The September GovFem Reading List

To write GovFem articles, we scour the internet daily for the 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 a weekly series. That’s why we created the GovFem Reading List, which highlights the top posts from around the web each month.

Get a mentor. Speak up. Seek flexible work opportunities. These and many other tidbits often get relayed to women as they try to advance their career. This September, many articles delved into this advice, investigating what really is and isn’t working for those trying to get ahead. Here are my top five suggestions for can’t-miss articles this month:

  1. Obama’s Female Staffers Came Up With a Genius Strategy to Make Sure Their Voices Were Heard  They call it “amplification” and it’s how female White House staffers are making their points heard and respected. If someone makes a great point, another woman echoes the point while giving credit to the author. That way, the voice of the original, possibly overlooked female staff is amplified. Read how it’s working in this article.
  2. The Curse of Flexible Work As we continue seeking the perfect work-life balance in government work, flexible work arrangements have become a go-to solution. However, while many agencies pursue different hours and telework policies, recent shows that flexible work may not be the silver bullet many hoped it would be. This BBC review explains how it can lead to guilt and actually encourage putting in more hours for the same job.
  3. Why More Women Than Ever are Putting Off Retirement Nevertheless, women do seem to be finding more ways to stay in the workforce longer. As this article explains, while women are still challenged to work full-time during traditional child-rearing ages, many are returning to the workplace and staying there.
  4. Asking Job Applicants Their Current Salary Could Become Illegal Nationwide Last year, OPM Director Cobert recommended that hiring managers avoid asking applicants about their salary history. That tactic, often used to set baseline expectations in hiring negotiations, has been shown to increase pay inequalities for women already underpaid. Now, Cobert’s advice may be a requirement thanks to three Congressional Representatives.
  5. Wanted: Female Candidates for Federal Office While more and more women are taking the oath of office, this election season has seen a decrease in women on the ballot. Both sides of the aisle are finding it difficult to get women to seriously run for federal office in the first place and many aren’t staying for extended tenures once they are elected. So what’s the key for recruitment and retainment? The article explains a few key ways women can make a federal service career work for them.

And 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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