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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 25, 2004
Contact: Edmund Byrnes
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Special Assistant Addresses the Need for Women to Continue to Excel

Details the launch of the new Senior Executive Candidate Development Program to recruit leaders for the 21st Century -- Cites the fact that the percentage of women in higher grade levels has increased in some cases 25 fold

Washington, D.C. - During an address to 200 members of Executive Women in Government, U.S. Office of Personnel Management Senior Policy Advisor Doris Hausser spoke on behalf of OPM Director Kay Coles James, thanking them for the work they do on behalf of the American people and President George W. Bush. Hausser also discussed the need to continue to bring women into all federal service ranks, particularly the executive service.

"Director James has often said that the President gave her one of the best jobs in Washington," said Hausser. "As Director of OPM, she has the privilege of overseeing the federal civil service, safeguarding the merit system principles, protecting veterans' preference and making sure we have a diverse workforce. She is very supportive of the work you do. As a federally employed woman, I stand on your shoulders because you paved the way and made it possible for so many of us who are here today."

In addition to her lauding the audience for what they've accomplished, Hausser detailed a new executive development program for individuals of exceptional talent. "OPM is launching a governmentwide Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program to prepare qualified men and women and give them the skills necessary to be in the Senior Executive Service."

And while James has called for more help for women, Hausser pointed out the strides they have made, naming members of the President's cabinet. "In past years, women were expected to be nurses, teacher and secretaries. Today, women still aspire to be secretaries…except they may become the next Ann Veneman, Secretary of Agriculture, Gale Norton, Secretary of the Interior, and Elaine Chao, Secretary of Labor. Yes, the diverse group of women in the Bush Administration are more integrated and more involved at the senior level than ever before."

According to OPM, the number of women throughout the federal government continues to increase. Between 1998 and 2003, there was an 18 percent increase in the number of female senior executives. The most recent stats also show, for that same period, the percentage of female supervisors has gone up, as have the number of women in GS-14 and GS-15 positions.

While progress has indeed been made, Hausser said: "The percentage of women in the higher grade levels in today's government has increased in some cases 25 fold. The progress is significant, but we are not entirely there yet. Our young women getting out of college today have so many choices for a career. We have to work harder than ever to recruit them for a job in the federal workforce."

In closing, Hausser said: "Women in the federal workforce have taken advantage of the opportunities made available to them. You should be incredibly proud of the precedents you have set. Women bring a very unique passion to the public service arena. It is a selfless passion born of the most basic of instincts - defending our home and protecting our family. When the stakes are that high - as they are today - there is almost no sacrifice that women will not make. We become incredibly passionate, incredibly tenacious in our work. And if we are going to make those kinds of sacrifices away from our families, then we are going to put forth our full effort to ensure that it truly is worth the sacrifice."

- end -

Our mission is to Recruit, Retain and Honor a World-Class Workforce to Serve the American People. OPM supports U.S. agencies with personnel services and policy leadership including staffing tools, guidance on labor-management relations and programs to improve work force performance.


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