Welcome to GovFem

Here at GovLoop, we spend a lot of time thinking about the characteristics, needs, and goals of our community. At a recent brainstorming session, we started listing some of these attributes. I noticed that a lot of our ideas—things like breaking into the boy’s club, balancing family planning with career planning, or combatting workplace sexism—were issues that specifically affected one half of our demographic: women. So I wondered, if there is a group in the GovLoop community with specific needs, shouldn’t we provide them with specific resources?

That’s the goal of GovFem, a new blog series to capture the female experience in government.

In weekly posts, GovFem will provide resources and career advice to help women succeed in the public sector. We will also highlight women excelling in all levels of government, and offer lessons from their leading examples. Finally, we will use GovFem to start a discussion in the GovLoop community and beyond about how we can make government a more inclusive work environment for women.

While we get GovFem up and running, check out some of our previous posts for women in government.

Not enough? We don’t think so, either. Stay tuned for more posts dedicated to the female experience in government.

Do you have a specific issue you’d like us to tackle through GovFem? Let us know in the comments section below!

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As a 21st century Federal Women’s Program Manager, I struggle with “what’s a women’s issue in government.” For example, family planning/career planning SHOULD NOT be (but usually is) viewed exclusively a “women’s issue”. Other than the specific time needed for birth and recovery, work/family challenges are not gender specific. Please write about the challenges, but don’t relegate them to a “just about women” section. Labeling a blog as “fem” (ugh) deters 1/2 the people who should engage in conversation about inclusivity.

Lee Andrese

Great idea.

Topic ideas:
– What does “Leaning In” look like in the government?
– What is unique about a woman working for the government vs. men? pros/cons discussion
– Are their agencies that are more family-friendly to provide parents (non gender specific) with flexibility to tend to family matters?
– How do career paths / earning potentials differ, if at all, for men and women in the government?

Carmen Batista

Lisa – I love the idea of including men in these discussions.

I’m excited to see that GovLoop has identified these items as priorities and particularly – I’m looking forward to a civil service perspective on family planning vs/and career planning. My department did a pilot project and I was able to bring my first baby to the office until she was 6 months. A bittersweet experience for sure. So many incredible women have been through having babies and leaning in (a la Ms. Sandberg) or scaling back and its important to discuss the different approaches that facilitate us keeping these talented ladies in our governments.


I like the name “GovFem”. For me, it recognizes the different ways that women or men experience their careers, their workplace and even government. I love this idea and wish you great success. I’ll be watching for more posts. Given the news from 2014 (Cosby, Ghomeshi, et al), I wonder if you might want a post about dealing with misogyny in the workplace.

Toni Messina

Yet, if not women, who is regularly raising these issues? It’s kind of like an effective marketing campaign: when you’re so sick of hearing the message you want to (insert your favorite way to dialing out), it may finally be getting through to others. If women are still the folks who own these issues, then we’re empowered to make change. Thanks for doing this!

Priyanka Oza

Good morning! I am delighted to see this new series. If it’s not new, I apologize. This is just the first time I am seeing it. I did the previous cycle of the featured bloggers program. I would love to get involved with GovFem anyway I can?

Hannah Moss

Hi Priyanka! There are tons of ways to get involved. I’m always looking for blog topic suggestions so please let me know if think of anything you would like covered by GovFem. Or if you know of anyone in government who you think could lend a unique perspective to our discussions, sending them our way for an interview would be great. Additionally, comments on any of our existing posts (found here: https://www.govloop.com/tag/govfem/) can help generate conversation. Finally, if you ever want to write a post for the series, just let me know! I can be reached at [email protected]

Beth Schill

I think just sharing stories of women in government (be it mentors, bosses, friends) and the great work they have done is excellent. Especially women who may not be as high profile as some – but rather the day-to-day managers.