The February GovFem Reading List

To write GovFem articles, I scour the internet everyday for the newest and best articles and op-eds about women working in the public sector. While many of those articles end up in our GovFem posts, we unfortunately can’t cover them all in the weekly series. That’s why we created the GovFem Reading List, which highlights the top posts from around the web each month.

This February, I came across more than a few news articles and studies that impressed how much more work we have to do in the feminist fight. Here are the top five worth reading:

1. Parental Leave Changes for Feds (Or Not)
Sometimes no news is good news. When it comes to paid parental leave for feds, that is not the case. While many people hoped the 2017 fiscal budget would press for more (especially after the DoD upped its paid leave to 12 weeks for military mothers), it ended up supporting the same, not-yet-passed proposals for just six weeks of paid parental leave in government.

2. Women-Owned Businesses Aren’t Getting Government Contracts
Bad news from the Commerce Department. In a new report, they announced that women-owned businesses are 21% less likely to win a federal contract when competing against similar companies. What’s the deal? This article from Fast Company explores a few potential reasons, including female entrepreneur’s difficulty fairly accessing capital.

3. More Millennial Women Plan to Pause Their Careers for Kids
Maybe it’s not surprising given the lack of robust maternity benefits, but more young women are starting to think about putting their careers on hold to raise a family. A survey of Harvard Business School alumni found that 37 percent of millennial women planned to interrupt their career for family, with 28 percent of Generation X women and 17 percent of baby boomers. This article examines why that’s the case.

4. How Older Women Are Reshaping U.S. Job Market
“In 1992, one in 12 women worked past age 65. That number is now around one in seven. By 2024, it will grow to almost one in five, or about 6.3 million workers, according to Labor Department projections,” says this Wall Street Journal article. That’s especially noteworthy because the percentage of every other category of U.S. worker has been static or declined. This article explains why this is happening, with some great workforce data to back it up.

5. Draft Registration for Women Would Stir a Sleep Government Agency
Last month, members of the Senate Armed Service Committee said women should be required to register for the draft, now that all military combat positions are open to them. While this article starts off explaining how the U.S. Selective Service Service might ramp up to accomodate a nearly 100% increase in registrations, it goes on to explore what other implications draft requirements for women might have.

And in case you missed them, catch up on this month’s GovFem posts:


Every month, GovFem compiles a list of the top articles about women in government from around the web. If you have an article you think should be included in next month’s reading list, email [email protected] with your suggestions.

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