Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month

FEW joins in the celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 – October 15.  We honor those of American decent whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.   The 2021 theme “Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and hope” reflects the values we all cherish as we recognize the achievements and contributions of Hispanic American champions.

The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover the 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.

The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period.

Happy Labor Day

Today, we pay tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workforce and is trajectory of labor movement from the 19th century. For the millions of employees in the United States, we thank you for your service and we wish you a peaceful and relaxing Labor Day. 

FEW is proud to have dedicated and competent members that serve our nation.  We celebrate your achievements from this past year and look forward with excitement to what we can do together in the coming year! Our accomplishments over this past year have been tremendous because we, collectively, have stood side-by-side each other to make them happen. I thank each of you for being “all in.” On this day when we celebrate Labor Day and we celebrate you. May you have a peaceful and relaxing Happy Labor Day!

It matters, Women’s Equality Day!

Today, we honor the pioneers of women’s equality by doing our part to realize their struggle and living their dream of voting.  Women’s Equality Day, August 26th, commemorates the struggles of women to be heard, as fierce advocates who gained the statutory right to vote. FEW ask you to join us as we remember their spirit of never giving up fighting for justice, equity, diversity and inclusion of a woman’s voice through their vote.   

But it wasn’t over with the passage of the 19th Amendment for all women.  While women in some states could already vote before 1920, women in some states—particularly those of color—were blocked from voting after ratification. It wasn’t until passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965, that African American women were granted the right to vote.  Additionally, the voting rights of Native American women were not recognized until 1924. For Chinese American women, it was 1943, and for Japanese and other Asian American women it was 1952.  And even today, there is conversation and legislation introduce on the right to vote.

As we commemorate Women’s Equality Day, let’s remember that empowered women, empower other women and with great respect, power, success comes great responsibility. It is our responsibility to vote. Women in public service and government have long served this nation by working to clear barriers, enforce laws, implement new ideas, and change people’s attitudes. FEW members are there to lead and we continue the work of the suffragist and ensuring our voice be heard through our vote.

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.

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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.