The 5 Things Successful Women in Government Do

February 4, 2013

When it comes to women’s achievements, few compare to the rising roles of women in government. In Obama’s first term cabinet, five women were tasked with providing the president key insight into running government. Although the path to gender parity in government leadership positions is slow, women continue to make strides in in achieving top positions. However, January saw an exodus of high-profile female members of the president’s cabinet, including Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and Deputy Chief of Staff Nancy-Ann DeParle. So far, no cabinet appointments have made up for the gap in exiting female leadership. White House press secretary Jay carney has asked the public to reserve judgment until more appointments are made.

With judgment reserved, one can’t help but wonder about women’s role in federal leadership. Often, high performing federal officials are plucked from agencies to fill second term appointments. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), women make up about 44 percent of the federal workforce. Therefore, women are almost on equal playing field with men to compete for these positions. And yet a gap persists.

Education is not the reason. On average, working women tend to be more educated than men. In 1970, 22 percent of women in the labor force had either attended some college or graduated with a degree. By 2010, about 67 percent of women now have at least some college education.

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