4 Must-Read Articles About Women in May

With the new administration well under way to making reforms and budgeting for the future, it can be overwhelming to track who is being most impacted by what. What’s changing for the better? Who is worse off than they were before? For women especially, those questions are complex because there are so many different issues that can impact a woman’s success in the government workforce. However, there are a few articles from May that directly target the traditional “women’s issues” in government. Don’t miss out on them:

Trump Budgets Paid Parental Leave Plan Could Mean Higher State Taxes In May, the biggest news for women in government was the proposed addition of six weeks of paid parental leave for new parents. If it happens, the benefit will be a great advancement for female public servants (and their partners). However, there is some debate about if the proposed budget can really provide this benefit and, if it can, what it will cost other programs. This NPR recap is a great summary of the proposal and its potential impact.

Agencies Largely Maintain Small Business-Business Contracting BUT Women-Owned business contracting goals fell short of targets. The Small Business Administration released its annual scorecard in May. It found that $9 billion more was spent in 2015, compared to 2016, on small business contracts. However, only 4.79 percent of contract were awarded to women-owned small businesses – less than the 5 percent target.

For Army Infantry’s 1st Women, Heavy Packs and the Weight of History  A couple years ago, the Army’s Ranger School graduated its first female infantry soldiers. However, there was some criticism over the fact that those women were held to different physical standards than male comrades. But now a group of women have graduated from US Army infantry training as part of mixed-gender squads, held to the same standards as their male colleagues. This article offers a great glimpse into their lives and accomplishments.

Public Trust in Government Remains Near Historic Lows With so much happening in the government space, it’s hard to keep a mathematical perspective of whether women are winning or losing. However, sentiment seems more clear on the subject. As a recent Pew Research study reports, “Men are almost twice as likely as women to have a lot of confidence in the future of the U.S. today (53% vs. 29%).”

In case you missed them, check out this month’s other 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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Joyce

Just read the full article on 1st women in Infantry and making history. As a female veteran, more power to these women. I never wanted to be on the front line because some of us needed to be in the rear holding up the rear. Thanks for sharing the article.

I’m from the age called the “old boy network” from the 80s. It is still well and alive today. For the last two years I worked aimlessly on a special government project on the accounting side filling in sometimes when the supervisor left. When supervisor position opened,, I put in for it. The project manager, a male, not only hired another male, but a male outside of the government, who had retired from another county. I was very disappointed. I was the only government female on the contract, attending the weekly meetings, etc… Since the selection, I refused to attend anymore meetings, and only give input when asked. Call it a non team member, or whatever, I call it not engaging in the “old boy network” anymore.

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Tracey

Have you asked for feedback from the hiring official as to what qualifications you need to work on in order to be more competitive next time? It appears you are assuming that you were not hired because you are female. You may be making an incorrect assumption (or you may be right); you won’t really know until you ask. There may have been a specific attribute he was looking for that you lack. (fysa, I am a female supervisor)

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Joyce

I don’t think it was so much that I’m a female, more because who he hired was a male, retired with him from the police force, and they knew each other. I’ve been working for 30 years. I am quite aware when a position is filled not based on what you know, but “who” you know. I did not request feedback because we both knew I was qualified for the position. Some things you just know. In fact, he asked me if I wanted the position, even before it was advertised, I said yes. I’ve been a supervisor before. The “old boy network” looks out for each other. Thanks for your suggestions.

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JJ

Often the person they pick has little to no qualifications leaving people scratching their heads as to why. If those that hire only realize the intangible costs (loss of loyalty, visual sign of lack of integrity higher up, staff feeling disrespected) let alone the costs associated with the reduced productivity of an unqualified or unsuited person in that position. That “me, me, me what I want” mentality ripples downward.

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