Page 26 - Foreign Service Journal - May 2013

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26
MAY 2013
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THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
sador to the Holy See from 1997 to 2001, presented a humorous,
insightful talk about the wives of the Founding Fathers. “You’d
Tink Men Did It Alone” amplifed many of the themes of gender
equality that EW@S works to address.
Other speakers have included Terry O’Neill, president of the
National Organization for Women, who posed the question:
“Has the Glass Ceiling Cracked?” George Washington University
Professor Allida Black shared lessons from one of the great women
leaders of the 20th century in “Eleanor Roosevelt, Not Invisible
Ten or Now,” while Georgetown University Professor Deborah
Tannen translated the mysteries of workplace communication in
her presentation on “Women, Language and Authority.”
During this year’s Women’s History Month observance, dis-
tinguished author and evolutionary theorist Riane Eisler set forth
the principles of a caring economy to explain her premise that
“What’s Good for Women Is Good for the World.”
Advocating for Diversity and Women’s
Advancement
Meetings of EW@S board members with senior State leaders
have ofered opportunities to infuence the department’s diver-
sity activities and information. As a result of one such meeting,
EW@S was invited to submit recommendations and work with
the Ofce of Human Resources to improve the transparency of
diversity statistics. Tis led to publication of gender-disaggregated
Foreign Service promotion statistics in the June 2012 issue of
State
magazine. As former EW@S President Julie Gianelloni Connor
observed, “Tat was the result of fve years of efort.”
Beginning in 2008 and again in 2011, EW@S board members
had compiled these statistics informally by extrapolating from
bureau and post leadership listings, award and promotion lists,
and other published sources. Tat approach presented a variety
of challenges, from determining who held the information to
addressing the ambiguity of certain names: “Does anyone know if
Robin (or Marion or Leigh) is a male or a female?”
Impressed with the openness achieved by this collaboration,
representatives from another federal agency asked, “How did you
accomplish this? Our human resources ofce treats this infor-
mation like an ofcial secret.”Te answer is simple: steady and
repeated EW@S engagement with department principals and HR
professionals to promote greater transparency in the availability of
diversity statistics, resulting in changes that beneft not just EW@S
but all diversity groups.
We also coordinate or co-sponsor many events at State each
year. A recent panel, “Looking Beyond State: Opportunities for
Civil Service Employees,” was so oversubscribed that it had to be
moved from a conference room to the Loy Henderson Audi-
torium. More than 130 people attended, and the programwas
recorded to make it available to many others. (Te video is posted
on EW@State’s SharePoint site.)
Similarly, a brown-bag mentoring session we held in the Main
State cafeteria, “How to Present Yourself for Success,” attracted so
many attendees that the original table space had to be doubled.
Our quarterly networking breakfasts are also popular, draw-
ing 40-60 women to start the day over cofee and pastry while
exchanging business cards and professional information.
Still a Way to Go
We have also learned from other federal agencies’ practices. In
June 2012, Stephanie Miller, the director for diversity management
Georgetown University Professor Deborah Tannen (ffth from right), Director of the Ofce of Civil Rights John Robinson (fourth from
left), Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy (fourth from right) and EW@S board members (left to right) Cathy
Walker, Sandy Robinson, Kelly Kiederling, then-EW@S Vice President Cynthia Saboe, Betty Swope, Joan Corbett, then-EW@S President
Julie Gianelloni Connor, Georgia Hubert and Monica O’Keefe. EW@S and OCR sponsored Dr. Tannen’s talk on workplace communication,
“Women, Language and Authority,” for the 2010 observance of Women’s History Month at State.