Join FEW in celebrating NDEAM 2022

Each of us knows someone who inspires us by overcoming obstacles we may question whether we ourselves would have the strength to overcome. October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), and FEW celebrates our members and colleagues in the government workforce who contribute so much to this great country by overcoming some challenge, seen or unseen. The 2022 theme – Disability: Part of the Equity Equation – speaks to FEW’s Diversity Focus.
National Disability Employment Awareness Month calls attention to the issues people with disabilities face, particularly in employment. The month is sponsored by President’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities. Congress passed Resolution No. 176 in 1945, designating the first week in October of each year as National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week. In 1962, a change in terminology replaced “handicap” with “disability” and “physically” was removed from the name to
recognize the employment needs of all persons with disabilities. In 1988 Congress expanded the week to a month and changed its name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
In his Presidential Proclamation recognizing NDEAM 2022, President Biden noted this: This month, let us acknowledge workers with disabilities who make our communities, our economy, and our Nation stronger. Let us continue the legacy of generations of disability rights activists who have
fought for equal employment opportunities, integrated workplaces, and equal pay for equal work. Let us deliver the promise of America to all Americans.
I encourage each of you to Level Up your support and engagement with our colleagues that NDEAM was established to recognize and to join FEW in celebrating their contributions and accomplishments.

Supercharged Productivity: Advanced Microsoft Tips & Tricks Set for July 18

Since the pandemic, employee productivity has been a hot topic.

With team members working from home full time or partially, your boss may be thinking about how the workflow could be more efficient.

And this is your opportunity to stand out among the rest.

Jamila Brown Hairston, a leader in delivering custom technology design solutions and custom training services, will present “Tips and Tricks with Microsoft Suite (Word, PowerPoint)” on Monday, July 18, 2002, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. as part of the Federally Employed Women (FEW)’s Virtual Leadership Summit (VLS) III.

In this course, Hairston will cover advanced tips and tricks to help attendees increase their productivity and make collaboration more efficient. Attendees will also discover how to work smarter, not harder by leveraging easy-to-use shortcuts that can be used across multiple applications. The objective of the course is to help attendees enhance their skills, save time and become advanced power users.

In an article entitled “What Super Productive People Do Differently” in Harvard Business Review, avoiding your computer’s mouse can help you do more with less time. A Brainscape study found that people lose two seconds per minute of work by using their mouse instead of keyboard shortcuts—which comes out to eight days per year.

VLS III instructor Hairston is also co-founder of Cloud Tech Academy, a computer training school based in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a distinctive woman of leadership in the technical industry with more than 15 years’ experience in delivering custom technology design solutions and custom training services. She has performed in various engineering, architecture and executive leadership roles, managing enterprise IT budgets for Fortune 10/100 companies. She founded her first IT consulting firm in 2004 where the core capabilities are represented by three divisions: Design & Delivery, Process Automation Services and Training.

Hairston’s key interest is to bring diversity awareness to technology. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Information Systems and a Master of Science Degree in Post-Secondary Education with a concentration in Instructional Technology. She is highly certified in the latest cloud certification platforms such as Microsoft, AWS, Google and Salesforce. She also holds various certifications in project management, web and mobile app design and additional supporting systems.

Hairston is a global innovation leader, entrepreneur and published author of her first book Master Your Destiny, which prepares readers with the step-by-step daily principles needed to obtain a full, successful life. Hairston has received several technology awards and has been recently recognized as a finalist for Woman of the Year for her community and leadership efforts in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) community.

Hairston pioneers in enterprise planning services, data migration, implementations, system architecture, training and consulting services. She also holds positions on various nonprofit boards, along with avidly serving as an ambassador to foster new STEM community developments.

As co-founder of Cloud Tech Academy, Hairston helps close the economic gap for underrepresented talent around the globe. The academy prepares students for lucrative high-valued careers in today’s digital economy and has helped to gross close to $50 million in annual salaries for her community to-date. 

About VLS III

FEW will host its third year of virtual training July 18 – 22, 2022, with no per diem or lodging cost required. This training program will help attendees elevate their purpose and passion for leadership and take their career to the next level. At the VLS III, FEW will provide a catalog of courses (100+ specialized courses) on various topics, including Human Resources, Equal Employment Opportunity, Information Technology, Project Management, Management and Leadership. All courses align with the Office of Personnel Management Executive Core Competencies (Leading People, Leading Change, Business Acumen, Result Driven and Building Coalitions). 

In addition, FEW will hold several after-hour networking events for attendees to share their thoughts and openly celebrate the many successful activities happening within FEW. The VLS III is the connection attendees need to develop their leadership skills, expand their knowledge of the greatness that diversity and inclusion bring and build a stronger partnership for a brighter future. 

The VLS III sessions were designed to target entry-level employees up to senior executive decision-makers and policymakers for both civilian and military employees. Prosperity is the goal as FEW helps attendees reach their fullest potential.   

Register today.

2022 VLS Training: How to Break Bias in the Workplace

Disengaged employees, hindered by unconscious bias in the workplace, costs U.S. businesses nearly $550 million each year.

And that’s only accounting for loss of productivity.

So, how do we make it stop?

Tony Chatman, a corporate relationship expert, will present “Breaking Bias in the Workplace: Overcoming Unconscious Decisions that Lead to Unexpected Consequences” on July 19, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. as part of the Federally Employed Women’s Virtual Leadership Summit III.

Chatman says awareness is the first step to fight our unconscious biases. He likens bias to a recipe that we have baked inside all of us. “In our minds, we have recipes for what things should be,” says the author of The Force Multiplier: How to Lead Teams Where Everyone Wins.“We have a recipe for what ‘smart’ looks like, for what ‘safe’ looks like, what ‘trustworthy’ looks like.” We don’t always realize that these things happen, and that they are impacting our decision-making. Based on science, 90% of our decisions originate out of our subconscious. We are not consciously making these decisions. Our brain is doing it for us before we realize it.”

He also works hard to remove the stigma from personal bias, which makes the topic easier to discuss.

“Unconscious bias is not a barometer for morality,” he says. “Unconscious bias is a function of how you were raised, your experiences, your education, exposure to television programming, etc. You are not a good or bad person based on your unconscious bias. I’m saying you’re a person. These are the flaws that keep people from making good decisions. Although it’s a method of diversity, inclusion and equity, what we are really doing by being aware is making better decisions.”

Unconscious bias, which can lead to discrimination, takes many forms, ranging from ethnicity, gender, disabilities and weight.

Consider the research:

  • Resumes that included photos of female job candidates before they had weight loss surgery scored far lower on leadership potential and starting salary. Thinner women earn $19,000 more annually.
  • Candidates who disclosed disabilities were 26% less likely to get responses.
  • Resumes with white-sounding names received 50% more calls for interviews than identical resumes with black-sounding names.
  • A study of identical resumes found that 79% of applicants with a man’s name versus 49% of those with a woman’s name were “worthy of hire.”

There are several tactics that managers can employ to keep their own biases in check.

Chatman says managers must make themselves aware that bias can impact their own decisions. “Being aware will put you on alert,” he says. “It will make you trust your gut less—that’s critical. Your gut houses all your biases.”

The president of Chatman Enterprises advises managers to volunteer, which will put them in the position to meet different people. To take that thought to the next step, managers could also offer to serve as a mentor to team members at the company. “The bigger your circle, the less likely that you will be influenced by biases,” he says. “It’s huge.”

Removing applicant details also can help hiring managers curb their biases. In other words, no names, photos, zip codes or educational institutions—just skills and experience.

“We have a pre-made suit in our mind. We assess people, not based on their talent, but on whether they fit in the suit,” Chatman says. “Most hiring managers hire people like themselves. That’s who makes them most comfortable. That means the people at the top hire ‘themselves’ and then promote ‘themselves’ so you end up with groupthink. You can’t have diversity of thought if everyone is the same.”

Introducing accountability to the mix is a must. And by adding “accountability,” Chatman isn’t talking about quotas. He suggests that hiring managers should 1) develop a predetermined process, 2) make it transparent and 3) review to see if the process was followed.

For employees who need to build connections with a supervisor who may be biased, Chatman has a few suggestions. First, focus on your first impression, especially your appearance and vernacular. “The first impression is an anchor. It reframes everything people do around you,” he says.

At that point, employees should move out of their own comfort zone to put others at ease.

“Make sure you attend company events because you will need social time with decision-makers so they can become more comfortable with you,” Chatman says. “And when the time is right, ask for a mentor. Networking and mentoring are your two greatest resources to fight bias in the workplace.”

Chatman has worked with hundreds of corporations and government agencies, including the U.S. Secret Service, The Department of Homeland Security, Chase Bank, Estee Lauder, NASA and Jefferson Health to help people reach new heights of effectiveness by understanding themselves and others better. As a leadership keynote speaker, his passion is contagious, and his messages provide practical, usable knowledge that people implement immediately for business and personal success.

To learn more about all the courses offered at FEW’s Virtual Leadership Summit III, please click here to develop your career.

Why People With Better Stories Make More Money

Every person is a “brand,” which is a story that makes a promise.

Federally employed women who have a better brand, for example, receive a higher pay grade.

And that’s why it is so important to join Federally Employed Women (FEW). The association helps more than one million women in the military and civilian workforce develop their personal brands and 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.

As a byproduct of volunteering with FEW, you will develop a better story for yourself, which can position you for better opportunities. The formula for building a better brand is simple: Reputation + Relationships = More Opportunities (i.e., income).

Fortunately, FEW provides many opportunities for its members to build better reputations and better relationships.

Everything Begins With Reputation

Here’s one key point that is often overlooked: Volunteering is networking.

FEW offers training programs on the national, regional and chapter levels. Guess what every program and every level needs to make it successful? Volunteers. That’s great news for you because it creates an opportunity to work alongside another, which is the best form of networking. It allows you to show off your expertise, communication skills and ability to work as part of a team. Before long, you will have an even better reputation and another reference to leverage for your next promotion.

Joining an association like FEW is an important step in advancing your career. But it is not the last step. The magic doesn’t happen because you join. It happens when you treat FEW like a tool, which you consciously decide to pick up and use to build a better path for you and your family.

Winning organizational awards is another great way to build your reputation and generate interest for your accomplishments.

If you spend some time on FEW’s website, you will see several members who have committed themselves to our cause and have been recognized for their performance. Kimberly Smith (Southeast Region), Caronell LaMalle Diew (DC Metro Region) and Dr. Karen Milner (Southeast Region) were recently honored with the President’s Award. Bernette Menefee (Great Lakes Region) and Kayla Lewis-Baltimore (DC Metro Region) won the Barbara Boardman Tenant Award and the Allie Latimer Award, respectively.

And those were just a few of the individual awards. FEW also offers awards for chapters and agencies that you can leverage as a team member.

Relationships Unlock Opportunities

Mentoring programs are a great way to quickly build meaningful relationships. For mentors, the effort reinforces the things they know, which allows them to improve existing skills. For mentees, they gain valuable insight from new allies that have experiences to share. From either perspective, the ability to help one another with trust and transparency creates the foundation for a new relationship.

FEW’s 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.

At the chapter level, FEW members who represent specific chapters have been able to advance their careers in part from the relationships they built with agency leadership over the years as they worked to improve workplace environments.

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 its 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.

Developing yourself as a leader will take time and talent. A better story for your career, leveraging your reputation and relationships, will help you realize the effort.

FEW can help you advance your career in many ways.

Women’s History: 3 Leaders You Should Know

The tale of women in leadership roles is also a story of suffering and sacrifice.

With undying persistence, that’s how they overcome and move ahead.

The National Women’s History Museum, one of Federally Employed Women’s sponsors, hosts a collection of stories about important figures in women’s history.

The following are excerpts from the collection; here are three leaders that FEW members should know.

Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for her work advocating for the rights of women and girls.

Her father, who played a pivotal role in her life, was a teacher who ran a girls’ school in Pakistan, where the family lived. He believed Yousafzai should have all of the same opportunities as boys. But by the time she turned 10, Taliban extremists took control of their region. And before long, girls were banned from attending school. Owning a television, playing music and dancing were all prohibited.

By 2009, the Taliban had destroyed more than 400 schools. As a response to the dismantling of girls’ education in her country, Yousafzai started to blog secretly for the British Broadcasting Corporation about life under Taliban rule and her desire to go to school. Over the years, Yousafzai and her father began speaking out in support of girls’ education in the media. By 2011, she was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize. Although she didn’t win, she did earn Pakistan’s National Youth Peace Prize.

But that type of recognition made her a target.

On October 9, 2012, the 15-year-old was on a bus returning from school with her friends. Two members of the Taliban stopped the bus and asked, “Who is Malala?” When they identified her, they shot Yousafzai in the head.

Fortunately, she was airlifted to a Pakistani military hospital and then taken to an intensive care unit in England. Although she suffered no brain damage, the left side of her face was paralyzed.

On her 16th birthday, Yousafzai spoke at the United Nations and published her autobiography entitled, “I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban.” She was awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought by the European Parliament for her activism.

In 2014, Yousafzai and her father established a fund to advocate for women and girls around the world. Later that year, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, becoming the youngest person to be named a Nobel laureate at the age of 17.

To read more of her story and other special women, visit the National Women’s History Museum.

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou is a world-famous author, known as a pioneer for her autobiographical writing style, as well as a poet, dancer, singer, activist and scholar.

Her work was influenced by a traumatic childhood event at the age of 7 years old when she was raped by her mother’s boyfriend. The perpetrator was killed upon his release from prison. As a result, Angelou felt her confession about the sexual abuse played a role in the man’s death, and she became mute for six years.

In the 1950s, African American writers in New York City formed the Harlem Writers Guild to nurture and support the publication of Black authors. Angelou was one of the Guild’s early members. During these years, Angelou began writing her most famous work, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, an autobiography of her life. The book was published in 1969, and she was nominated for the National Book Award the same year. Her autobiography has since been translated into numerous languages, and it has sold more than a million copies.

Angelou is also noted for her many and varied singing and dancing styles, including her calypso music performances. She has written numerous poetry volumes, such as her first book of poetry, entitled Just Give me a Drink of Water ‘fore I Diiie. She has also recorded spoken albums of her poetry, including “On the Pulse of the Morning,” for which she won the Grammy for Best Spoken Album in 1994. The poem was originally written for and delivered at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration in 1993. She also won a Grammy in 1996 and again in 2003 for her spoken albums of poetry.

Angelou died on May 28, 2014. Several memorials were held in her honor including those at Wake Forest University and Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco.

To read more about her story and other special women, visit the National Women’s History Museum.

Gloria Steinem

Gloria Steinem, a journalist and trailblazing feminist, became one of the most visible leaders of the women’s movement in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

Steinem started her professional career as a journalist in New York, writing freelance pieces for various publications. Getting plumb assignments was tough for women in the late 1950s and 1960s, when men ran the newsrooms and women were largely relegated to secretarial and behind-the-scenes research roles. Steinem’s early articles tended to be for what was then called “the women’s pages,” lifestyle or service features about such female-centered or fashion topics as nylon stockings. Steinem once recalled that, “When I suggested political stories to The New York Times Sunday Magazine, my editor just said something like, ‘I don’t think of you that way.’”

Undeterred, Steinem pushed on, seeking more substantial social and political reporting assignments. She gained national attention in 1963 when Show magazine hired her to go undercover to report on the working conditions at Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Club. While Steinem’s expose—“I Was a Playboy Bunny”—revealed the not-so-glamorous, sexist and underpaid life of the bunny/waitresses, Steinem struggled to be taken seriously as a journalist after this assignment. She worked hard to make a name for herself, and in 1968, she helped found New York magazine, where she became an editor and political writer.

At New York magazine, Steinem reported on political campaigns and progressive social issues, including the women’s liberation movement. In fact, Steinem first spoke publicly in 1969 at a speak-out event to legalize abortion in New York State, where she shared the story of the abortion she had overseas when she was 22 years old. The event proved life-changing, sparking Steinem’s feminism and engagement with the women’s movement. She attended and spoke at numerous protests and demonstrations, and her strong intellect and good looks made her an in-demand media guest and movement spokesperson.

In 1970, feminist activists staged a take-over of Ladies Home Journal, arguing that the magazine only offered articles on housekeeping but failed to cover women’s rights and the women’s movement. Steinem soon realized the value of a women’s movement magazine and joined forces with journalists Patricia Carbine and Letty Cottin Pogrebin to found Ms. magazine. It debuted in 1971 as an insert in New York magazine. In 1972, Ms. became an independent, regular circulation magazine. Steinem remained an editor and writer for the magazine for the next 15 years and continues in an emeritus capacity to the present.

Steinem’s life has been dedicated to the cause of women’s rights, as she led marches and toured the country as an in-demand speaker. In 1972, Steinem and feminists such as Congresswoman Bella Abzug, Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm and feminist Betty Friedan formed the National Women’s Political Caucus. It continues to support gender equality and to ensure the election of more pro-equality women to public office. Other organizations Steinem has co-founded in her vast career include the Women’s Action Alliance (1971), which promotes non-sexist, multi-racial children’s education; the Women’s Media Center (2004) to promote positive images of women in media; Voters for Choice (1977), a prochoice political action committee; and the Ms. Foundation for Women. In the 1990s, she helped establish Take Our Daughters to Work Day, the first national effort to empower young girls to learn about career opportunities.

In 2000, at age 66, the long single Steinem married for the first time in a Cherokee ceremony in Oklahoma. Her husband, entrepreneur and activist David Bale, sadly died of lymphoma four years later.

An award-winning and prolific writer, Steinem has authored several books, including a biography on Marilyn Monroe, and the best-selling My Life on the Road. Her work has also been published and reprinted in numerous anthologies and textbooks. In 2013, President Barack Obama presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor. In her honor, in 2017, Rutgers University created The Gloria Steinem Endowed Chair in Media, Culture and Feminist Studies.

To read more about her story and other special women, visit the National Women’s History Museum.

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. For more information, please visit FEW.org.

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 (few.org)

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 few.org.

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