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women

I am excited today to release an insightful report on Women in Federal Service, which draws on OPM’s deep reservoir of data to shine a light on opportunities for women in Federal service. One of my top priorities as Director of OPM is to make sure women have a seat at every decision table. This report not only illustrates our significant progress toward that goal, but also points to what we still need to accomplish.

For me, the first step in any challenge is to take a look at the data. We looked at how women are doing in the Federal workforce from the perspectives of work-life flexibilities, opportunities to move into leadership, and pay equity.

The data revealed some positive and gratifying trend lines. Women are increasingly moving into leadership roles compared to their counterparts a decade ago. Today, they make up 34.4 percent of senior executives in the Federal Government, compared to estimates of 14.6 percent in the private sector. Younger women are doing especially well. Women entering the workforce now are more likely to be on a management track than they were a decade ago. And while we are proud of the progress we’ve made, the data shows a lingering gender gap within our Senior Executive Service. Clearly, we have work to do.  

We’ve also made great progress closing the pay gap between women and men, especially in leadership positions. Within the Senior Executive Service, the pay gap is nearly non-existent. As of 2012, women made 99.2 cents on the dollar compared to men. The gap has also closed dramatically among women in the 25-to-34 age bracket, showing that younger women are more likely to be paid similarly to their male counterparts. We’re thrilled to see so much progress.

We also know that work-life flexibilities are crucial for women – and men. They want the ability to manage their personal lives outside of work, whether that means helping to take care of children or older parents. Among women who take advantage of workplace flexibility programs, more than three-quarters are satisfied with those opportunities. 

This report is just the start. I’m committed to making sure opportunities for women in government continue to grow. Last month, I unveiled the REDI Roadmap, which stands for Recruitment, Engagement, Diversity, and Inclusion and provides a data-driven strategy for helping agencies reach one of President Obama’s major workforce goals: a diverse and inclusive Federal workforce at every level of government.

We want to make sure that women are fully represented at every level of government to create a stronger Federal service.

This is an infographic of the Women's Report from the 2014 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey results. The top of the infographic shows the web address to the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey website at www.opm.gov/fevs and hashtag #FEVS.The infographic has 4 sections. In section 1, the title reads, Women in Federal Service, A Seat at Every Table. United States Office of Personnel Management. This section also shows a series of women and men avatars seated around a table.  OPM Director Katherine Archuleta's quote reads:  We're working hard to remove the barriers to women having seats at decision tables at every level of Federal service. In section 2, the Title reads, Leadership. Image of a pie chart that shows 14.6 percent of women executives in the private sector. Another image of a pie chart which shows 34 percent of women executives in senior executive service positions in the Federal workforce. Also in section 2, the Title reads, Workplace Flexibilities. Image of a bar chart which represents men and women who are satisfied with workplace flexibilities, like telework, child care, and the alternative work schedule. Section 3 shows images of people representing Federal employees and their family members, from babies to the elderly who benefit from work life policies. OPM Director Katherine Archuleta's quote reads,  our work life policies are continually evolving to make the balance of caring for families and pursuing a career complementary, rather than contradictory. In section 4, the title reads, Closing the Pay Gap. The subtitle reads, Federal Women Executives in senior executive service positions. Image 1 shows the amount of money females in senior executive service positions were paid to the dollar compared to their male counterparts. In 1992, it was 97.6 cents. In 2012, it was 99.2 cents. Under the subtitle, Federal Women in White Collar Jobs, in 1992, women in White Collar Jobs were paid 70 cents to the dollar. In 2012, Women in White Collar Jobs were paid 87 cents to the dollar. This section also shows women and men avatars seated around a table. Images of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management's social media accounts. Find U.S. OPM on Twitter at https://twitter.com/usopm. Find OPM Director on Twitter at https://twitter.com/OPMDirector. Find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/USOPM. Find us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/usopm. Find us on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/company/opm. Find us on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/user/USOPM, and find us on Instagram at https://instagram.com/opmdirector/.The very bottom of the infographic shows the web address to the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey website at www.opm.gov/fevs and hashtag #FEVS.


As we celebrate Women’s History Month, I want to highlight OPM’s commitment to ensuring that all women -- and men -- are offered the flexibilities they need to be productive, satisfied members of the Federal workforce. OPM encourages agencies to help their employees balance the needs of their lives inside and outside of work.

In January, the President signed a memorandum titled, Modernizing Federal Leave Policies for Childbirth, Adoption, and Foster Care to Recruit and Retain Talent and Improve Productivity.  It directs agencies to advance Federal workers up to six weeks paid sick leave to care for a new child or ill family member. In his State of the Union address, the President also called on Congress to enact legislation to provide Federal workers with up to six weeks of paid parental leave.

The President’s memorandum builds on this past June’s White House Summit on Working Families, an event that explored a variety of issues important to working families, including workplace flexibility. OPM is contributing to these efforts by developing a handbook on Leave for Pregnancy, Childbirth, Adoption, and Foster Care. I believe it is important for Federal employees and their managers to fully understand our policies related to family life events. We do not want women to feel that they must choose between their responsibilities to their family and their obligations to their careers.

To develop the handbook, we are partnering with Federal agencies to gather information on existing workplace flexibilities and work-life programs. OPM is asking agency leave experts to identify common questions and misconceptions. This summer, we will analyze the data we receive and send a report to the President. This document will describe best practices, barriers, and limitations in achieving work-life balance. It also will suggest possible solutions to roadblocks that working families encounter.

OPM has long had in place policies that make it easier for women to meet their full career potential. We’ve created flexible work schedules, expanded sick leave to include caring for family members who are ill, developed telework policies, and come closer to eliminating the gender pay gap.

Sensible workplace polices like these are an integral part of OPM’s Recruitment, Engagement, Diversity, and Inclusion – or REDI – roadmap. REDI provides agencies with the tools to attract, hire, promote, and retain top talent for the Federal government and build a model workforce now, and the future.

Our work-life policies are continually evolving to make the balance of caring for families and pursuing a career complementary, rather than contradictory. The women who have come before us have set an incredible example of dedicated Federal service. We hope to honor their contributions by doing all that we can to meet the needs of women today.

Director Archuleta meets with women in Tampa, Florida.


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