Is the key to success women? Plus Your Weekend Reads!

Welcome to GovLoop InsightsIssue of the Week with Chris Dorobek where each week, our goal is to find an issue — a person — an idea — then helped define the past 7-days.

Among our items this week:

  • Former CIO of DOT Speaks on the Transition: What does the transition from President Obama’s first term to his second term mean for political appointees and career staff? Dan Mintz, former CIO of the Department of Transportation weighs in on the transition. Mintz was part of the transition team after former President Bush’s second term. So what tops his list for political appointees? Here’s a hint, get to know the career folks.
  • Transition Turmoil Is No Joke— De-mystifying the Second Term’s Revolving Door: The second term revolving door is no myth. Already Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has made it clear she wants to move on. So who will fill her role? And how should you prepare during the uncertainty? We get insights from the Partnership for Public Service.
  • Priorities preview for the newly elected – Leadership/Sequestration? The election brought big changes to the House and Senate too. So what should these newly elected or in many cases re-elected folks be focusing on? Leadership and Sequestration? We’ve got the full list of federal priorities on tap in Congress.
  • 4 Years of Tech Challenges — Are We Really Moving Forward? 4 years in any technology cycle is a lifetime. Think about this – 4 years ago BYOD wasn’t even a possibility and tablets still seemed like a dream. So how can the government keep up? And more importantly how can the government utilize the latest and greatest technology to support its mission?

But our issue of the week: women in politics.

Got kids? If so, you might just be a better leader – especially if you’re a woman. And if last week’s elections are any indication women are proving their leadership prowess in the Senate, House and Governor’s office.

But that we still have a long road ahead for women to really be represented in our legislatures.

Kathleen Schafer is the founder of leadership connection. She told Chris Dorobek on the DorobekINSIDER program that politics, business and the economy all run better when women are involved.

Why Not More Female Leaders?

“We have industries and politics who still do not value the skills women bring in terms of their leadership. They dismiss a person if they can’t be at their desk for 12 hours a day, they think those people don’t value their work. That’s simply not true,” said Schafer.

Changing Role of Women

“Two decades ago a record number of women were elected to our nation’s highest legislative offices. In 1992, California became the first state to send two women Senators to Washington; they were joined by two other newcomers to triple the number of women serving in the Senate to a whopping six! Those yearning for a shift in our legislative bodies to reflect our population were buoyed by these victories and an energetic group of female political consultants logged tens of thousands of miles crisscrossing the country, training women to run for public office in hopes of changing the face of Washington. Twenty years later, 20 women will be sworn into the 113th Congress as Senators and a record setting 77 (or more) women in the House of Representatives. While a milestone on the road of progress, is 20 percent representation something to be celebrated?” said Schaffer.

Winning at All Costs

“This is the leadership that is needed throughout our political system—to transform the mentality of winning at all costs into sensible and pragmatic progress. We need the women who have made the choice to enter Congress to bring with them their balanced leadership approach and not to fall prey to boys-club mentality that perpetuates might-makes-right attitudes that keep so many promising women away from elective office. Anyone familiar with Capitol Hill knows that some of the most notorious Members are the women who tout their gender for electoral support and then turn their back on their female staff when it comes to shifting a political system that caters to masculine mores,” said Schafer

Weekend reads

  • Predictive Analytics: Today, government is challenged like never before. In an era of budget cuts, increasing demands for services, and increasingly complex government transactions, government officials are pressed to think of new ways of thinking and innovative solutions to complex problems.
  • Think Our Troops Are Safe From Sequestration? They Aren’t. The National Journal reports, One glaring casualty has gotten far less notice: the military’s $37 billion health account. In designing the trigger mechanism, members of Congress were careful to make sure that the men and women in uniform wouldn’t suffer because of the cuts—but not careful enough. Now, without a compromise on Capitol Hill during the lame-duck session, the deal the committee crafted would cause a rollback in health benefits for active-duty troops, veterans, and their families.
  • A Cybersecurity bill might not be dead in the water. Federal News Radio reports, The leading Senate Republican is breathing new life into getting a comprehensive cybersecurity bill passed this year. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ken.) said on the Senate floor that he expects to bring the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 back up for consideration with amendments after the Senate completes work on the Defense Authorization and Intelligence Authorization bills.

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