Invitation to the Virtual Leadership Summit II

Federally Employed Women (FEW) believe you can soar.  So, on August 9 – 13, 2021, join us for the “Virtual Leadership Summit II”, a premiere national event.  You are cordially invited to attend this professional development and career-enhancement training that allows you the choice of more than 140-high level, relevant, thought-provoking courses and an opportunity to expand your knowledge and network. This is phenomenal because it virtual, at a reduced rate and there is no per diem, no lodging – just training.

Our theme for the VLS II is “Soaring to New Heights” which is reflective of your ability to take information, process it and use it to elevate and take the next step in your career. This training is meant for all federal, state, local governments and military installations wanting to improve their knowledge and expand their network to ascend higher.  The VLS II is the perfect place to soar to the next level in your career by investing in hands-on self-development and career enhancing skills.  What is so special about our training is that we developed our courses with you in mind.  The VLS II provides the tools necessary to develop leadership skills and build successful careers. 

FEW want to help each attendee to reach his or her fullest potential.  That’s why FEW has mapped every training session to meet the guidance for training from 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.  Additionally, we offer two certificate programs; the Management Concepts: Women in Leadership and the Graduate Schools: Special Emphasis Program Managers (SEPM).

Join us as attendees experience a variety of educational formats all planned to deliver an optimal training experience. Courses target entry-level employees as well as senior decision-makers and policy-makers in the civilian and military arenas, and the private sector.

For more up-to-date information, visit our website at Virtual Leadership Summit II – Federally Employed Women (

Register today and begin to Soar! 

FEW Celebrates Women’s History Month: Sarah B. Cochran and Frances Payne Bolton

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.” We continue this week with Sarah B. Cochran and Frances Payne Bolton.

Sarah B. Cochran (1857-1936)

Sarah B. Cochran image courtesy of the National Women’s History Museum

Once called America’s only Coal Queen, Sarah B. Cochran was a coal industry leader and philanthropist in an era when American women couldn’t universally vote or serve on juries. By choosing to go out into the world and do the unexpected, she was able to support women’s suffrage and education, and was the first female trustee of Allegheny College.

Sarah Boyd Moore was born on April 22, 1857 in Fayette County, Pennsylvania to farmers of such humble means that they couldn’t afford enough clothes for her to go to school every day. As a young adult, she became the maid in James Cochran’s home. James was a self-made coal industry leader who was the first to sell coal’s byproduct, coke, commercially. Coke was a key ingredient in the steelmaking process, and the steel and coal industries were about to generate incredible levels of wealth in western Pennsylvania.

James Cochran’s son, Phillip, fell in love and married Cochran on Sept. 25, 1879. On Sept. 21, 1880, Cochran gave birth to their only child, James. When her father-in-law died in 1894, Phillip assumed control of the family business. He believed in Cochran’s intellect and taught her the business. Five years later, he died suddenly of pneumonia as a 49-year-old coal magnate. Their son was the expected representative of the family’s estate but died on March 5, 1901 while studying at the University of Pennsylvania.

Already a vice president in the company, Cochran assumed many of her husband’s business responsibilities and board service roles. Among these were president of the Brown & Cochran Coke Company, Washington Coal & Coke Company, Juniata Coke Company, Dawson Bridge Company and First National Bank of Dawson. She was a founder and stockholder of Cochran Coal & Coke Company of Morgantown, West Virginia and the First National Bank of Perryopolis. The companies did business in Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia when Cochran assumed control. Under her leadership, the business grew threefold and expanded to sell coke in England, France, Germany and Mexico. At one point, Cochran was called “the nation’s only coal queen.”

As a widow, Cochran spent eight years traveling in Europe and Asia. Visits to St. James’s Park in London inspired her plans to build her own Tudor mansion, named Linden Hall at St. James’ Park, Pennsylvania. The mansion was built in the vicinity of her childhood home between 1911 and 1913. When it was finished, it had more than 30 rooms, its own railroad stop, as well as a three-panel Tiffany window designed by Agnes Northrop. When 60 Italian stone masons, who did all of the mansion’s stonework, wanted to stay in the US, Cochran sponsored them for citizenship.

Cochran used her position to support women’s suffrage. In 1915, she opened Linden Hall to host a suffrage tea. The fundraiser was advertised in newspapers and drew at least 500 men and women, who listened to Dr. Anna Howard Shaw speak about suffrage and democracy.

Cochran actively supported education. Sometimes by quietly financing higher education for local men and women who expressed an interest in it. In other cases, her support was more public. For example, she funded construction of Cochran Hall, a men’s dormitory at Allegheny College, and donated to Otterbein College, Washington & Jefferson College and West Virginia University. Known as the “Lady-Elect of Allegheny,” she was Allegheny College’s first female trustee, serving from 1908 until her death in 1936. She was also a member of the board of directors of American University in Washington, D.C., and in 1921, the Bethany College Bulletin recorded her contribution for the Sarah B. Cochran Chair of Philosophy at that college.

In 1900 Cochran dedicated a Methodist church in Dawson, Pennsylvania to the memory of her late husband. This church was later destroyed when she presented its congregation with plans for a new, Gothic style stone church. Named for her husband, the Philip G. Cochran Memorial United Methodist Church was officially dedicated on Nov. 20, 1927.  

After Cochran died on Oct. 27, 1936, a memorial service themed “The Ministry of Woman” was held at the Philip G. Cochran Memorial United Methodist Church. The service featured ministers speaking about female Biblical figures and Cochran’s life. Since her death, both the church and Linden Hall were added to the National Register of Historic Places.

By Kimberly Hess | 2017

Frances Payne Bolton (1885-1977)

Photo courtesy of the National Women’s History Museum

Born into a wealthy family, Frances Payne Bolton pursued a life of philanthropy, politics, and social reform. Bolton was a lifelong advocate of education, healthcare and civil rights for African Americans. She is most noted for her contributions to the field of nursing and her work in the U.S. House of Representatives.

On March 29, 1885, Frances Payne Bingham was born in Cleveland, Ohio to a family with a long history of funding charities and public service. Bolton’s grandfathers, William Bingham and Henry B. Payne served in the Ohio State Senate and Payne was also elected to the U.S. Senate.

In 1907, Frances Payne Bingham married Chester Castle Bolton. After marriage, Bolton took on many volunteer activities that enabled her to support and help the nursing profession. She sat on numerous boards including the Visiting Nurse Association and the Lakeside Hospital Training School. As World War I began, Bolton saw the need for greater training and inclusion of nurses into the armed services and urged the government to take action. As a result, the secretary of war created the Army School of Nursing.

After the war, Bolton continued to support the development of nursing as a profession in numerous ways. One of her most important activities at this time was to donate $500,000 to Western Reserve University (later known as Case Western Reserve University) in 1923. She gave the money to the college to create its school of nursing. The school was later renamed the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing to reflect the generous financial support given by Bolton. A firm believer that the field of nursing should be open to all, regardless of race or ethnicity, Bolton helped financially sustain the work of the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses. Her assistance enabled the organization to continue its work despite financial difficulties during the Great Depression. A large inheritance in 1929 allowed Bolton to set up the Payne Fund, which dedicated financial resources to projects related to education, nursing care and the arts.

During this time, Chester Castle Bolton carried out an ambitious political career in which he served in the Ohio State Senate (1923-1928), before winning a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1928. Sadly, his life was cut short, when on Oct. 29, 1939, at the age of 47, he died in office. Frances Payne Bolton ran as the Republican candidate in the special election to fill her husband’s vacant position. She won and became Ohio’s first female member of the House of Representatives.

During World War II, Bolton had a lasting impact on the field of nursing. She sponsored the Bolton Act in 1943, which set up the US Cadet Nurse Corps to train nurses for military and civilian roles in wartime. In total, the Act provided $5 million of federal funding to enable women to become nurses. Basic training under this program ran for 24 to 30 months. The Act covered students’ tuition, books and living costs. Funding was open to all qualified students regardless of the color of their skin. As a result, the number of qualified nurses increased more quickly, which enabled the United States to sustain the war effort at home and abroad.

Bolton became greatly involved in U.S. foreign affairs and humanitarian activities after the war. In Congress, she joined the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. She became the first woman to lead a Congressional delegation on a 20,000-mile tour of Africa in 1947. During this trip, Bolton learned about issues facing the countries there, including decolonization, aid relief and healthcare. She continued to make frequent trips to Africa, advocating for democratic systems to be set up in the newly independent countries. At home, she urged the U.S. State Department to form a branch specifically dedicated to aiding African countries. The Bureau of African Affairs was founded in 1958 because of Bolton’s support. She also became very interested in Arab-Israeli affairs and toured Palestinian camps in 1947. President Eisenhower, aware of Bolton’s diplomatic activities, asked her to join a Congressional delegation to the United Nations in 1953. Doing so, made her the first female Congressional delegate to the organization.

Bolton held her Congressional seat from 1940 until 1968, when she was defeated by Charles Vanik, a Democrat. After she lost her seat in the House of Representatives, Bolton retired from Congress. But she continued her charitable work. She sat on a number of boards, including the Tuskegee Institute, the Middle East Institute and the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.

Bolton’s diverse humanitarian efforts in the United States and abroad did not go unnoticed by the U.S. government. In 1976, she received public recognition for her efforts, when President Ford awarded her the National Human Relations Award of the National Conference of Christians and Jews.

Frances Payne Bolton died on March 2, 1977 in Lyndhurst, Ohio at the age of 91.

By Dr. Kelly A. Spring | 2017

Why Kind Leaders Float to the Top

Integrity. Honesty. Vision. Humility. Focus. Those are some of the qualities you are likely to associate with a strong leader.

However, kindness probably isn’t one of the traits that comes to mind.

Historically, kindness in the business world has been regarded as a weakness. But that is no longer the case. In fact, scientific studies indicate that the most effective way to lead is to treat others with kindness. Organizations that value kindness actually experience considerable and measurable benefits such as less turnover, lower recruitment costs, higher productivity and happier employees.

However, being a leader doesn’t necessarily mean you are a manger or head of a department or company. There are several ways you can lead in the workplace—by spearheading a project, running a meeting, presenting a new idea or managing a team. That’s why FEW offers a comprehensive program that positions members for professional development and a fulfilling career in the federal workforce.

Kindness has traditionally been one of the most overlooked leadership qualities. Kind leaders don’t force others to follow, rather their good intentions motivate others to follow their lead, creating a strong team. They exude warmth and compassion and recognize that without their team there is no real leadership. Strong leaders are very capable of making difficult business decisions but do so with compassion and sincerity.

Successful leaders share similar qualities. They have clarity and purpose and are determined to encourage others in service to support a cause or goal, influencing and empowering others through their actions and behaviors. They facilitate dialogue and make things happen. They are top-notch communicators who express their expectations and are accountable for their actions. Above all, they lead by example and do so with kindness and a positive attitude. Kind leaders guide others in a positive way, finding common ground and building cohesiveness among team members.

In the workplace, kindness is expressed through compassion, understanding, patience and generosity. In turn, being kind creates a ripple effect, inspiring employees to do more while also building their confidence and commitment to the organization’s mission.

There is strength in kindness and that is why kind leaders float to the top. Being a kind leader is the next innovation in people-led leadership. Kindness is now being recognized as essential to success. Kind leaders are strong leaders. They set clear expectations, promote growth, exude authenticity, provide honest feedback and, most importantly, treat people like people.

One of the most difficult tasks for a leader can often be building consensus. But if you are calm under pressure, optimistic and encouraging, you will keep morale high and float to the top. Afterall, one of the first steps to becoming a successful leader is showing empathy. Kindness sets the foundation for building a closer connection with your team members. That is why FEW offers mentoring opportunities to advance professional development and leadership skills.

Today, being an efficient leader is more difficult than ever before. With job responsibilities increasing, many employees are self-managing outside the scope of their job descriptions. In addition, hiring and retention are becoming more complicated—team sizes are expanding, and employees are working remotely.

As a leader, you are often judged on whether or not you are getting the job done—but are you doing it with kindness? That is the new measure of success.

Different situations require distinct types of leadership, but kindness will always have a role. To join the exclusive club of kind leaders, set a positive example for others to follow. That’s where your integrity, honesty, vision, humility and focus come into play.

Afterall, we are all happier when we act in service to others. Being an effective leader means constant reflection, personal development, collecting and responding to feedback from the team and taking action.

Whatever your organizational role is, make your mark with kindness.

More than anything, treating others with kindness is the right thing to do. We take our cues from leaders, managers and colleagues and kindness begets kindness.

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.

For more information, visit

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