actions of those refusing to be silenced to ensure equality.  Their valiancy means “possessing or acting with bravery or boldness: courageous” and “marked by, exhibiting, or carried out with courage or determination: heroic.” Today we have our vote and we demand our voice through our vote be respected and heard.

This Women’s History Month, we continue the commemoration for the centennial anniversary of passage of the 19th Amendment. “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”  FEW want us all to mark the past actions of women, the present results of those actions and the inspiring future we have before us because of the Women’s Suffragist Movement. 

The struggle of equality has never come easy, nonetheless women now have a say through the ballot box.  FEW along with thousands of other organizations continue the fight to ensure our voices and contributions are recognized and the status of all people improve.  Each day we should recognize the many achievements of women throughout history in art, athletics, business, government, philanthropy, humanities, science, and education.  Women have contributed a lot to society, and we have made great strides in reducing the gender equity gap. However, we still have some barriers to overcome to ensure equal economic opportunities, educational equity, women’s health, and an end to gender-based violence.

While women have made great strides in the fight for greater equality in the United States and around the world, there is still work to do.  The fight for equality for women has been over the right to vote, equal wages in the workplace, safety against sexual assault and constant objectification …you know, basic human rights.

Although the fight continues, women have organized and removed many societal limits.  Here is a short timeline:
1848 → women were legally allowed to own property.
1900 → there were 85,000 female college students in the United States.
         → this number grew to over 600,000 in 1940. 
1920 → Women were given the right to vote after many hunger-strikes and imprisonments.
1941 → Millions of women enter the workforce during World War II. 
1963 → Equal Pay, Equal Work introduced
1986 → Protected Work Environments
1993 → Federal Medical Leave Act introduced
2013 → Women serve in Combat
2018 → The record was set when 102 women were elected into the House
2020 → Women are the majority in the workforce  
2021 → The first woman and women of color is installed as the Vice President of the United States of America.

Women’s History Month is not about taking control over other women, nor taking control over men, but its about having control over our one’s own life and have a say in it to contribute for the greater good of all Americans.  This month, I ask that you join FEW in our reflection on just a few of the valiant women who because of their refusal to be silenced, we now have a just future that we call can be proud.

The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity

As I reflect on the meaning behind the 2021 Black History Month theme “The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity,” I graciously think about the importance of knowing who you are and how you identify yourself to fit into this world.  It is a fact that there is importance in how we define ourselves and what we represent for the greater good of humanity.  Studies have shown that there is absolute strength in diversity.  FEW is an organization that explores all aspects of diversity and this month we highlight and celebrate the contribution of the Black family; those who advance our cause and join us in working for the advancement of women the government.”  There is no doubt that Black people have contributed in numerous advancements in our society and made several cracks in the glass ceiling. Our nation is better because of their inclusion, representation and contributions.

Just like any masterpiece painting, the reflection of different shades adds depth and value. The black family for many generations told the story of survival and elevation. With the record-breaking feats in science, medicine, technology, politics, sports and so much more; the black family’s identity, representation has become more prevalent and recognizable. Our first National President, Ms. Allie Latimer, is a black woman who is now honored in The Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, New York because of her representation of excellence and knowing her identity. Today I asked her what does she think about this year’s theme and she said, “The Black family is the glue that has held many of us together and allowed us to stand strong on each other’s shoulders to propel the mission and values of FEW forward. FEW recognize the importance of operating in love, service and support of others to reach down in love and support to pull other up – another rung on the ladder.  This is one of the keys to our success as we include and reflect everyone’s story during the Black History Month celebration.”

FEW celebrate Black History Month; noting that the Black family is part of the nucleus of American history. Whether good or bad, Black family have help defined the American dream. 

MLK Day 2021 – A Day On; Not a Day Off

Can you believe it is 2021 and our nation is still dealing with the pandemic and social justice for equality of people?  It is just the first month of the year and so much has already happened.  Now more than ever our nation deserves a day of calmness, civility and peace.  We need “A Day of Service” for every American. In honor of the late Civil Rights leader’s, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., his life and legacy, join FEW as we celebrate the Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday or MLK Day.  We honor his commitment to justice, equality and inclusion.  His life exemplifies how we should conduct ourselves in a world of discourse and disagreements, how we should reflect on the best of ourselves through a worthy and healthy life of purpose.  

MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as “a national day of service” to encourage all us to volunteer to improve our communities.  We believe it is time to begin the work of service for the good of others as we are united in making MLK Day “a day on, not a day off.” 

Although this year is unlike any other; FEW still want you to know that your safety is our priority and due to the COVID-19, FEW National would like to join forces and give the gift of training and education to our fellow members this year.  In the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. our goal is to support his belief in education through donating to the FEW Foundation.  We want to demonstrate intelligence plus character.  As Dr. King has stated, “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically.  Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”  So, just like him, let’s honor him by ensuring we do all what we can to educate and build strong character by making a small investment to the FEW Foundation.  It doesn’t matter the amount and all donations are tax-deductible. We all can easily donate to this worthy cause by visiting www.fewfoundation.org.

Not only will you help members, but you can drive out darkness.  “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”  Martin Luther King, Jr.

US Capitol Incident Remarks

I am deeply troubled and astonished by what occurred at the U.S. Capitol Building. The U.S. Capitol Building is the symbol of our democracy and where our laws and our principles are debated and upheld.  It is also the place where hundreds of federal civilian and military servants work every day.  The Capitol represents “The Peoples House” and it simply cannot be defiled. 

Federally Employed Women (FEW) supports a safe and equal environment to work together for the inclusion of everyone’s voice.  All voices must be heard, yet, the display yesterday stopped our National Representatives from conducting the business of our nation and put federal workers in harms way.  FEW sends our condolences to the families of those who lost their lives yesterday in the U.S. Capitol Building.  We are disheartened over the actions of so few.  

Although this blight on our nation happened, I know we are better than this and our best days are ahead of us, not behind. We stand unified with Congress, their staffs, security professionals, police officers or maintenance personnel at the Capitol.  We took an oath to protect and serve and that is exactly what we will do.

May God Bless America!

Karen Rainey

National President

Happy New Year!

Dear FEW Member,

As 2020 draws to a close, I want to send a special note of appreciation to you the FEW membership.  You are why the National Board of Directors and I go so hard for our mission.   This year, we faced with enormous challenges as our nation, agencies and homes have as well.  But as I have stated throughout this year “it is in time of darkness when we show ourselves adaptable and strong.”  2020 has been a year like none other – with quarantines, travel bans, drive by graduations, health emergencies, loss of jobs, homes and people.  Yet, although we are saddened, all is not lost because of our membership and their special gifts, FEW stands with the many heroes of our nation, from the critical healthcare workers, scientists, grocery store attendants, PPE industrial industries and all the other critical workers that kept us going.  We thank you and send our appreciation. 

Being elected as National President of Federally Employed Women for a second term is by far the highest honor of my professional career and one that astonishes me.  As National President of the great organization, I want to personally thank you for your membership.  It means the world to FEW and we think of you in every decision made to ignite our torches for FEW.  As we look forward to a bright and prosperous 2021, FEW will continue to soar because you are wind that pushes us forward. We have some amazing activities planned to ensure we go even higher. 

In advance, I want to take this opportunity to thank the Administrative staff of CMA for the tremendous effort they put forward day-to-day in allowing us to help so many of our members. Many of us do not see all the demands placed on our office, but their work is greatly appreciated.   I know that the small investment in transitioning our office to CMA will lead FEW into a bright and new future and we will lead the pay in equity and inclusion of women.

To the National Board members, I also thank them for their dedication to the success of the FEW and for their tremendous input to the proper governance of our organization. And, I want to especially acknowledge the participation of our Regions and Chapters membership.  You have committed endless hours of volunteer time to make sure our members are provided with opportunities to continue learning, to network and socialize with other credit professionals for opportunities in career advancement and pay equity.

Lastly, to everyone invested with FEW, my sincere appreciation for your support and the pride you demonstrate everyday by representing this elite organization “working for the advancement of women in the government.”  You are the source of our strength for FEW and make my job satisfying and easy.  It is my pleasure to wish you and your family a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year and to remind you that FEW is “Soaring to New Heights.”

Karen Rainey, National President