Level Up for Good Health

Did you know that one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime? Breast cancer is a disease in which cells in the breast grow out of control. There are different kinds of breast cancer and it is important to be proactive about your health.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to raise awareness about the impact of breast cancer. FEW reminds everyone to use self-examination to fight against breast cancer and we support a healthy schedule of mammograms with your health care provider based on your family history and risk factors. Every person should know the symptoms and signs of breast cancer, and any time an abnormality is discovered, it should be investigated by a healthcare professional.

By performing monthly breast self-exams, you will be able to more easily identify any changes in your breast.  Be sure to talk to your healthcare professional if you notice anything unusual.

Talking confidently about breast health can be an important – though sometimes awkward— step in supporting breast cancer awareness. FEW wants to make sure you are aware of what breast cancer is and that you know your body and check often for changes.  We also want you to know that you can control some factors and we highly encourage you to do the following:

Maintain a healthy weight

Stay physically active

Eat fruits and vegetables

Do not smoke

Limit alcohol consumption

Most people who have breast cancer signs and symptoms will only notice one or two initially, and the presence of these symptoms and signs do not automatically mean that you have breast cancer. The key is prevention and FEW encourages you to Level Up your prevention game. You’ll find even more information at https://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/healthy-habits

FEW Celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month

Please join FEW in celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 – October 15. The 2022 theme is “Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation.” Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

This recognition began in the same year as FEW – 1968 – when President Lyndon Johnson declared the first Hispanic Heritage Week; and was expanded twenty years later by President Ronald Reagan who began the 30-day period now known as National Hispanic Heritage Month. September 15 is a significant date 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 September 18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30-day period.

Approximately 3.5% of FEW members identify as Hispanic/Latino. To these colleagues, please know that we are proud that you consider FEW your professional home. We celebrate you and wish one and all a happy National Hispanic Heritage Month!

FEW Recognizes Women’s Equality Day

August 26, the date the Nineteenth Amendment was certified, is widely recognized as Women’s Equality Day. This recognition has special meaning for FEW as a day of celebration throughout the country that emphasizes the importance of women’s work for democracy. It’s also inspiring to the role that FEW plays in furthering women’s rights in the federal workforce and at all levels of government. 

Yes, we’ve come a long way thanks to the pioneers of the Women’s Suffrage movement and yes, FEW has made an impact in its 54 years serving its members and their colleagues. Yet, now isn’t the time to rest on our accomplishments. Today, so much more needs to be done to ensure access to advancement in pay equity and opportunities at the SES levels. FEW will continue to advocate for these issues and for every person that supports FEW’s mission to Work for the Advancement of Women in the Government.

Let’s use this opportunity to celebrate our achievements, yet look ahead to the work still to be done. Let the legacy of those who fought for the right to vote inspire our efforts to fight for women in the Federal workforce and at all levels of government. Let’s not forget that while the struggle isn’t easy, the fortitude of these pioneers provided the proof that together, we can make a difference. Happy Women’s Equality Day from FEW.

Leveling up at BIG

Greetings from BIG! For those of you not familiar with Blacks In Government (BIG), it was organized in 1975 and incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1976. BIG has been a national response to the need for African Americans in public service to organize around issues of mutual concern and use their collective strength to confront workplace and community issues.

I’m here with other FEW leaders representing our mission to end sex and gender discrimination, to encourage diversity for the inclusion and equity in the workplace, and for the advancement and professional growth of women in the federal service. Just as important, we’re here to collaborate with our counterparts in BIG to address issues that impact you, our FEW membership, and to see the innerworkings of their successful National Training Institute as we plan for FEW’s 2023 National Training Program. We’re also meeting and welcoming new FEW members thanks to our visibility here as an exhibiting partner.

Know this, during this administration, FEW will seek every opportunity to ‘Level Up for Success’ so that we grow our organization and represent your interests effectively.

A New Era for FEW

First and foremost, I write this message with gratitude in my heart for the opportunity to serve as FEW’s 25th President. When I set out to lead the organization, my vision was to bring the five generations in today’s federal workforce together to advance the mission and vision of Federally Employed Women. I believe that fully embracing today’s enhanced telework environment will enable FEW to expand our organization’s footprint; and your support has given me the opportunity to use technology, and our greatest resource, FEW’s members, to direct, shape and focus on developing our organization’s growth potential. As I shared during my campaign, when you are given the responsibility to lead, you are given a fantastic opportunity to positively influence the lives of many people; a responsibility I would never take for granted. I’m humbled to be your FEW President, and I’m grateful to the many volunteer leaders who have agreed to serve on the FEW NBOD, lead on the Regional and Chapter levels; and to contribute to our mission in any way you can. Together, we will ensure that great things are ahead for FEW and every woman working in government. Know that we will ‘Level Up for Success’ in the coming years and you will play a vital role in our efforts. Watch these President’s Messages for some exciting news about FEW collaborations that will support our goals.

Another historic success for women – Finally Equal Pay for Equal Work

Today marks another historic milestone in women’s history.   The US Soccer Federation reached an agreement to pay its men’s and women’s teams equally, making the American national governing body the first in the sport to promise both sexes matching money.   There are many accolades to be given for this historic announcement, including the US Soccer Federation men. But it means so much more to Federally Employed Women.  For 54 years, at the forefront of our legislative agenda is “Equal Pay for Equal Work” and now we can say that we have taken one huge leap forward. 

FEW send our congratulations to the women and men of the U.S. Soccer Federation for daring to dream and work together towards equality. 

Train with FEW at the VLS III

Join FEW as we usher in another momentous training for Federally Employed Women (FEW) – the Virtual Leadership Summit III (VLS III).  This comprehensive training program is vast and open to all federal employees nationwide. At the VLS III, get ready to find your purpose and expand your passion with our leadership that is meant to take you to the next level. Join FEW’s national training event on July 18 – 22, 2022.  

Get ready to register for this phenomenal week of superb training?  This highly powered week of courses continues to meet the Office of Personnel Management’s Senior Executive Service, Executive Core Qualifications (Leading Change, Leading People, Results Driven, Business Acumen, Building Coalitions) and the underlying fundamental core competencies.  Our theme for the VLS is “Leadership Next Level: People, Purpose and Passion.” 

FEW’s VLS remains by far the best value for federal employees’ dollars and training needs.  The NTP remains committed to federal government training, education, and lifelong learning.  NTP workshops focus on:

  • Leadership Development, Management,
  • Career Development,
  • Learning Measurement & Analytics
  • Learning Technologies. 

In just one week, the VLS III will offer attendees invaluable training opportunities and most importantly, networking opportunities.  So, reserve your seat to attend the 2022 VLS.

Visit www.few.org to register, and find out the latest news about training courses and recognition programs at FEW’s 2022 NTP.  If you have additional questions, contact our 2022 Virtual Leadership Summit III Program Chair, Kaya Lewis-Baltimore at NTPChair@few.org.

This is how we keep you Soaring to New Heights!

Confirmed! Justice Ketanji Brown-Jackson.

Our hearts are ecstatic with pride, and in an exuberant celebration of this historical moment, we can say America has won.  When one woman succeeds, we all win.  FEW applaud the newest Supreme Court Justice, Ketanji Brown-Jackson, as she has shown determination, intelligence, and perseverance under impossible odds. In FEW, we work for the advancement of women, and this appointment will inspire all girls to pursue their dreams because it is possible.      

The actions of the U.S. Senate to confirm the first black woman to the highest court of the land electrified me.   We bear witness that in a vote of 53 -47, a woman has set a path that all women and girls can follow.   In the court’s 233-year history, the U.S. Senate confirmed a more than qualified black woman to reside on the bench.  Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown-Jackson’s appointment is another example that all things are possible as women pursue leadership and senior positions.  Today, we are soaring to new heights.

Happy Anniversary, FEW.

Federally Employed Women is extremely proud to be marking our 54th anniversary – a significant milestone that few companies achieve.  May the journey of our success continue throughout the upcoming year.  Here’s to wishing all of us a Happy 54th Anniversary!

It is particularly gratifying to celebrate this anniversary as the future forest of our organization looks so bright. We have made it through a turbulent time in our history and have sustained our momentum for FEW’s mission, vision, and purpose.  We continued to grow and build on our illustrious reputation and marked new territory for growth.  FEW is an organization that helps level the pool of candidates to include women and provides the personal and professional development needed through leadership. I am proud to say the dynamic work of FEW continues on. 

Reflecting on the long history of this organization, I’d like to acknowledge each Past President and their National Board of Directors members. Their leadership built this organization from one small group in Washington D.C to a nationwide organization strong and respected worldwide for representing women in federal service ensuring equity for everyone.

To all our members, sponsors, supporters, and friends – I thank you for your continued commitment to FEW. We hope to be able to share the celebration of our 54th Anniversary.  Not many organizations can say that they lasted this long.

Here’s to another fantastic year.

Providing Healing, Promoting Hope – It’s Our History!

There has never been a more befitting time than now to unite around the 2022 theme for Women’s History Month, “Providing Healing, Promoting Hope.”  We are hopeful as we do our part to spread knowledge and healing.   For over half a century, FEW has been on the frontlines to help and provide hope for the millions of people serving in the federal sector.  Now we are even more enthusiastic and determined to work for the advancement of women.  As we go forth and recognize the many achievements of some amazing women this month, I can promise you that in our pursuit for a more equitable, diversified, and inclusive working environment for women in the government, there is hope.  

FEW is honored to have so many amazing women among the ranks.  At FEW, we celebrate women’s empowerment as active contributors to the federal government and recognize the achievements women have made throughout American history in strengthening the foundation of our American democratic republic.  As members of the civilian or military workforce, the very nature of our job is to provide healing and hope to the American people.  We understand the impact of coming together to protect and service our nation and ensure our sustainability is its strength.  In FEW, our vision is to “Soar to New Heights,” and develop new and emerging women leaders and expand the concept of women’s empowerment to address the need for gender equality in careers.  Again, there is hope.

And, to all of us fabulous women as FEW celebrate Women’s History Month, let us remember the words of the great poet Maya Angelou:

I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,   
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,   
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.   
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.   

I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,   
And the flash of my teeth,   
The swing in my waist,   
And the joy in my feet.   

I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered   
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,   
They say they still can’t see.   

I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,   
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.

I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.  
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.   
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.

I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,   
the palm of my hand,   
The need for my care.   
’Cause I’m a woman

Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Maya Angelou, “Phenomenal Woman” from And Still I Rise. Copyright © 1978 by Maya Angelou. Used by permission of Random House, an imprint and division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved.

Happy National Women’s Month!