Few organizations bring together as many professionals in and around government – for the purpose of advancing women and minorities – as Federally Employed Women (FEW).
FEW is a nonprofit advocacy group that works to improve the status of women employed by the federal government. The organization was founded in 1968 shortly after the government issued executive order 11375, which added an employee’s sex to the list of prohibited discrimination in federal government.
Now, a year after the birth of the global #MeToo movement on social media (bringing sexual assault and harassment to the forefront of discussions and policy), FEW is celebrating a legacy of 50 years.
In celebration of those 50 years and the progress the organization has made, FEW is holding its 49th annual National Training Program (NTP) that will bring together thousands of professionals across the country in and around government. The NTP aims to help government employees advance professionally and improve their workplaces through training on a range of topics, including senior executive core qualifications, compliance with the Equal Pay Act and affirmative employment, grant writing and professional development in the workforce.
Whether in federal or state and local government, there are plenty of reasons for every professional to attend the NTP. This year’s training takes place in Atlanta from July 16 to 20, with #MeToo resonating as a strong theme throughout.
To look back on the 50-year legacy of FEW and gain a peek into the future of the organization, GovLoop sat down with Executive Vice President and incoming National President of FEW, Karen Rainey.
For Rainey, her role is particularly rewarding because of the opportunity to foster strategic partnerships with a host of organizations and government agencies that support the important work that FEW does. “FEW tends to lead you into creating better leadership strategic plans or projects to help you move forward in your career,” Rainey said.
One crucial focus for Rainey’s administration is fostering outreach to more communities and younger demographics, as well as enhancing membership benefits. “In order to enhance our membership, because we are the organization of a diversified workforce, we are trying to reach out via social media to younger demographics and create more partnerships with media organizations like GovLoop,” she said.
Looking 50 years and beyond, Rainey is hoping that FEW “soars boldly to new heights.” “FEW is the organization that represents the voiceless of those who seek opportunities or a seat at the table within the federal sector,” she said. “We work to add diversity, equity and inclusion of women, to serve in leadership roles within our federal agencies and outside of them.”
For Rainey, soaring to new heights also means “working to impact the communities in which we live by building strategic leaders,” she said.
“We must continue to keep our standards high and live true to the inclusion of women and all people who are voiceless in their agencies,” Rainey concluded. “Each year we host the National Training Program where we offer courses that meet the needs of Office of Personnel Management Executive Core Competencies, which means we lead the opportunity for change. FEW helps lead people, we build coalitions and we create business acumen.”
For more articles about Federally Employed Women and the 49th National Training Program, click here.