Federal Women’s Leadership Forum
Articles,  Blog

Federal Women’s Leadership Forum


Well, good morning. Good afternoon. I have
to say, welcome. Welcome to the White House. It is especially wonderful to have this group
assembled and for this particular cause. Again, welcome to the White House. We’re really excited
about today’s summit. My name is Tonya Robinson, and I’m the Special
Assistant to the President for Justice and Regulatory Policy, but for today’s purposes,
I will be your emcee, and perhaps more accurately, a relentless timekeeper, just by way of warning. [laughter] Thanks to the good work of the office of personnel,
management, and their many partners in planning today’s summit, including the President’s
Equal Pay Task Force. Really thanks to them, we have an exciting lineup of speakers, a
very impressive and thought-provoking pair of panels, which will include both testimonials
and perhaps most importantly, strategies to enable one’s career advancement, and also,
critically, we have an assembly of women. You, us, an assembly that now officially composes
both an important and growing segment of the federal workforce. I think for me, the opportunity
to fellowship may be as important as the substantive career information that I know our expert
presenters will share to day. So again, welcome. We have a truly great afternoon
ahead of us. Let me cover a few housekeeping items. First, again, we owe a huge debt to
OPM, and in particular to Veronica Villalobos, who is in the rear here, and her team. [applause] Tonya: Veronica and her team in the Office
of Diversity and Inclusion have really taken the Herculean effort to stand up this summit
today and the webinars that will follow. So many thanks to Veronica. We really appreciate
the great work. Second, and critically important, the restrooms
can be found beyond each exit. You’ll want to leave the room, enter the building that
surrounds this auditorium, and there will be restrooms along each hallway. And then
third, as a reminder, this event is closed press. We ask everyone, including anyone who
has media credentials, to abide by the expectations that accompany that designation. With that, allow me to introduce our first
speaker, who in addition to being a leader on the president’s equal pay task force is
a fierce advocate for women’s advancement in the workplace. Jacqueline Berrien was sworn
in as chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on April 7th, 2010. In announcing her nomination, the president
said wisely and accurately, “Jacqueline Berrien has spent her entire career fighting to give
voice to underrepresented communities and protect our most basic rights.” Really, nothing could be more true. Chair
Berrien came to the EEOC from the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund where she served
as associate director council for five and a half years. In that position, she reported
directly to the organization’s president and director council and assisted with the direction
and implementation of LDS, national legal advocacy and scholarship programs. From 2001 to 2004, she was a program officer
in the governance and civil society unit of the Ford Foundation’s Peace and Social Justice
Program where she administered more than 13 million dollars in grants to promote greater
local participation by underrepresented groups and remove barriers to civic engagement. During her tenure with the Ford foundation,
she also co-chaired to the funder’s committee for civic participation, a philanthropic affinity
group affiliated with the Council of Foundations. Before joining the Ford Foundation, Chair
Berrien practiced civil rights law for more than 15 years. Between 1994 and 2001, she
was an assistant council with LDF, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, where
she coordinated all of LDF’s work in the area of voting rights, political participation,
and represented voters and proceedings before the US Supreme Court, federal, state, appellate,
and trial courts. Between 1987 and 1994, she worked as an attorney
with the voting rights project of the lawyers committee for the civil rights under law here
in Washington, D.C. and with the national legal department and women’s rights project
of the American Civil Liberties Union in New York. She began her legal career in 1986 working
as a law clerk to the honorable, U. W. Clemon, the first African-American district court
judge in Birmingham, Alabama. She has published several articles on issues related to race,
gender discrimination, and was appointed to the adjunct faculty of New York Law School
in 1995. Chair Berrien also has taught trial advocacy
at Harvard and Fordham Law Schools. She is a graduate of my alma mater, Harvard Law School,
where she served as general editor of the Harvard Civil Rights/Civil Liberties Law Review.
She received her Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in government from Oberlin College
and also completed a major in English. In her junior year at Oberlin, perhaps as
a harbinger of things to come, she received the Harry S. Truman Scholarship in recognition
of her leadership potential and commitment to a career in public service. I give you
with great pleasure the chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Chair Berrien. [applause] Jacqueline Berrien: Thank you, Tonya, for
that very kind introduction. I want to thank all of you for being here. I just had that
moment of horror of was that my phone. [laughs] I guess that gives an opportunity to remind
people to mute or silence their phones. You’ve heard a little bit about me but I think
the thing that’s important to share at the outset with you is as I stand here today I
am inevitably reminded of my mother who came to Washington DC in 1950 to work for the federal
government. She was a student nurse at Freedman’s Hospital
and her service as a student nurse at Freedman’s allowed her to get a nursing certificate to
become a registered nurse and to pursue the living that made it possible for me and my
brother to have many, many opportunities and privileges as children, just tremendous opportunities. As I stand before you, I am certainly bringing
my remarks on behalf of the agency that I have been privileged to lead and serve since
2010, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and I am certainly representing
this government and this administration as I stand before you. I also stand before you
as the daughter of a woman who retired from the federal civil service after more than
two decades of service. As someone who actually entered the federal
workforce myself in my senior year of high school at the very bottom of the GS scale,
I am that GS2. If you wondered if there was one, I was one. [laughs] I see some others
in the house. It is significant. Frankly, it is something that I am proud to
share, that the first time I walked into a federal government agency was not to lead
it but, in fact, as a GS2 clerk typist and as one who experienced in that way what I
know is more similar to what the vast majority of people experience when they enter the federal
workforce. So I have an appreciation for that, as well. That all makes me especially happy to be a
part of this inaugural federal Women’s Leadership Summit. I want to thank our colleagues at
the Office of Personnel Management and particularly Veronica Villalobos and her colleagues at
OPM for organizing this event together with our colleagues at the EEOC, particularly Vita
Hurst who is not here today but is represented by others from the Office of Human Resources,
namely our CHCO, our Chief Human Capital Office, Lisa Williams, who’s here. I would like to take a moment of personal
privilege and ask if all of our EEOC colleagues could just stand or wave so you can be recognized. [applause] Jacqueline: Thank you all. It is absolutely
true that I could not do what I do without the contributions of these people who are
a small number of our staff, our 2,300 plus employees across the country. It is a real
honor to represent you all here today. I also stand here representing the members
of the commission. There are currently five of us representing both parties, as Congress
envisioned with the EEOC was created. We are, at this moment, for the first time in the
history of the commission, all women. Yeah, I think you should applaud that. [applause] Jacqueline: We also are joined by our presidentially
appointed colleague General Counsel David Lopez. I represent them as well here today. I would like to say a special thanks to Tonya,
not only for that introduction but to her, the Domestic Policy Council on Women and Girls,
not only for your support for today’s event and hosting today’s event but for your leadership
on issues effecting women and girls, not only in the United States but across the globe.
We are very, very fortunate to have you as our colleague and as our supporter, so I thank
you. And to my colleagues on the National Equal
Pay Enforcement Task Force who are also here in large numbers. It’s great to see you all,
as always, and I am honored to be able to work with you all. As I think you all may know, this month is
the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act, which was the law passed by Congress to address
the problem of pay disparities between men and women. The road to the passage of the
Equal Pay Act was long and paved by thousands of women and men dedicated to the goal of
equal pay for equal work. The National Labor Union advocated for equal
pay for equal work as early as 1868. In 1918 and in 1942, during both the First and Second
World Wars, the National War Labor Board urged employers to pay women the same wages they
pay to men in jobs supporting the war efforts. These 19th and early 20th century advocates
helped give birth to the movement to pass the Equal Pay Act decades later in much the
same way that those men and women and children who were part of the March on Washington in
August 50 years ago helped to pave the way for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which created
the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. When President John F. Kennedy signed the
Equal Pay Act in 1963 he said the act was to affirm the nation’s, and I quote, “Determination
that when women enter the labor force they will find equality in their pay envelope.”
At that time, women comprised only about 33 percent of the US non-farm payrolls and were
paid, on average, 59 cents for every dollar paid to men. With the passage of the Civil Rights Act of
1964, one year later, the EEOC was created and was charged with investigating and remedying
instances of wage discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, and national
origin. In 1978, responsibility for enforcing the
Equal Pay Act was transferred to the EEOC and provided the EEOC additional tools for
addressing pay differentiation based on sex. Nevertheless, today the overall pay gap between
men and women stands at roughly 23 cents on the dollar. The figures are worse for African
American women and for Latinas who earn only 64 cents and 56 cents, respectively, for every
dollar earned by a white male. Older women and women with disabilities are also at a
disadvantage in terms of earnings. While some of the overall pay gap between
men and women can be attributed to non-discriminatory factors such as occupation and hours worked.
Even controlling for such factors, there is still a significant pay gap. Closing that
gap is the work and the focus of the National Equal Pay Enforcement Task Force, which was
created in 2010 and launched by President Obama. As a member of the National Equal Pay Enforcement
Task Force, the EEOC and the Office of Personnel Management, our partner, have focused not
only on remedying the issue of pay discrimination in the private sector work forces of this
country but have also focused on addressing the pay gap once and for all that exists for
federal employees. While the federal pay gap is somewhat smaller
than that for private sector employees, it, nevertheless, still exists. That continued
existence is something that we find intolerable and unacceptable and is a focus of much of
our work today. We know that there’s unfinished business that
we have to address. According to a 2009 government accountability office report, between 1988
and 2007 the gender pay gap for federal employees fell from 28 cents to 11 cents on the dollar.
The decline is a good sign, but it has not gone far enough. We want to see zero. We know that we can reach that working together
with all of you and working across the government with the leaders of the government who, like
us, share the commitment to making sure that the federal government is a model employer
for this nation. Overall participation of women in the federal
workforce has increased considerably from about 35 percent in 1982 to roughly 43 percent
in 2010. The average grade of women federal employees who are graded under the general
schedule, or GS, that is familiar to all of us has increased from GS5 in 1972 to GS10
in 2010. However, we also know that there are still
fewer women than men serving in the senior executive service. Women’s percentage of federal
senior pay levels in 1982 was at about six percent. By 2010 it had risen to approximately
30 percent. Once again, we have come a long way but we
know that we have further still to go. Things have been moving in the right direction in
several critical respects for women in the federal government, but they have not moved
far enough or fast enough. That is why we are all here today. There’s a tremendous line-up of speakers who
you will hear from today who will help to address some of the specific concerns or issues
that are challenges for women in the federal workforce and in the nation’s workplaces in
general. They will provide you with some skills and strategies to address those challenges
and, most importantly, by bringing you all together today we hope that you will be empowered
to work more closely together to address some of the challenges you find as women who are
rising in the federal workforce. We know how important it is to have the opportunity
to come together to meet your peers and to find role models in and across the federal
workforce and the federal governments. That is one of the important functions that this
event is serving, as well. As Tonya was introducing me, I smiled when
I remembered the first meeting I attended where she was presiding. Shortly after we
shook hands she said, “We met when you were an attorney at the legal defense fund and
I was an intern for what’s now Legal Defense Fund and is now Legal Momentum.” And it’s
a very powerful and personal, but I think relevant, example of the power of networks. And the importance of realizing that as important
as a supervisor may be or someone who is in a position that you might aspire to reach
maybe, it is equally important that your relationships with peers are strong. It is equally important
that you are not only mentored but that you are a mentor at all times to people in the
workforce. And we know that that is also a part of the
secret of women succeeding and advancing in federal sector and private sector workforces.
So I encourage you not only to hear today but to take the time throughout the day to
meet each other to get to know each other. And to think about ways that you can carry
that aspect of this day forward in your work and in your lives. We’ve helped to bring you all together today,
but I think we would be disappointed if today is the last time that you all are together
or that you all are in contact. So we hope that will also be an outgrowth of this event.
I want to talk briefly about one of the important programs that the EEOC has underway and has
had underway for a number of years to address inequalities of all kinds in the federal work
force. In 2003 the EEOC adopted Management Directive
715 to identify the essential elements for structuring model equal employment opportunity
programs. Using MD715 reports that federal agencies are required to submit, we have been
able to identify a number of barriers to the advancement of women in the federal workplace
including gaps in pay, in advancement to managerial positions, and disparities in women’s employment,
especially in law enforcement and scientific positions. As a result of those findings, we’ve worked
with a group of women from across the government and from across our agency to better understand
some of the barriers that might prevent women in the workforce from advancing. And we’re
seeking feedback from federal women through organizations like FEW. I see some FEW buttons in the room, or FEW
pins in the room. And I know that some of you are members of FEW. And we’ve also solicited
feedback through vehicles like our trading and technical system events such as last year’s
executive leadership conference, which the EEOC sponsored. We’re developing a report and we look forward
to sharing the findings of our work group on women in the federal government with you
very soon. We know that understanding the problem is a big part of being able to address
and remedy it. So we look forward to sharing those results with you. And to working with
you, more importantly, to try to correct and remedy and ultimately remove altogether the
barriers that prevent women from advancing in the federal workforce. In closing I would just like to underscore
something that again represents the special partnership that the office of personnel management
and the EEOC have in working on issues of equality and equal employment opportunity
for federally employed women. Just about two years ago, in August of 2011,
then OPM director John Barry and I issued a joint memorandum on equal pay in the federal
government. And we pledged that we would work together to ensure the most rigorous possible
enforcement of equal pay laws in federal sector employment. Since then the office of personnel management
has additionally worked closely with the administration. And in May of 2013, President Obama issued
a presidential memorandum to the heads of executive departments and agencies which required
development of a government wide strategy for advancing pay equality in federal employment. The presidential memorandum calls on agencies
to provide information on policies and practices for setting salaries for new employees, policies
and practices that affect salaries of employees returning to the workplace after leave, and
other policies and practices that affect or may improve gender pay equity. I raised these as only a few examples of some
of the things that the EEOC and its partners in the national equal pay enforcement task
force have done and are doing to address the persistent pay gap and inequality between
men and women in federal and private sector workforces. The EEOC is proud to be a part of this effort.
I am proud to be the chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and I pledge to you
that we will continue to dedicate ourselves to the goal of equal pay in the federal workforce,
the private sector workforce, and state and local government workforces. As we recognize the 50th anniversary of the
Equal Pay Act and as we celebrate the progress that we’ve made with you today, we also recognize
the distance that we still have to travel. Or to paraphrase my favorite poet, Robert
Frost, “We have miles to go before we sleep.” So please join with us and partner with us
and continue to work with us as we try to close the gender pay gap once and for all
and assure that this nation’s greatest promise, equal employment opportunity, is fulfilled
in this century. Thank you. [applause] Tonya: Well, many thanks to Chair Berrien
and let’s give her another round of applause. Allow me to also pause a moment since we are
now at 12:30 and I believe we are being joined by the members of SAIGE. Allow me to welcome
them. The Society of American Indian Government
Employees who are joining us by web cast from their ongoing conference on the west coast.
So welcome to SAIGE, it’s great to have you with us. And next, allow me to introduce the president’s
most senior adviser on domestic policy, the president’s lead adviser on some of the most
challenging and high profile White House priorities. A mentor to many women here at the White House
and beyond and just an extraordinarily kind and goodhearted human. Cecilia Muñoz. And
I’m not just saying that because she’s my boss. [laughter] Well, not entirely because she’s my boss.
Cecilia is the director of the Domestic Policy Council, which coordinates the domestic policy
making process in the White House. Prior to this role, she served as Deputy Assistant
to the president and director of Intergovernmental Affairs, where she oversaw the administration’s
relationships with state and local governments. Before joining the Obama administration, Cecilia
served as Senior Vice President for the Office of Research Advocacy and Legislation at the
National Council of La Raza, the nation’s largest Latino civil rights organization. She supervised NCLR’s policy staff, covering
a variety of issues of importance to Latinos including civil rights, employment, poverty,
farm worker issues, education, health, housing, and immigration. Her particular area of expertise,
which will come as no surprise to anyone who’s been reading the papers of late, is immigration
policy, which she covered at NCLR for 20 years. She’s the former chair for the board of Center
for Community Change and served on the US program’s board of the open society institute
and the board of directors of the Atlantic Philanthropies and the National Immigration
Forum. The daughter of immigrants from Bolivia, and a child of Detroit. Cecilia received her
undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and her masters degree
from the University of California at Berkeley. In 2000 she was awarded a MacArthur Foundation
Fellowship, also known as the Genius Award, in recognition of her work on immigration
and civil rights. She has received numerous awards and recognitions from various sources.
Indeed, too many to delineate here. But it is my great pleasure to introduce the assistant
to the president and director of the Domestic Policy Council, Cecilia Muñoz. [applause] Cecilia Muñoz: Thank you very much. So,
Tonya is, in addition to giving very generous introductions, an amazing advocate for civil
rights, for justice issues. I’m really honored to have her on my team. And she’s been helping
lead the charge on equal pay issues. So thank you very much, Tanya, for all of
your work. It’s nice to have a chance to thank you in front of a crowd of terrific people.
And thank you, Chair Berrien, for being here as well. You’re a real champion of civil rights
and so many other things and have been throughout your career. And I’m a real fan. So you really have a lot of the A team here
for this gathering. And I’m really proud and grateful to be part of it. Proud to see all
of you here. Welcome to the White House. And I should start by acknowledging the tremendous
work of the folks who organized the events today, and specifically the great work of
Veronica Villalobos, the director of the Office of Diversity Inclusion at the Office of Personnel
Management. And so many others who have played a really important role in making sure that
we could gather today and do the thinking that we’re doing about women in the workplace. I should also as Tonya did take a moment to
acknowledge our guests from SAIGE, the Society of American Indian Government employees who
are joining us by web cast. They’re at a conference in Washington State. So we very much welcome
you virtually and thank you for being part of this. This is a special gathering. Not only of women
leaders and federal employees, but women leaders who are federal employees. And I note that
there are a few intrepid men here as well who are believers in the cause of equal pay
and advancing the cause of women in the workplace, so thank you for that. And let me thank the women who are here for
your service to the country. I have learned a lot about public service in my 25 plus years
in this town, but especially my nearly five years in government. It’s not easy stuff,
but it’s a great calling. And it makes a difference in the lives of millions upon millions of
our fellow Americans. It couldn’t be more important. I gave a commencement address to some students
just yesterday where I had the opportunity to talk about what I’ve learned from the great
public servants that I’ve met in the course of my time at the White House. And it is tremendously
inspiring and I want you to know that I’m inspired by it every day. So I leapt at the
chance to be part of this event today so that I could say thank you. When President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay
Act almost 50 years ago to the day, he eloquently articulated his expectation that the act would
be a first step which affirms our determination that when women enter the labor force, they
will find equality in their pay envelopes. And clearly we’ve made progress in the last
half century, but we also know there’s a lot of work still to be done. As President Obama
has reminded us, women are still paid only 77 cents for every dollar paid to men, and
that has to change. It’s long past time for that to change. And the federal government
has a special obligation to lead by example. So as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of
the signing of the Equal Pay Act, it is so important that the federal government as the
nation’s largest employer lead the charge with an unwavering commitment to women’s advancement.
I can assure you that President Obama expects nothing less of all of us. Just last month he issued a memorandum to
the heads of the executive departments and agencies in which he said that, and I quote,
“Unjust paid disparities are a detriment to women, families, and our economy,” and he
stressed this administration’s commitment to promoting gender pay equality in the federal
government. The memo from the President lays out a framework
for government-wide strategy for advancing pay equality, that includes things like an
analysis of whether changes to the general schedule classification system would assist
in addressing any pay gaps, proposed guidance to agencies to promote greater transparency
regarding starting salaries, recommendations for additional administrative or legislative
actions, and studies that can be undertaken to narrow the gender pay gap. It’s pretty wonky stuff, but as you know because
you work in the Federal government it’s important stuff, that these are specific steps and measures
that we can take to make sure that we’re addressing the problem, that we’re looking at it in a
serious way, and that we’re taking what steps we can to address it. He also called on all executive agencies to
submit their pay and promotion policies and practices to the OPM, Office of Personnel
Management, for review. The idea is to evaluate these documents, through the lens of gender
pay equality, to help in shaping a government-wide strategy. In addition to this Presidential
memorandum, earlier in the administration the President also issued an Executive Order
establishing a coordinated government-wide initiative to promote diversity and inclusion
in the Federal workforce. This, of course, affects us all greatly. [inaudible 00:32:10] the nation derives great
strength from the diversity of its population, from our commitment to equal opportunity for
all, and the Executive Order reflects the President’s belief that a commitment to equal
opportunity, to diversity, to inclusion, is really critical for our effectiveness as an
employer within the Federal government. It’s critical to the effectiveness to the outcomes
of the work that we do. 57 agencies submitted diversity and inclusion
plans as a result of his initiative, so we’re taking a new look at diversity, focusing on
unconscious habits, solving problems through innovation, and making sure that the agencies
of the Federal government are focused on this as a goal, focused on this as something that
we need to achieve together. We’ve made progress in three main areas as
a result of this strategic plan that came out of the President’s Executive Order. We’re
diversifying the Federal government through strategic outreach, recruitment, hiring flexibility.
We’re creating more inclusive workplaces. We’re working to sustain this effort through
accountability and active involvement from all the stakeholders. It’s going to take hard work, it’s going to
take engagement, it’s going to take expertise, it’s going to take commitment, to make sure
that we carry this through when we leave. That we, certainly the time that we’re here
in office, to make sure that our agencies are focused on this as a goal, and that we’re
focused on the outcomes that we’re achieving. As you know, because you labor in these vineyards,
it requires focused work at the tops of the agencies, but it also takes focused work throughout
the agencies to make sure we’re addressing adversity, we’re addressing inclusiveness,
and we’re addressing pay equity. Like all of you, diversity in the workforce
and equity and equality is not just something I champion. It’s something that I’ve lived,
and I know that’s true for all of you as well. I’ve learned through a lot of experience how
important diversity is in the workplace and our communities, and I’ve learned, because
this is really a principle of the President’s, and he believes in this so forcefully, not
to buy into this logic that there should be any tension between excellence and diversity. The President of the United States has made
it very clear that he does not believe [inaudible 00:34:15] tension…that we really do our
best when we draw on the talent and expertise of everyone in this country, and that we achieve
our greatest accomplishments when we are bringing diverse perspectives to bear when we understand
the perspectives of everyone in this country. Our job in the Federal government is to serve
everyone in this country. The more we reflect that and understand that and build that into
our decision-making, the better job that we’re going to do. In the end this is also not just about public
policy. Although our jobs are to make sure that we have the right policies in place,
this is also about our own individual actions. This is about how we see ourselves in our
roles, in our work in the Federal government, how we see our co-workers, and how we work
together to make sure that we’re accomplishing important objectives. I have learned, for example, as a woman working
in a senior level at the White House, and as a woman of color working at a senior level
at the White House, how important it is that we watch out for each other. This is really an ethic that I am honored
to say is shared by my colleagues, that this is a place where we are trying to accomplish
great things for the country, and that we do a better job when we work in teams, when
we work in a way that respects what everyone brings to the table, and frankly when we’re
watching out for each other. I am as invested in my colleagues’ success
as I am in my own. I have many, many colleagues, really all of my colleagues, share that value.
And that, I am absolutely convinced, makes us stronger as individuals and what we bring
to the workplace, but it also makes the results of what we do stronger. I guess the last thing I would say to you,
and I think you know this already or you wouldn’t be here, is that if we’re going to accomplish
what we need to, in terms of equal pay and equality in the workforce, in terms of making
sure we have the diverse and inclusive workforce that really allows everyone to really contribute
to the fullest of their talents. One way to do that is to make sure that we
are modeling the behavior we want to be on the receiving end of, that this is a commitment
that we make as individuals every day, as well as reflecting it in our policies and
our procedures. I leave that with you because I know this
is something you’re committed to or you wouldn’t be here. I’ve learned a tremendous amount
about it, really from my colleagues, here at the White House, by the way that colleagues
have stood up for and with me, and by the example they’ve set for me to do the same
for them. I encourage you to do the same, to think about
what you can do to be promoting the very values that make us strong as a nation, but also
strong as a Federal workforce, and for the women in the room, that makes us strong as
women. We have a lot to bring to the table. We have a tremendous amount to offer. I want to make sure that what we accomplish
as an administration is to maximize what we deliver to the American people as a result
of all the gifts and skills that you all bring. With that I thank you so much for being here
today. I thank you for your service to this country. I thank you for what you are providing
to our neighbors and our fellow Americans. As we reflect on the 50th anniversary of the
signing of the Equal Pay Act, I look forward to the day when we accomplish the goals that
we’ve set about, again through our own individual achievements as well as our achievements as
a Federal government. Thank you all very much. [applause] Tonya: We’re now coming to a moment in our
program where we began that really can impart of the meat of the work of the summit today.
We have always challenges at the White House, including a challenge that you all experienced
when you came in, the now infamous security line. We’re going to pause a moment as we wait for
some of our other guests to get into the building, but I didn’t want another moment to pass without
formally recognizing a group you’ve heard referenced on multiple occasions today, and
that’s the President’s Equal Pay Task Force. The President did a couple of really important
things at the start of his administration. One, the very first bill that he signed was
the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which insured that the federal courthouses would remain
open to women and men workers who have pay discrimination claims. That for me is a powerful
indication of the President’s commitment from the beginning to equal pay, but also women’s
advancement in the workforce. He also created his National Equal Pay Enforcement
Task Force, and that body really brings around one table the various Federal agencies that
have equities in this space. So I ask my colleagues from OPM, from the
EEOC under the leadership of Chair Berrien, from the Justice Department, from the Department
of Labor including both the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, under the leadership
of Director Shiu, as well as the Women’s Bureau. And then we have a [inaudible 00:39:16] of
White House participants as well, both from DPC, the Council of Economic Advisors, the
Council on Women and Girls, and our Office of Public Engagement as well. I’ve asked the members, the working members,
those who are kind of toiling every month around the table at our monthly meetings,
the members of the Equal Pay Task Force to please stand. [applause] Tonya: Then secondly, while we wait, it will
not be said that you left this meeting without having an opportunity to meet someone new,
someone with whom you might collaborate on some future project, someone who might become
a professional buddy, mentor, or mentee. While we have a moment as we wait for our
next speaker, I ask that those of you who smartly brought your business cards to pull
them out. We’re going to pause for a moment. I think we’ll probably have just a few more
minutes as folks come. In the 10 minutes we have to spare here, I ask that you turn to
someone who you do not know, that’s the important impetus here, someone you do not know. Introduce
yourselves, exchange cards. We’ll be back at the podium in just a few minutes. [background chatter only from 00:40:38 till
00:56:33] Tonya: I’d invite folks to again take your
seats. Thank you for obliging us. We’d really appreciate it. How are you? I hope that moment alone made the afternoon
worth it. Again, thank you all for obliging us there. I have to say, I am really delighted to make
the next introduction. I asked for guidance on who in the audience I should specially
recognize, and this was intended to be a request of folks in addition to our very esteemed
group of panelists and speakers. I was told to give, and I quote, “a very special shout
out” to our next speaker and moderator, because in the words of one of my colleagues, she’s
such an icon. I couldn’t agree more. To reveal what a huge geek I was as a younger
person, I remember watching Eleanor Clift on television where, in many cases, she was
the only woman on an otherwise all male panel who, just among us, was also always the smarter
of the bunch. Really, what a sight for a young girl interested in public affairs and public
policy and politics. What a sight! It’s really a special honor to introduce her today. Eleanor is a contributor to Newsweek magazine
and the Daily Beast website. She writes about politics and policy in Washington and the
partisan clashes that are the result of divided government. She has covered every Presidential
campaign since 1976, is a regular panelist on the syndicated talk show, the McLaughlin
Group, and has appeared as herself in several movies, including “Dave,” “Independence Day,”
Murder at 1600,” “Rising Sun” and the CBS series “Murphy Brown.” Formerly Newsweek’s White House Correspondent,
Eleanor was a key member of the magazine’s 1992 election team, as well, following the
campaign of Bill Clinton from the start to inauguration day. In June 1992, she was named Deputy Washington
Bureau Chief. As a reporter in Newsweek’s Atlanta Bureau, she covered Jimmy Carter’s
bid for the presidency. She followed Carter to Washington to become Newsweek’s White House
Correspondent, a position she held until 1985. Eleanor and her late husband Tom who was a
columnist for the Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote two books together, “War Without Bloodshed:
The Art of Politics,” and “Madame President: Shattering the last Glass Ceiling.” In addition, she is the author of “Founding
Sisters,” which chronicles the passage of the 19th amendment, giving women the vote.
Her recent book, “Two Weeks of Life: A Memoir of Love, Death and Politics,” is an examination
of how we deal with death in America, including her own personal loss of her husband. Her forthcoming book, “Selecting a President,”
written with Matthew Spieler, will be available in May of 2012, this month. Last month, yeah.
It is out. [laughs] Eleanor began her career as a secretary to
Newsweek’s National Affairs Editor in New York. She was one of the first women at the
magazine to move from secretary to reporter. She left Newsweek briefly in 1985 to serve
as White House correspondent for the Los Angeles Times and then returned to Newsweek the following
year to cover the Iran contra scandal and was part of Newsweek’s special project team
following the 1984, 2000, 2004, and 2008 elections, each of which resulted in a book. The most recent, “A Long Time Coming,” written
by Evan Thomas and based on the Newsweek’s team’s reporting, chronicles the history making
campaign of Barack Obama. Eleanor lives in Washington, DC, where she
is on the Advisory Council of the International Women’s Media Foundation, the Board of the
Center for Politics and Journalism and the Board of Governors of the National Hospice
Foundation. I give you Eleanor Clift. [applause] Eleanor Clift: Thank you. Are my esteemed
panelists going to come forward? Tonya: They should, they should. Eleanor: Thank you. All right. Well, good
afternoon. My signature line is, I’m glad to be here but I’m glad to be anywhere where
I’m not interrupted. Those of you who have seen me on the McLaughlin Group, typically
surrounded by conservative men, I can share since this is an audience of mostly women.
The right wing women are worse than the right wing men, which you all may have concluded
yourself, watching television these days. But for the most part, the McLaughlin Group
is good natured. It was the grandfather of the talk shows today. It’s actually quite
civilized compared to a lot of other things that you see on television and certainly on
Capitol Hill. I am very glad to be with you today. That
was a longer introduction than I intended and more than you need to know about me. You’re
probably mostly wondering about those movies. They’re cameos and they’re mostly clips of
the McLaughlin Group. My favorite was the movie, “Dave,” when the
director, Ivan Reitman, came to the Washington studio and gave us all prepared lines. We
were terrible. We did our lines, we performed them flawlessly, but without any energy or
conviction and it was really bad. Finally, he told us the plot of the movie,
that it was this president who had a change of personality, and it turned out there was
an imposter and all of that. He said, “Why don’t you just talk about it?” That’s what
we did. At the end of our little discussion, I remember John McLaughlin, formerly Father
John McLaughlin, he’s a former Jesuit priest. But he threw his arms up and said, “Who needs
reality?” [laughs] I think of that a lot in Washington. We’re here today with, I see four people here.
I only got bios for three people. [laughs] I’m going to do the bios of the three people,
and I’m going to have the fourth person, the mystery guest introduce herself. But we’re
all here among friends, so nothing is a big deal. Stacia Hylton, right here on my left, is the
director of the US Marshals Service. She attended Northeastern University on a full athletic
scholarship, which impressed me, and she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice.
She began what is now a 32 year career in law enforcement as a Deputy US Marshal, holding
a variety of positions with the agency, and in 2010, was appointed Director of the Marshals
Service. For those of you who aren’t familiar with
that agency, it is a Department of Justice law enforcement agency and it’s responsible
for federal judicial security, fugitive apprehension, witness security, asset forfeiture and prisoner
operations. It’s quite a portfolio. Director Hylton is on the Executive Committee
for the International Association of Chiefs of Police and she serves on the Board of Directors
for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. She is the recipient of numerous
awards, including the Presidential Distinguished Service Award and the Attorney General Edmond
Randolph Award for her outstanding service. Pat Shiu? Pat Shiu: Yes. Eleanor: There. OK. Is the Director of the
Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs at the Labor Department. She leads a staff
of nearly 800 men and women who work to insure fairness and diversity in the awarding of
federal contracts. She also serves on the National Equal Pay Enforcement Task Force,
which has been charged by President Obama to crack down on violations of equal pay laws. Before joining the Obama administration, the
Shiu spent 26 years representing workers in both individual and class action cases, focused
on employment discrimination. As the Director of the Legal Aid Society’s Work and Family
Project, she advocated for the passage of California’s Family Rights Act, the Family
and Medical Leave Act, and paid sick leave. She, too, was the recipient of numerous awards,
including the Pacific Asian American Women Bay Area Coalition’s Woman Warrior Award. Third, in the blue top, is Ellen Malcolm,
who I have known almost since the time I first arrived in Washington. She is the founder
and Chair of the Board for Emily’s List. I can’t imagine anyone here isn’t familiar
with Emily’s List, which changed the landscape for women in electoral politics. Emily is
an acronym for Early Money Is Like Yeast, because it makes the dough rise, as in greenbacks.
Since its founding in 1985, Emily’s List has helped elect 15 pro-choice Democratic women
US senators, 80 US representatives and nine state governors. A New York Times profile of Ellen Malcolm
quoted then Senator Hillary Clinton, calling her “Probably the most influential fundraiser
and advisor we’ve seen.” Malcolm has tapped into the collective strength of women and
their pocketbooks on behalf of women candidates. An activist all her life, she was an organizer
for Common Cause in the early 1970s, then served as Press Secretary for the National
Women’s Political Caucus. She is a walking history of the women’s movement,
its trials and tribulations and its many accomplishments. Her awards range from most valuable player
by the American Association of political consultants in 1992, to the Margaret Sanger Award from
Planned Parenthood in 2010. We said hello to each other, but I didn’t
get your bio. Robin Braun: I am the mystery guest. Eleanor: So could you please introduce yourself. Robin: Yes, I’m Vice Admiral Robin Braun,
I’m the Chief of Navy Reserve and the Commander of Navy Reserve force. I’ve been in the United
States Navy for just about 34 years now. I lead the men and women of the Navy Reserve
Force. It’s about 63,000 men and women who serve in anywhere from a part time status
to a full time active duty status to support the Navy. Our men and women, our sailors are serving
around the world today. We’ve got about 4,000 right now who are mobilized from their civilian
jobs to support the Department of Defense and the Navy around the world. My primary job, when I joined the Navy, was
to be a pilot, so for the first 20 years of my career, I was a naval aviator. After that
first 20 years, I moved more into the policy and leadership areas and many tours in the
Pentagon. Of course, now, my staff is at the Pentagon that leads the Navy Reserve staff.
That’s basically it. Eleanor: Excellent. OK. [applause] Well, as you can see, we have a wide variety
of experiences here, I’ve asked each of them to speak for about five minutes and then we’re
going to talk among ourselves and maybe get them to share whatever the aha moments were
along their journeys and what advice they can share with you all. Stacia, why don’t you start? Stacia Hylton: Thank you, Eleanor. Thank you
for the introduction. Good afternoon, everyone. Always nice to be together and take that moment
in government to see how we can help each other and do all we can to move government
forward. Part of that, as you heard even earlier, as
I sat here an hour before we started, is the networking and the collaboration that we do,
mentoring each other, looking up to others. Certainly, I have been the benefactor of so
much of that throughout almost…I’m actually reaching 34 years, I hate to admit. I’ve worked for some wonderful individuals
along the way, very insightful men that have given me so many different opportunities in
my law enforcement career. I’m grateful for that. I spent probably 10 years in our Special
Operations Group, which is a small paramilitary group that you have to go through a very stringent
basic training to see if you can make the cut. I spent 10 years in that group, a majority
of the time as the only female. I was given so many operational challenges and missions
to be on. I really set this small group of what I call a “fraternity” within the Marshals
Service that I have leaned on all the way up into the Director’s position and through
some very difficult times as the Director. As you heard early on about the importance
of staying in touch with each other, whether it’s a small group of that or the people that
I meet here today, people that you meet, you’re going to use everybody along the way when
there’s an instant or there are times that you want to collaborate and move government
forward. I just wanted to applaud Jacqueline for making
those points earlier. Actually, I feel that that’s key to success and the reputation that
you build along the way. I laugh because I actually retired from the
government. As I was talking to the Admiral, who’s looking forward to that in the future,
I said, “Good luck, if you’re not back.” [laughter] Stacia: I retired, and 16 days later, I got
a phone call from someone telling me they were from the White House. I’m not political.
Our leadership has always been very politically appointed. I, of course, didn’t believe the
guy. [laughter] Stacia: As I spoke at a venue just a couple
weeks ago, I’m trying to tell you that that Special Operations Group, really only a few
get selected. You can imagine how close we are. After hundreds of deputies trying to get in,
60 being selected to attend the basic, and probably 10 graduating every two years, we’re
a pretty tight group. Over 30 years, there have been significant practical jokes, so
there was no way I was buying into this phone call. [laughter] Stacia: I decided that I would disappoint
the men that I was raised by if I didn’t jump right in with a little bit of sarcasm and
give this guy a really hard time, which I did. He only just responded and said, “Would
you like to call me back on this number at the White House?” I said, “Sure. I’ll call you back at the White
House, buddy.” I called, and the woman said, “White House General Counsel’s Office. May
I help you?” I went, “Oh, my God.” [laughter] Stacia: Just in case that happens, I wanted
to share that story with any of you. Somehow, they still had the fortitude. I thank the
President of the United States for his confidence that he has instilled in this appointment
and certainly the support that I receive every single day from the Attorney General. It’s a huge operation that I run. I have the
support of men and women, almost 12,000 of them, every single day. We have experienced
some very significant challenges over the two and a half years, three years that I’ve
been here that fall outside of sequestration and budget cuts, which is bad enough. We experienced the loss of life, in-line duty
deaths. We really had to come together as a group. I’m grateful for all those people
that I’ve known along the way, who have carried me not through just one in-line duty death,
but almost nine in a period of less than six months, individual, through shootings and
attacks on law enforcement. I will tell you that, during that, I get asked
many questions when I talk in those terms, at venues, of, “How did it feel to be a woman
in charge of command of the mostly male law enforcement world during that time?” I thought,
“Wow. I never thought about it during that time.” I never thought about it because, as
commanders in law enforcement in where you grow up, you do your job every single day.
Your reputation starts there. It was never in my workforce’s mind. It was
never in my mind. We united. I felt like the guy with the Verizon phone, during those days,
with 12,000 people behind me, as we supported their families, their partners, and the surviving
team members. I’m grateful for that. That’s why I say that what lies behind there
and, more than likely, all the panels that I sit on, is finding your passion and staying
with your passion. Since 19, I’ve loved my badge and the people that stand behind it.
I love our cause for public service. I love to serve amongst those, like myself,
that were born to serve and protect and defend our communities from those that cannot respect
the law. I use that term all the time because behind that is that passion. Passion will
take you everywhere. If you believe in that, what I’m here to say
is gender, race, religion…The world is yours. Go get it. I never thought about it. Just
go out there and get it. If you believe and love what you’re doing, that will shine through
you more than anything. If you work 150 percent more, people say,
“We have to work 150 percent more. We have to work twice as hard.” I say, “Why wouldn’t
you want to do that anyway?” If you love what you’re doing, you do that. Everybody sees
that around you. They’ll come get you. You won’t have to put in for jobs. I don’t know the last time I put in for a
job. [laughs] I can’t get away from the jobs. [laughs] I just want to be retired like John
[inaudible 01:14:35] , who’s still back in the government. [laughs] That will happen
to many of you. In my opening statement, Madam… [laughter] Stacia: Those are really some of the things
I just want to acknowledge. It’s really yours to go and get. I sit every day in meetings
now that are full of women. I’m like, “Where are the guys?” We’re here. We’ve got to go
do it. I’m there because of pioneers behind me, perhaps.
I’m there because I just did my job. I have people that have faith, men and women, in
you and that have helped you along the way. Embrace that. The new term is “Lean into it
and go get it.” [applause] Eleanor: I just want to ask one follow-up
question. You can drink some water first. [laughs] How did you find your passion so early? Did
you come from a law enforcement family? Stacia: [laughs] Eleanor: Or no? Stacia: No. I did come from a family of a
majority of men, brothers. Grew up in a neighborhood full of boys. I will tell, since I was seven
years old, I never wanted to be anything else. When you arrive in leadership and you’re asked
to speak in so many venues, you do a lot of self-reflection on your journey. I just realize,
as I talk to many and have served with so many, I really do believe it’s a calling,
like most. Pay attention to that as you come along. You
don’t have to have it at seven. You can have it at 42 if you want to. Never limit yourself,
I would say, to listen to what others see in you. While I, like the Admiral, would prefer to
stay in tactical operations, there will be others that want to come pull you along. You
should welcome those opportunities. It’s just, again, I never looked at doing anything else. Eleanor: I can see she’s a very easy leader
to follow. [laughs] I’m here. [crosstalk] Stacia: …lot of work we need to get done,
by the way. [laughter] Eleanor: Pat Shiu, tell us a little bit about
your life and your job. Pat: Let me tell you a little bit about the
agency that I work for, which is the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, which
is a worker protection agency. We’re actually the civil rights division of the Department
of Labor. We enforce the civil rights of the 25 percent
of the American workforce that work for federal contractors. $700 billion of taxpayer money
goes to federal contractors. When you think the Army, you think beef, you think Pepsi,
you think Coke, that’s who we regulate. We want to make sure that those workers are protected. We enforce both employment non-discrimination
requirements, as well as affirmative action obligations of those businesses. In many ways,
we are really the last bastion of affirmative action when it comes to businesses recruiting,
hiring, training, placing, promoting, and paying qualified women, minorities, people
with disabilities, and protected veterans. As Tonya had mentioned, I have the privilege
of serving on the President’s Equal Pay Task Force, which has been a real pleasure and
delight. I can tell you that I am personally committed to ensuring that we eliminate the
pay gap in my lifetime. If we do so, we will reduce, by at least one-half, the number of
children who live in poverty in this country. If there is no other reason other than that
legacy, I am completely committed to it. I would like to, at this point, if I could,
just ask some of my colleagues from the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs to
be recognized. If you could, just stand. As well as my colleagues from the Women’s Bureau
from the Department of Labor. [applause] Pat: These are the people who work so hard
every day to actualize the vision that I have for this civil rights enforcement agency. I come here as a civil rights leader, a civil
rights lawyer actually. 26 years, I spent working on behalf of the working poor and
their families, working for the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center in San Francisco.
Having litigated cases across the country on behalf of farm workers, the LGBT community,
garment workers, the first lesbian out cop in the Sacramento Police Department, factory
workers in Mississippi. I have gained a real appreciation for the
importance of work and the value of work and the importance of work to one’s sense of dignity
and being. It not only sustains your family, it sustains you. It’s what you do. It’s what
you think about. At least for me, it’s a very big part of who I am. When I got the opportunity
to join the OFCCP, I, like you, got this call from the White House, and I thought, “Yeah,
right.” [laughter] Stacia: You’d think they would get used to
that. Pat: Some of the things that I have learned
are that how you lead is as important as what you lead. Being the leader of a team is very
different than having the title of leader. What wasn’t working at OFCCP when I first
got there, it was a very fractured office with segmented staff working in silos, afraid
to collaborate, to speak openly. There was a lack of consistency across our offices.
We have 47 offices in six regions. That was really affecting our credibility with the
companies we regulate. We regulate the biggest of the biggest, all the defense companies,
all the food industry companies. We needed a cultural change. Our workers needed
to be more productive to be able to better support all American workers. We have a very
high standard of excellence. We always strive for excellence. I try to strive for excellence in everything
I do. I always think about how I could do it better. What I try to do with my team is
support them, train them, mentor them, but hold them accountable. Because in the end,
I’m not responsible for someone’s career. People are responsible for their own careers.
I can try and help you and guide you. But, at the end of the day, everyone is responsible
for themselves. Nonetheless, what I have found to be the most
helpful in leading people, and it’s just my way of doing things, is I foster a culture
of inclusion. What that means is I share information with my staff. It’s very hierarchical in the
government. I’ve tried to flatten our agency so that more people have the information so
they can be a part of the conversation and the dialogue. If they don’t know, they’re
not going to know what’s transpired. We create vehicles and systems for staff to
share information easily across the country, as well as within our national office. I can’t
tell you how many meetings I’ve been at where the person who actually did the work on the
project is not in the meeting. I have not found that to be particularly helpful.
It’s important not only to recognize the work that those people do, but they’ve thought
about it. They’re the ones that can answer the questions about why they looked at this
or why they did not look at something else. I like to set the expectation for collaboration
by modeling it in my own work and maybe it’s easier for me because I like to work collaboratively.
I try to work to people’s strengths, not just their titles or their boxes. Cultivating inter-agency
and inter-departmental relationships is so key. At the end of the day, all I have is my own
word and reputation. I like to be known as somebody who can work well with people, although
I, at times, can be, as my staff will tell you, exacting. I do really appreciate participating
and promoting inter-agency efforts like our equal pay task force. That’s probably one
of the most satisfying parts of my job. The other thing I think is really important
for leaders to do is to ensure the diversity of the staff. You’re not only looking for
the best and the brightest but also with diversity of thought and ideas and abilities and background
and experiences, which is why we really take things like reasonable accommodation seriously. It is OK to ask for a reasonable accommodation.
In order to be an inclusive workplace people have to feel comfortable there, they have
to know they are included, they have to know they can bring their total selves to work
and not be afraid. We very much try to balance work and family, but also I try to balance
the needs of what my staff want in terms of their own personal time. Compliance with section 508 regulations and
accessibility is a very big part of what I think is behavior that I’d like to model so
contractors will also model that behavior. Section 508 is a law that basically says that
people with visual disabilities have to have X access to all kinds of documents. How can
you do your job if you can’t get on a computer and look at the document you’re supposed to
analyze? The results have been, and I’m very happy
to say this, in four years, 60 percent of our staff are women across the country of
the 800, 60 percent of our staff at the GS12 level or higher are women, 70 percent of our
senior executive service are women, and 70 percent of those women are women of color. [applause] Pat: 44 percent of our staff are women of
color. 22 percent of our staff are people with disabilities. Nine percent of our staff
are women with disabilities. One out of every four OCC employees is a veteran and nearly
one-third of those veterans are female vets. I’ve had a wonderful opportunity to try to
shape and foster a culture of inclusion. It has been, in many ways, a delight, in large
part because I have built such a wonderful team that is able to support me and because
we have such we have such a wonderful mission which is equal employment opportunity. Thank
you. [applause] Eleanor: Pat, if I could just follow-up with
one question. When you say you hold people accountable, we hear that constantly in all
these hearings and everything. How do you hold people accountable? How is that done?
You can’t just fire people. There are various protections against that. Give them a timeout?
I don’t know. Pat: I’m eying my staff here because they
all know how I do it and I do it in various ways. I’m pretty frank about what it is I
expect and when I expect it and the level of quality. I try to be pretty clear about
what it is that I do want, understanding that people often need time to go back and redo
things because there’s a learning curve. I basically tell people when I got into the
federal government everyone was getting exceeds on all of their performance evaluations. That
was the culture of this agency. I said I wouldn’t give myself an exceeds because I believe an
exceeds means you walk on water. That resonated throughout the building, is all I can say. There’s always ways to improve. I feel very
much like I am a steward of the tax payer dollar. I don’t come from government. I come
from the non-profit and the private sector. I think we can do more and better, quite frankly,
with less. I’d rather see that money go to people on social security, people that need
to survive, Pell grants, and all the rest. I really take it seriously. I try to be fair
and I try to be kind. Eleanor That’s a wonderful message. Thank
you. Ellen? Ellen Malcolm: Thank you, Eleanor. As you
can tell from Eleanor’s introduction of me, I am someone who believes very strongly that
having more women involved in government is good for our democracy. I have done it through
Emily’s List through 1985 and election heart, but I think what you all are doing is equally
important. The more women we have in positions of power
the more women we have that bring our unique perspectives and our talents to making our
government work better I think the better off we’re all going to be. I want to thank you. I refer to myself sometimes
as the pushy broad who tries to get women more power. I hope from this conference that
you’re having today you are going to be the beneficiaries of that and you become pushy
broads in your own workplace and get some good things done. Like many of you, I think I’ve been watching
the news and turned on last night to watch the hearings on sexual assault in the military
and I know we’re all concerned about that, including, I’m sure, the admiral. I think
it’s a very important issue that we’re grappling with. I was struck when I watched it and reminded
of the Thomas Hill hearings in 1991 when President Bush suggested that Clarence Thomas should
be a Supreme Court justice and in the process of the confirmation in the judiciary committee
hearings it came out that a woman by the name of Anita Hill accused him of sexual harassment. The nation was riveted by these hearings.
Many of you may remember that. As we watched the 14 all white men on the Senate judiciary
committee basically hearing about this charge of sexual harassment, which at that time was
never discussed in public. It was always the woman’s problem to deal with. Many on the committee basically tried to say
it was all Anita Hill’s fault, they went after her. Very similar to women in those days who
told that they had been raped and that they were the bad guys in the situation. Many women across the country, particularly,
men and women but certainly working women, watched that hearing and said, “I’m in the
workplace, I know what Anita Hill is talking about. I believe Anita and I’m going to make
sure the next time there are going to be women on that panel.” At that time, in the entire United States
Senate, there were only two women. Nancy Kassebaum, Republican Senator from Kansas, and Barbara
Mikulski, Democratic Senator from Maryland. As Dianne Feinstein said when she was running
for election in 1992, two percent is fine for low fat milk but it’s not good enough
for representative democracy. Emily’s List was in the middle of this crazy
year of the woman that basically the world turned upside down and we elected, at that
time, four new Democratic women senators, a host of Democratic women and some Republican
women to the House, and really set the stage for our organization of being able to grow
and bring more and more Democratic women into office. Turned on the television last night and there
is this long panel. We need to get out up there on that panel. One woman, a lot of men
in uniform, a lot of men on that committee, but this time seven women senators on that
committee. How incredible that two of them, Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte and Clair
McCaskill, Democratic senator for Missouri, had been prosecutors. I hope you saw the clip last night as Clair
McCaskill was explaining to the military, but frankly I think probably the members on
the committee, that sexual assault was not about sex, it was about violence and demeaning
of women. I was just in my living room cheering her on going, “Come on, Claire, you tell the
truth about this.” That representation about women’s perspectives is so important in the
political process, but it’s also, as I said, important, in all levels of business and government. It is so important that I think, if you have
not done so, I would hope you would think about doing a couple of things. One of them
is I hope you support women who are running for office. You know where I think you should
go and who I think you should support, but there are many vehicles now with the Internet
to find women running at all levels from the local level all the way up to the United States
Senate. I really encourage you to do that. If you’re
on our side of the aisle, we’re kind of a political source to find out who really has
a chance and who needs your help. I encourage you to get involved in your communities. I
know there is the hat jack but I know there are all kinds of non-partisan offices, particularly
at the local level. There are a lot of good candidates that you can help support. We need more and more women and more and more
people who really understand the changing dynamics that having women in the workforce
has created. Our country, I think, has done a phenomenal job of opening the doors of opportunity
for women. We are now working, all of us here in this room, we have paid jobs. Our country has done a very poor job in terms
of creating policies that help families, men and women, deal with the dual responsibilities
of taking care of kids and being good employees and responsible workers. We have done a terrible
job of this. I’m telling Pat this. I don’t know if she knows this. I chair the board of the National Partnership
for Women and Families and have for many years. It’s the organization that created the Family
and Medical Leave Act. They’re working now on things like paid family leave, paid sick
leave, equal pay that we talked about before. Getting behind the organizations that support
those policies as well as helping candidates, I think, is very important. Then the final piece I want to talk about
is running for office. I know in your current position that’s a little tricky to do, but
maybe at some point you’ll get to retire. You can go out and run yourself. I think you
should think about not only what you do in your workplace but what you can do in the
community. In that regard, there are a couple of things that I’ve learned working with women
candidates. One of them is, and we’ve all mentioned this
in some way, be ambitious. If you don’t like the way something is going have the ambition
to change it. Get to work, organize your friends, figure out a strategy to make a difference.
Lean into not only your career and your own lives but into society and see what you can
do to help solve some of these problems. Always look for opportunities. That is the
hallmark of Emily’s List when we’re trying to get women elected. Where are the opportunities?
There aren’t all that many of them in the political world. How do you take advantage
of them? Be vigilant. Find those opportunities where you can volunteer to do something, where
you can do that in your workplace so you can build your strength, your skills, and also,
importantly, your network. We were talking about that earlier. Having a network is so important, and particularly
to make a difference in the political world and the policy world. Keep track of who you
meet. They always used to laugh that Bill Clinton had all these three by five cards
of anyone he ever met so when he had all these names he could go to. I’ve never been that
organized, even though I have a list. [laughter] Ellen: I have learned over the years it’s
the most amazing thing. You’ll work with somebody and then 10 years later all of a sudden there
they are right across the hall from you or maybe they’re your boss or they have a way
they can open a door for you or you can help them. So build those connections. When you meet people now think in the future
I may know this person again so I’m going to leave this in the best possible framework
when we move into other situations. Finally, just engage. I was a little shocked,
and this is sort of a sobering thought, I think Eleanor and I shared this thought, that
my friend Dianne Feinstein who was elected in 1992, I read yesterday when Senator Lautenberg
died yesterday she became the oldest member of the United States Senate at 80 years old. This is a woman who has worked her way up
from the city council, took over as mayor when the mayor was killed and had to step
in that office, ran for governor of California and did not succeed, and then ran for United
States Senate and has done a phenomenal job. Here she is, 80 years old, and I’ve got to
tell you she’s still going strong. Celebrate the power of women in politics and in policy
world and be part of that yourselves. Thank you. [applause] Eleanor: I guess 80 is the new 60, right? [laughter] Eleanor: Exactly. Ellen, did you ever think
about running for office yourself? Ellen: I get that all the time. I have to
tell you, I am not somebody who would be very successful as a legislator. I am much to driven
to go out and change things and get things done and organized and the idea of sitting
around negotiating over a semicolon is not me. Fortunately, there are a lot of good women
out there that want to run. One of the things that we’ve found is women
tend to hold back. Our training at Emily’s List, we always have a part and a message
which I am now going to deliver for you. I hope you will run for office. You’ve been
asked. Don’t tell me I always wanted to be in office, I always wanted to do this, but
no one ever asked me. You’ve been asked. It’s on the record. Eleanor: OK. Avra, the floor is yours. Avra Siegel: What great people to follow.
I’ve been writing notes because I’m going to tie my comments into many of the things
that you all said. I’m a girl that had passion and I had passion for flying. When I had graduated
from college, I saw a magazine that had the first female naval aviators on the cover.
I saw that and I was like wow, I can’t believe that there’s that opportunity for women out
there. My dad was in the Navy. I talked to my dad
and he said would you be interested in doing something like that? He didn’t really realize
that I was so fascinated by aviation and airplanes and everything, despite the fact that he’d
been a naval aviator for 30 years. He arranged for me to talk with a recruiter and I got
the opportunity to speak with one of those female aviators and I ended up putting in
an application. The Navy took five women a year from the civilian
world to become pilots. I thought they’ll never take me. What are the odds? They’ll
never take me. They took me. It took about 10 months. They had one selection board a
year and I got selected to join the Navy, go to Pensacola, Florida, and learn how to
fly. When I got the call that I had been selected I thought, “Oh no, now what do I do?” It had
been such a dream but then when your dream becomes a reality and you’ve got to prove
yourself. It was really exciting. I got there, started in my training. Then
you talked about aha moments. My first aha moment was when they said, “These are the
things that you can do and these are the things that the men can do “and it’s like this is
what you can do and this is what the guys can do by law. That was the law back then
in 1979. It was really an eye opener for me because nobody had said these are the limits
on women. The wonderful thing is that today there are
no limits on women on what they can fly in the military. They can fly fighters. They’re
commanding air craft carriers, they’re commanding squadrons, air wings. There’s no limits. I
think it’s a wonderful story and it has to do with all the work that people have done
in Washington on behalf of women and people across the country. That’s a great new story. My passion was flying and I started flying
in the military, was an instructor pilot in Texas, moved to Hawaii and flew big airplanes
out of Hawaii for three years, then here to DC, then to Washington State, then to Chicago,
back to Washington, Maine. It goes on. So many wonderful opportunities to fly. It was interesting because that passion that
had been flying all of a sudden I realized that it wasn’t so much the flying, because
flying was always about me and me getting qualification and building hours and building
experience. All of a sudden I realized it was really about the people that I worked
with and the relationships that I built and working together as a team. Then it was about helping other people to
get qualified. I think, in many ways, that’s how our careers go over the years. It starts
out being all about you and then all of a sudden you realize it’s about people, it’s
about people helping them to get to the next level. That’s where mentoring is so important
and believing in people. That’s why building these networks is critical,
realizing that somebody out there in the audience today that you may have exchanged business
cards with may be a person who can lead you into your next career field. Very important. The aha moment of realizing that I was limited
in what I can do, on the other hand, I still had great opportunities and took advantage
of all those opportunities. Through the years, I would say that I have progressed far beyond
my wildest dreams, but every step of the way I looked at the next step and thought I can
do that job. In fact, I’d look around because usually it
was all guys and me and I’d say, “If all those guys can do that, I can do that job. I’m very
serious.” For me, I took it one step at a time, every job. It doesn’t matter if your
desire is not to be president of the United States today, that’s all right. Your focus
should be that next step. But as soon as you get to that next step, be thinking, “Where
am I going next.” The other thing is, don’t feel like you have
to take the path that everybody else took. In many cases, I’ve been offered jobs and
I’ve thought, “Well, that’s not really very traditional, that’s not what all the guys
do.” But I have to tell you that in many cases, those nontraditional jobs helped me to build
a portfolio that wasn’t like other peoples. So take those opportunities that come up,
where it’s a little bit out of the ordinary and where you can make a name for yourself. And then the other thing is, don’t feel like
you have to do what the expected is. Don’t feel like just because this is what everybody
else is doing, you have to do that. Do what’s in your heart, and do what’s right for you. Certainly, when you look at work ethic, that
is so critical. It’s so important to work hard, and it’s so important to work hard for
the bosses above you, to get the mission job, to make them look good, to make the organization
successful, but it’s just as critical to work for those people that are below you and to
help them get to your level so that you can move up. I’ve always focused very much on that. What
are the people that are working for me saying? What do they think we need to do to make the
organization successful? Because in many cases, the best ideas don’t come from the leadership.
In many cases, the best ideas come from the people who are going through the work every
day, as we say in the Navy, at the deck plates. And then, don’t limit yourself. That’s one
of the things that I think is so important. Don’t think that you can’t take that next
step. You need to always be pushing yourself. We did a women’s leadership symposium a few
years ago. Dee Dee Myers came, of course, the first female press secretary at the White
House, and she wrote a book called “Why Women Should Rule the World.” I love this book. One of the stories in the book talks about
women running for office. She said that a typical way that women will work, the way
that they’ll operate is that somebody would come and say, Robin, “I want you to run for
office.” I’d say, “Well, what are the requirements?” They’d list off five requirements. Then I’d
say, “Oh, I could never do that. I only meet three of those requirements.” You go say that to a guy and you say, “Joe,
I want you to run for office.” He says, “Well, what are the requirements?” They say those
five requirements and he thinks to himself, “Well, I meet one of those requirements. I’ll
run.” [laughter] Avra: Her book was just great because it talked
about the way that many women think. Maybe it’s generational, maybe it’s my generation,
and I hope that I’ve raised my daughter, who’s 22, a little bit differently so she doesn’t
think like that. But for my generation, I think it’s very typical. For many of us who
were about my age in the audience, we looked at each other and we smiled and we said, “She’s
talking about us.” It was great. My last bit of advice is that I absolutely
believe that life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it.
Life is all about attitude. Life is all about being a glasses half full person, somebody
who’s positive, somebody who goes out there and finds a way to make things happen. I hope
you all will find a way to make things happen for you. Thank you. [applause] Eleanor: I have to ask when your father was
surprised that you were interested in flying, did you have a brother? Or was there a brother
who was supposed to be interested who wasn’t? Avra: I did have a brother who was interested
in flying. He had his private pilot’s license when he was 16 years old. The problem was,
I got the eyes that could pass the test and he could not pass the Navy’s eye test. It’s been very hard for him over the years
to see me be successful and to not be able to be accepted by the Navy to fly. But he
did get his pilot’s license and flew for a number of years privately. It’s interesting,
though, how things work out. Eleanor: Right. Two of you, in particular,
have competed with men on a physical level. There are some differences, upper body strength
and all that. How challenging was it to make all those physical requirements? Ellen: Well, I would say, for me, I always
say I was blessed to have a sports background at a time when it really wasn’t popular for
girls to be in sports. But that was another passion area in competitiveness. Having grown
up with brothers and boys around, I would say my physical attributes really helped. I will say in our world when people ask me,
“Well, you must have faced some serious discrimination in 1979, and through the ’80’s and ’90’s.”
I was thinking, “No. Not really.” I think part of it was because of the physical attributes,
so that added to your reputation in this world. Eleanor: Right. You were the girl everybody
wanted on their team. Ellen: I think what happens is like I joke
that for me in basic, because the competitor in me is like, “I want to beat the boys in
push-ups.” They’re like, “Right.” I’m like, “Oh, I’m so going to do this, and so on this!” [laughter] Ellen: Only a former army ranger beat me out
of the entire group of men, but that went through the agency like “Phew, it just went.”
That and a fight in D.C. while during eviction, and I was done with my career. I never had
to worry about anything else. [laughs] I kept saying, “No. I want to do more. I want to
do more.” So I think it helped tremendously. For us
in law enforcement, it is about the respect for those physical attributes, it’s the respect
for shooting. It’s the respect for your ability to drive to that even if you don’t have it
perfect, it doesn’t really matter. It’s just your commitment to be out there and never
give up, it’s the perseverance. It definitely is part of our world, and that’s
why sometimes as I early on as a recruiter would say, “First, you have to be willing
to put your life on the line. I am willing to put myself in front of somebody else for
a bullet.” That’s not a natural instinct for a woman. Yet I say to people, “If you’re not
prepared to do that even as a woman, even though we want more, please don’t put that
gun or that badge on.” You have to be able. Eleanor: How can you tell if somebody is capable
of doing that? Ellen: It’s interesting, but we get that a
lot through the processes beforehand, and then certainly with basic training, and certainly
their desire. So you do get an early on look for that somewhere I’m sure in the military
role. Sometimes it doesn’t land right, and then you work throughout their careers, or
people find different niches, as whether it’s in program management or analysis. So you can help that way. That’s important
as a leader to pay attention to that, to put people where their strengths are, to mitigate
their weaknesses. It comes up for both men and women. It’s not suited for both. Eleanor: Oh, I’m sure. Right. Ellen: Sometimes people are just caught up
more in the Hollywood world, then they are of what it really means to put your life on
the line. Hopefully, I have addressed your question right. Physical, and we drive that, and certainly
as someone coming up, I certainly drive it to the women and men behind us to say, “That
is a big part of your world, and you must stay in shape throughout your career.” It’s
a part of surviving on the streets. Eleanor: We have a few minutes left. Can we
take questions? If there is anybody who would like to ask a question, I would invite you
to stand-up and give a shout out, if not I’ll continue here. Pat, I didn’t ask you how you found your calling.
What kind of background you came out of that you felt this calling to help various people
and these groups in facing discrimination? Pat: I grew up on the South Side of Chicago
in Hyde Park, where the President lives. I grew up during the Civil Rights Movement.
I grew up in a neighborhood that was very diverse racially. My mother worked at the University of Chicago.
She was also a single mother who didn’t go to college. It wasn’t something I think that
was done. I saw how she worked her way up from a Secretary in the Chemistry Department
to become the Dean of Students for the Physical Sciences Division without a college degree. As a woman who had to use her vacation time
when my sister and I were sick, which is why I work with Donna Lenhoff on Family Medical
Leave Act. So that very much became my passion, because I really appreciated diversity. My
family says that really Civil Rights is my religion. I really do believe in the importance
of work and bringing down barriers for people, so that they can achieve their full potential. I think it’s a lot of all of that. I’m also
part Irish. I come from an Irish, Democratic, Catholic stronghold, a good working class
ethic. I think it was a combination of that, and also being half Asian with a father who
was very Asian, and very … Eleanor: He was a ‘tiger’ father? Pat: Well, I wouldn’t say ‘tiger’ father.
I would say he definitely grew up with a different way of thinking about women, and I think may
still be disappointed that I did not change my name when I got married. [laughter] Eleanor: Wow! Ellen: Eleanor, can I add just one thing that
I think is important? Eleanor: Sure. Ellen: It’s hard when we’re squished in time.
I will say to you, that what you reflect is what you receive back, and so you go in believing.
It’s a non-issue for you. I truly believe that. I believe that I’ve had all those experiences.
It wasn’t the fact that I did 53, or whatever, push-ups. Eleanor: She knows the exact number. [laughs] Ellen: I don’t. I just pulled that out. It
was really about nine. Eleanor: It’s at least 51 more than I could
do. [laughter] Ellen: That’s not a real number. I just mean
that it’s not that you’re marked that way, it’s just that you get that reputation. I
think you’ll be surprised that how that’s what breaks a barrier is you going out and
doing that every single day is what gets it away. People stop thinking. They stop thinking
about it. So every bit that all of us can add along
the way, to go out and fly aircraft, and do this kind of work, because people say, “Oh,
they can do it.” So it helps every generation take that away. So it’s really the little
piece that you add to it, not to say, “See, see? I can do it.” It’s the fact that it eventually
neutralizes the whole thing. So every little bit that you can contribute, it makes a difference
for everyone. Avra: I completely agree that it is very important
for you, and I think it’s important for others to see that. I’m very concerned however, about
younger women who say to me, “My mother told me I could grow up and be anything I want
to be,” and it’s not really true. The reason it’s not really true is because there are
many opportunities out there, but we have done such a bad job of helping families deal
with working parents. You see all kinds of evidence now of women
dropping out of the workforce. One of my friends said to me, she’s like 42 I think, “My friends
all have had to drop out of these law careers, and these big high careers, to go home and
take care of their kids, because they couldn’t balance all these pressures.” Then they told their daughters, “Well, you
can grow up to be anything you want to be.” She said, “Why do you tell your daughter that?
You couldn’t do it, and your daughter isn’t going to be able to do it either, unless we
change some things.” So I think that it is very important individually
that we strive, that we are strong, that we lead. I also think there is a collective responsibility
to get involved in the political process, and demand that there are changes that help
women and families deal with this very different world then it was when the Women’s Movement
started. Eleanor: I agree with that. I think men too
are facing these pressures, because we have much more equal division of lives. Ellen: Absolutely. The conversation has changed
over the last several years. There are several men that have to get out of work to have to
pick up at soccer. The economy has driven us to joint salaries. I do think the platform
of talk is across family. Would you agree with that, that it’s different than it was
in the ’80’s? Avra: I think it is, and I talked about families
dealing with these issues. If you read Sheryl Sandberg’s book, there is all kind of evidence
of women paying the price still at a different kind of way, when she has to go home and take
care of the kids. There is so many issues that we should look
at. I’ll give you another example, education. We have an education system that right now,
I took my godson to school, and it’s his last day of school. I said, “How long you out,
William, for?” He said, “I don’t know. I think about three months.” Eleanor: He’s going to work in the fields. Avra: That’s great if he’s going to work in
the fields, but he’s not. He’s got two mother’s who are working, who are scurrying around,
trying to figure out where are day camps, and where is this, and how many days alone
are they going to be, and what are they going to do about that, and should he go to the
workplace with them? It’s just nutty. Families that have some money can afford all
these fancy camps. There are a lot of people that don’t have the money, who kind of make
a sandwich, put it in the refrigerator, and pray to God that the child will be OK when
they come home from work. Yes, it’s men and women. What is more important
is not which gender it’s affecting. What it’s doing is affecting all families, by putting
unbelievable pressures that don’t need to be there. [applause] Eleanor: Well, with that, I want to thank
you for your participation, and thank you for all these wonderful panelists. These were
moments of inspiration and also some sobering reflection on what still needs to be done.
So go forth. [applause] Tonya: Well, what an interesting panel. Many
thanks to the panelists, and to our master fold moderator, Eleanor, as well. Let’s give
them another round of applause. [applause] Tonya: We’re going to pause for a moment in
the summit. Partly, so that you have a bathroom break, but also to get ready for our next,
equally riveting speaker. Just as a reminder, bathrooms can be found to either exterior.
There are folks that are posted right at the entrance of the Eisenhower Executive Office
Building, who can assist you in finding a bathroom. We have a very limited amount of time, so
I ask that folks only take about five minutes and come back into the room. Thank you. [background chatter only from 01:58:30 till
02:10:28] Tonya: Hi. I invite folks to take their seats
again as folks stream back into the space. For the folks who were in the hallway area,
those who are returning to the room, I would encourage folks to take their seats as soon
as you can. I am especially eager to hear from our next
speaker, who will discuss actual strategies to negotiate the gender divide. I should pause
for a moment. I was telling someone just a moment ago, this has been a great afternoon
already, so thank you. I want to applaud the panelists and speakers
who remain in the room and are staying throughout the summit. You’ve done really a terrific
job and I think set the stage for what’s to come. This should be a really interesting
program to follow on the other presentations. Dr. Hannah Riley Bowles conducts research
on gender and negotiation and the attainment of leadership positions. She has developed
numerous cases on leadership in crisis and the management of complex, multi-party conflicts. Her research appears in academic publications
such as the “Academy of Management Journal,” “Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,”
“Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes,” “Psychological Science” and “Journal
on Behavioral Decision Making.” All publications that I’m sure are right on your bedside table. Dr. Bowles teaches leadership and negotiation
in numerous executive programs. She is the faculty director of Women & Power, the Harvard
Kennedy School’s executive program for women leaders from the public, private and non-profit
sectors. She also is the recipient of the Kennedy School’s 2003 Manuel Carballo Award
for Excellence in Teaching. Earlier in her career Dr. Bowles was a research
associate at the Conflict Management Group and Harvard Business School. She was a technical
adviser to the Minister of Natural Resources, Energy & Mines of Costa Rica and has been
a fellow at the Argentinean National Institute of Public Administration, the West German
Parliament and Oxford University’s Forestry Institute. She has a degree from the Harvard Business
School, a Masters in Public Policy from the Kennedy School for Government, and a Bachelor
of Arts degree from Smith College. It is my great pleasure to give you Dr. Bowles. [applause] Hannah Riley Bowles: My very academic bio.
Part of what we’ll talk about are some of the constraints on women tooting their own
horn. I’ve got to learn that. I’ve got to get some skills in that department myself.
We’re going to talk about gender in job negotiations. And what I want to do is I’m going to frame
this in terms of three things for women to remember, but then I want to close with three
questions for organizational leaders and policy makers. And as I make this presentation, although
in the interest of time I’m going to frame it as focus on rights for women. I know that many of you are coming at this
question from multiple perspectives, some primarily personal, some primarily organizational
or at a policy level, some both. Right? So I welcome you to come. I want to make one
other point of framing before I talk about this. I think that particularly I’m invited
by this group, Diversity and Inclusion. I’m going to talk a lot about gender. Gender isn’t just as simple as men and women
obviously. Right? And there’s enormous diversity among women. And we frankly, as academics,
very often have for a very long time talked about what women do, what men do. A lot of
times what we’re talking about is really what white middle class college educated women
do as opposed to their male counterparts. And I can talk a little bit about some of
the intersections of gender and race. We don’t have a lot of data on that. It’s a new area
of research. I think one thing though that I like to highlight and this is becoming increasingly
a focus of my own research is a lot of these dynamics that we talk about with regard to
gender and this what I’m going to talk about now. It’s really fundamentally about status and
what we call ascribed status. The status one links to your demographic profile. There are
assumptions that men hold higher status than women in our society. I remember hearing that
for the first time in my 20s and I was just pissed. [laughs] But what really what they’re talking about
is the fact that within our society the highest positions of authority tend to be held overwhelmingly
by men. Men control greater economic resources than women. Those factors contribute to men’s
higher status in society. And as a result we make these naive associations
between being a man, now really, particularly a white man and being someone of authority
or who makes a certain amount of money. And if I have time I’ll delve more deeply, but
in what I’m increasingly finding in my research for instance is some of these dynamics that I’m going to describe to you affect gender
also affect men from minority groups, some of the constraints on negotiating behavior
and some of the limits to opportunity that I’m going to talk about. So there are important. While I’m going to be talking about men and
women, what I want to emphasize is there are obviously very important intersections of
gender and race. But also the thing to try to understand in our own minds in the organization
is how does status influence one’s opportunity to negotiate for advancement in the workplace? So why are job negotiations important when
we’re talking about leadership or gender in leadership? Negotiations are an essential
process for gaining resources and opportunities for career advancement. Through negotiation
you can enhance your recognition and rewards. And commonly we do a lot of studying about
gender and compensation negotiations. And part there’s a bias on academics, part
it’s easy to measure money. So we tend to go there. But I’m going to talk about a number
of studies about compensation. But I think these general principles apply to a much broader
range of negotiations. People negotiate at work in order to seize opportunities to expand
their authority, to overcome barriers and challenges. This is actually something I’ve learned I
think most profoundly from interviewing senior executives in the federal government, men
and women. And one of our most striking and somewhat disappointing preliminary findings
is that when you ask men and women about their career related negotiations, women more than
men are likely to describe using negotiation to get over some sort of barrier at work. Being overlooked for a position or “I was
hired in under a particular succession plan and then they eliminated the position,” or
feeling like they don’t fit and then using negotiation to get around these barriers.
This is not just women seeing the glass as half full. What’s interesting is when we interviewed
these senior executives in the federal government we also asked them to share an example of
negotiating on behalf of others, advocating for them and their career advancement. And when they were talking about advocating
for women as compared to advocating for men, they were also more likely to talk about those
types of barriers fit and being overlooked and things like that. So what I think is important
there, what I want to emphasize is that there’s a lot of research showing that when we feel
powerful we are more likely to act. And one of the ways in which we’re more likely to
act, we are more likely to negotiate. But I hope that you’ll hold in the back of
your mind that if you have moments when you’re actually feeling undermined or pinched or
caught, that you also think about negotiation as a strategy for getting yourself out of
positions that you don’t want to be in, maybe moments of feeling disempowered. And then
finally you can think about negotiation also as a strategy for making your work more personally
meaningful. And I think falls very much up on the panel
that as the women just described, the importance of feeling passion in their work. I realize
that in the federal government there are all sorts of intricacies and restrictions on what
you can negotiate and what you can’t negotiate and I don’t understand all of them. But I
can tell you I’ve interviewed now scores of senior executives in government who have come
through the Kennedy School and through other ways. And I’ve only come across I would say really
a couple of people who can’t think of an example when they’ve negotiated for something for
themselves or for somebody else. There is room for defining one’s career. And so I hope
you’ll think about negotiation not just at those moments of evaluation or those formal
moments of job entry, but more as an ongoing process of how you figure out in conversation
with others the direction of your career. So I want to leave you with today are three
ideas related to gender negotiation. And one relates to opportunity. And I want to explain
to you why women sometimes have less opportunity or are less able to see opportunity than men
to negotiation for career advancement. Number two is that ambiguity is not your friend.
And I want to talk about why that is. It heightens the potential for gender effects, particularly
disadvantageous gender effects. And three is that we really need to understand
gender and job negotiation as what I call a two level game. That it is important of
course to understand the role of gender in influencing negotiations between employees
and their employers. But we really cannot understand the effects on gender and job negotiations
if we don’t think about how those negotiations between employees and employers are fundamentally
interlinked with our negotiations with our household and family partners. So why do I argue that women sometimes have
less opportunity than men to negotiate for career advancement? One factor is social networks
and another relates to gender stereotypes. Let me explain for a moment why social networks
influence one’s opportunity to negotiate. There’s an expression that I learned from
one of our national security fellows from the Navy. He’s says it’s called “Getting the
gouge.” Apparently it’s an expression for how do you get the scoop on people? How do
you get the scoop? What do you need to know to pass the test? What’s the inside information? And particularly if the demographics of your
organization are skewed so that there are not so many people like you, you’re less likely
to be connected in ways that will help you gouge. There are studies for instance of women
in male dominated organizations and then they compare the networks of the women to the networks
of the men. Now, the men in the male dominated organizations
will report male dominated networks. And both on two dimensions. One we call instrumental,
which is basically how do you get worked on? How do you get your career advanced? But also
in what we call sometimes effective, like your social emotional ties. So they’ll also
report that they’re overwhelmingly working with people and their instrumental networks
are guys at work, but also their friendship networks are guys at work. And these networks are very much overlapping.
What studies of women and these male dominated organizations have found a few is that women
will have more gender diverse ties at work. They’re plenty connected to the guys in terms
of getting the work done. But when you ask about their friendship ties, they’re very
often with people outside the organization, people that they may feel more kinship to,
more understanding. So in the absence of those overlapping ties
of the friendship and the work relationships, it can limit one’s access to information.
It’s easier to ask on the basketball court or over barbecue or something like that, how
did so and so get that opportunity, or that raise, or how does one X, Y, Z, whatever the
question is. Or how could I do this? This is what I would like to do. What advice would you give me if you’ve actually
built this up? And I think that this point, this is a nice example where the research
very much influences what you’re hearing from experiences professionals. Virtually everyone
who stood up before you today has emphasized this point about networks. I’m going to elaborate
a little bit more on that later. The gender stereotypes. Now, there are two
different types of gender stereotypes. There’s one stereotype about what we think men and
women do. So what we think men and women are good, things like that. Or what we think their
preferences are. Men like sports. Women like sitting around talking or something like that. But then there are another set of gender stereotypes.
Those are what we call descriptive, the way we think men and women differ. There are also
stereotypes of what we call prescriptive. That is our notions of not only what we think
men and women are like, but how we think men and women should be like. What is appropriate,
attractive behavior on the part of a man or on the part of a woman? And it is these prescriptive stereotypes,
these notions of what is ladylike or attractive behavior on the part of women that also places
some restraints on women in terms of their capacity to self advocate through negotiation
in the workplace. I’m going to show you a little bit of data
now from studies on pay negotiations. And this is actually data from the first study
we’ve run. And we’ve run I think maybe a dozen of these. They all have a very similar format.
So am I allowed by rules of this to walk away from the podium here? OK, good. Let an IT
person. I’ll get in trouble here. So basically I’ll project. But basically what
we’re measuring is what is the influence on your willingness? We have here the first study
the willingness to hire the candidate. But typically what we talk about these days is
how much would you benefit or enjoy working with this person? Would you like to work with
this person? And then we look at male and female candidates
and we have you evaluate them based on what we call a no negotiation condition. You just
have a sense of what their background looks like. And maybe a little bit of their behavior
in an interview. And then we have a condition where you get
all that same baseline information, but then you also get information that they negotiated.
And we compare what’s the influence of negotiation. Now, in this first study we have the candidate.
They actually didn’t even have a job yet. Really pour it on. They’re a junior person
asking for a lot of things. And what we found is what we call a social cost even for male
candidates between those who attempted to negotiate and those who did not. So your willingness to work with a guy, the
green. The green they negotiated, the gray they did not. Your willingness to work with
the guy if they attempted to negotiate was lower than if they had not. Men can also overdo
it. Although frankly in most studies we find no effect for men. Almost all studies we find
no effect for men. But the effect for women was two and a half
times greater. And this is the consistent pattern that we find, that there is what we
call this social cost. This tax on the negative impression that the woman makes when she self
advocates and asks for things for herself that the men to a lesser extent need to take
into account. So there was an original popularization, Linda
Babcock’s terrific book “Women Don’t Ask” and a variety of things. People have come
out and there’s been proposals for legislation to train women to negotiate more, to close
the gender wage gap. I think we need to be really careful. That’s how Linda and I started
collaborating. I said we’ve got to watch out because maybe this is quite reasonable behavior
on the part of women. And what we’ve documented now is that it is
actually quite reasonable for women to be more reticent than men about self advocating
in certain situations asking for things because more than for men they have to weigh, how
do I have to trade off the potential social costs of asking against what I can gain materially? Now, I’ve got good news coming up, but I think
it’s important that we recognize that men and women’s behavior differ very often because
they get differential feedback from society based on identical behavior. OK? So now here’s some good news. I’ve got to
show you some good news after I land that. Now, for instance, this effect that I just
showed you and we’ve documented this in a lot of studies with more professional actors
applying for more senior positions in a whole variety of contexts. This really only applies when you’re asking
for money for yourself. This does not about women can’t be assertive negotiators. It’s
that women get this type of negative feedback when they’re being an assertive negotiator
on behalf of themselves. So one early study for instance that we ran
with a population very similar to those of you in this room, senior executives, a lot
of them in government service, some in the private sector, some lawyers, but definitely
substantially from a population of your background. We ran the study in which you were either
negotiating pay for yourself or you were negotiating pay for somebody else. That’s the only thing
that was different. Otherwise the instructions were perfectly identical. Now, for men this didn’t actually make much
of a difference, whether they were negotiating for themselves or for somebody else. But for
women the difference was substantial. And a lot of women really recognize this in themselves.
They feel this. In fact, what’s really interesting, a recent research is if women aren’t actually
assertive on behalf of others. We think there’s maybe something a little bit wrong. This fulfills our stereotype of what we want
women to be is this advocate, mamma bear, supporting other people. But when we advocate
for ourselves it pinches against our expectations. And it pinches both men and women. This is
not something where men don’t give women…but for both men and women. What we need to do
is recognize that we are exposed to these stereotypes. There’s a wonderful, brilliant African American
social psychologist. He was at Stanford for a long time. I think he just got stolen by
another university, but I forget where. Claude Steel who talks about the influence of stereotypes.
And he talks about implicit stereotypes. The stereotypes that just kind of hang in
the air. These things that we are just aware of. We don’t talk about them explicitly. It’s
just the world as we know it. And he says, “I, as a black man, walking into an ATM at
night with a white woman at the machine.” He says, “I do not think because I am a black
man that I am going to rob her, but I worry that she thinks because I am a black man that
I am going to rob her.” We don’t need to embrace stereotypes or believe
in them to have them affect our behavior. But we need to be and what’s wonderfully powerful
is that actually if we can raise to our level of conscious awareness the potential influence
of the stereotype, that alone can limit their influence. So for opportunity, what are the practical
implications of this? I think we have to think about creating opportunity for self advocacy.
And what I would challenge you to do is think about enhancing your negotiations through
relationships. So it’s a lot easier to negotiate when you’ve built those relationships over
time. People know your competencies, your abilities, they trust you, they believe in
you, they understand your aspirations. So you want to build and leverage your network.
But what we’re finding interesting in our research also is that for women even more
than men, it’s important to think about enhancing your relationships through the negotiation
process itself. So what Linda Babcock and I have done a lot
of research looking at different strategies that women could use that would minimize that
social cost. What are strategies that women could use that would help them achieve their
social goals at the same time as they were achieving their material goals, whatever it
was that they were asking for. And what we found is we call this relational
accounts. I’ll show you in a minute. Cheryl Samberg calls this an I we strategy, which
is a much smarter label. But as academics that’s the best we can do. We call it relational
accounts. Almost indecipherable, but that’s all right. Relational accounts are basically this idea,
one part of it is employing a legitimate explanation explaining why it is appropriate for you to
be asking what you’re asking for in this moment. This is what enhances people’s willingness
to give you what you’re asking for. But also at the same time demonstrating concern for
organizational relationships, demonstrating that you’re taking on the other side’s perspective. Now, I want to concede that for some women
this drives them absolutely nuts. They think, “How could you bend to a stereotype or take
this into account?” And I’m very sympathetic with that perspective, but I think any movement
needs idealists and pragmatists. And from a very pragmatic perspective, we are going
for what we could make work. And I think also that if you want to change
stereotypes what we need to do is get more women into senior positions and more women
in high paying positions. And then as the panelists were describing, we just start taking
for granted that these women are going to be there and deserve that type of compensation. So let me give you some examples of relational
accounts. Again, Cheryl Samberg talks about this in her lean in book. And she describes
negotiating for her current position as COO of Facebook. And she got made an initial offer
that she was going to accept. And her brother in law told her, “How could
you possibly not negotiate? How could you possibly accept less than what a guy would
take?” And she had a lot of those natural feelings that women have of, what if I queer
the deal basically? What if they don’t like me, they think it’s inappropriate? And she went through a lot of those, which
are not about women’s lack of confidence or a lack of negotiating ability. Women are great
negotiators. It’s just that they read the social situation accurately, that this is
a pinch point that I need to think hard about. But what she said was, “Of course, you realize
that you’re hiring me to run your deal teams, so you want me to be a good negotiator.” Right?
This is like, “You should want me to negotiate, this is totally legitimate that I’m negotiating
this moment.” She said, “This is the only time you and I
will ever be on opposite sides of the table. I’m thinking we here, right, but you’ve got
to recognize, it’s appropriate for me to be asking what I’m asking for.” This fits very
closely with actually some of the things, some of the strategies that we’ve tested experimentally,
where we have people say, “I hope you recognize my negotiating as a skill that I bring to
the job.” I’m going to skip ahead on this. It also,
let me give you a couple of other senior executives. These are actually private sector senior executive
examples, but I think that they apply across. Just to give you more feel for this I/we strategy.
Again, this is great, this is good advice for any negotiator, but I think particularly
useful for women. This one executive told me the story of finding
out for the second time that a male subordinate was being paid more than she was. You can
imagine she had a lot of thoughts, things that she might want to say. [laughter] Hannah: But what she did was, she went to
them and said, “I’m confident this is just a mistake, because in essence, this isn’t
the way this company is run. The company doesn’t want this type of thing that a subord is being
paid more. I’m going to leave it to you guys to figure it out because I know this is inconsistent
with company values.” Now, some people asked me, “Is this an implicit
threat?” And I never got that feeling from her when I was talking to her. I think she
really just said, “I trust you that this isn’t what you would want to see either and I trust
you to kind of fix it. This is your values and that’s why you’re going to want to fix
it.” There’s another example of a senior woman
asked to lead a diversity initiative. Now, in some ways, if this is in your heart and
your passion this is a positive thing. For some women, this woman in particular, had
always been in line positions. She had in mind a senior executive position in the company.
A staff job on a diversity initiative which had not been a priority for the company, she
was worried, was leading her away from where she wanted to go. These were her career concerns
kind of going into this. I’ve done a lot of interviews with very senior
executive women, and one of the strategies that I heard a lot of women use, that this
woman also used, was not to talk about herself in this position, but to turn around and talk
to the company about what it wanted from that job or the organization. What do you want
from that job? She said, “How are you going to measure this
initiative’s contribution to the bottom line?” Because she thought, for my career, the only
way this is going to help me get where I want to get is if I can show how this job contributes
to the bottom line. She knew that that was a primary value that they held. And a lot of the executives that I’ve interviewed
to talk about these things, they talk about, if you want this job to have the authority
that you’re proposing, then the reporting should be directly to the CEO or whatever.
Now, I don’t know exactly…as I mentioned, I know there are a lot of constraints on these
types of things in the federal government. But at the same time, when I talk to a lot
of these executives, there seems to be a lot of potential to shape jobs and reporting and
budgets and things like that. So turning it around, not making it about the self but making
it about success in the job. And the other thing that she said was, “If
you want this position to have the authority that you describe, then I really think the
compensation should be set at this level, in the interest of the position.” [laughter] Hannah: But again, it’s turning it around.
I think I have time, I want to show you one other that we’ve done. Actually as part of
Sheryl’s book launch, we did some work with Katie Couric around getting out some of these
ideas. I want to show you one of the clips that her team produced that we’re illustrating,
this is where the Kennedy school student, the shift from the “I” voice to the “I/We”
voice. It runs for just a minute. [music] Woman 1: What I really need for this campaign
that I’m working on to go forward is another full-time employee. You have been giving me
more projects and more clients, which I appreciate. That said, I really, really need another person. [music] Woman 1: What I’m going to ask for is another
full-time employee for the campaign. This is a real strategic opportunity for us. If
we get into this market right now, we can make a huge difference down the line and looking
long-term for the company here. We will have better outcomes. Hannah: A little distracting with the video,
but you get the idea, right? How do you think about it? Now, one thing I’ll say to you is
that I think this is really hard to do in the absence of some role-playing and a friend.
Particularly when we’re impassioned about something, we’re going to come at it initially
from our “I” voice. Like, “Why I need this, why this is so crazy for me.” It is really helpful through role-playing
and through conversation. I know from my own experience negotiating with my institution,
but also from working with scores of executive women, that we have them pair and practice
with one another, do peer feedback, and practice making that pitch. Getting somebody else really
prodding you to take on the other’s perspective is extremely helpful. This doesn’t come naturally.
It takes some work. OK. My idea number two. This is this idea
that ambiguity heightens the potential for differential outcomes and I’ll explain to
you why. There’s two different types of ambiguity that I’ll talk about, norm ambiguity and structural
ambiguity. I’ll explain what those are. It’s not ambiguity itself that creates the problem,
the issue is that in ambiguity, we walk into situations and look into our past experiences
and into the social environment for cues for how to enact the situation. If gender or race are salient within the environment
they are more likely to influence our behavior or the standards that we choose. Norm ambiguity
relates to the degree of clarity about norms of appropriate negotiating behavior. Interestingly, one student that was run with
MBA students, they had one condition where it wasn’t clear what the norms for negotiating
compensation were in a new higher situation. Another condition they made clear, what would
be expected of MBA’s in this situation. When it was clear what would be expected of
MBA’s there was no gender difference in the propensity to negotiate. When it was ambiguous,
that’s when women were more reticent than men to attempt to negotiate. That’s when they
were starting to gendered norms to answer the question, “What do I do in this situation?” Structural ambiguity relates to ambiguity
about what are the appropriate standards for agreement, what are the numbers that we should
be using to fill in this blank? I’ll show you an example of a study that we
did of MBA’s job market outcomes. We had extensive controls for things that might explain why
men and women would get different salaries coming out of an MBA program including the
jobs that they went into, how many years experience they had, pre-MBA salary, whether work family
was a concern, moving into major cities or not. We found controlling for all of those factors
a $5,000 gender gap. Then, we separated the data into two conditions. One condition, we
asked career services professionals, “In what industries is it clear to MBA’s what they
should be asking for salary and in what industries do we have not very good data, is it fairly
ambiguous? What we found was in the low ambiguity industries
you got a pretty good sense. 70 percent of the sample, this is for most of the MBA’s,
there’s no gender difference once you control for all of those other factors. High ambiguity
industries, there was a $10,000 gender gap. Don’t forget, we’re controlling for the type
of job or industry that you’re going in, so this isn’t about men going into finance and
women going into something else. This is controlling for all of those factors. When there was ambiguity,
you see the men coming out of the MBA program with salaries about 10 percent higher than
the women. Interestingly, these results mirror what you
tend to find in executive compensation. You find with executives it’s less likely to find
gender differences in salary because it’s relatively standardized forms of pay than
in things like bonuses or equity. Where the norms are more ambiguous or the
calculations are fairly complex, that’s when you tend to see men getting more than women.
Now, I realize there’s not a lot of room for negotiating. There’s some room within grade
for negotiation in the federal government. You also have to think more broadly about
what are those types of opportunities, be they training opportunities or other types
of opportunities where the standards are somewhat ambiguous about how these things are allocated
or staff or whatever it is. Gender could influence these things. I’m going to tell you one other related story
quickly which goes back to the networking point. There were studies done called, “The
entitlement effect,” basically suggesting that women feel less entitled to money than
men do in pay. The studies showed things like women work
longer and with fewer errors for the same pay than men on gender neutral tasks or that
they’ll pay themselves less for equivalent labor. Those effects go away once you take
away the ambiguity, once you tell people more or less what the standards are that you should
be paying yourself. Interestingly, they ran one study where the
standards were ambiguous and they said to men and women, “You can look at what other
study participants paid themselves.” The guys looked at what Joe, Jorge, and Ed paid themselves
and the women looked at what Maria, Edna, and Eleanor paid themselves. Now, what happens is we look on society, and
we have a deep psychological propensity, looking at ourselves and looking at others, to compare
ourselves to similar others. It cannot be discrimination, but it can be biased information
sampling if we imagine what we should have for ourselves by comparing ourselves to similar
others, or if others look at us and try to figure out what type of a budget or title
or compensation you should have, comparing you to similar others. So for practical advice, you want to reduce
ambiguity. You want to figure out what those information sources are within the organization,
how do you get the gouge, right? But also, what I would really encourage you to do is
not only network with one another, but think about networking outside of convenience networks.
Don’t just get that information from people just like yourself. Really try to get data
on what does the distribution of opportunities look like. I’m going to move through my third idea here
more quickly. We’ve mainly been talking about negotiations with employees and employers,
but to really understand the gender gap, the gender wage gap and the gender gap certainly
in job negotiations, we need to understand how job negotiations with employers are fundamentally
interlinked with our negotiations with household and other family partners. Many of you will be familiar with a Lilly
Ledbetter story. Obama’s first legislation he signed when he came into office was the
Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Out. The Lilly Ledbetter story was about this woman,
who in 1996 received the top performance from her company and in 1997 was earning about
$45,000. She, many years later, finds out that the lowest-paid man doing the same work
that she was, even though she was the top employee, was making $51,000+. She was being
paid 87 cents on the dollar. Now, a lot of people compare that 87 cents
on the dollar to the 77 cents on the dollar. That’s our national problem of the gender
wage gap. But actually, most of the gender wage gap is not really a Lilly Ledbetter problem.
There are Lilly Ledbetter problems, that’s part of the unexplained gap. There is discrimination
in organizations, but that tends to be that relatively smaller, unexplained gap. It is
more like eight cents on the dollar than 33 cents. The biggest chunk of the 70 cents on a dollar
cap really relates to the gender distribution of household labor. It relates to the fact
that not only is it that women take on an overwhelming amount of work and therefore
find it harder to work as many hours as men. They’re more likely to take part-time labor.
They’re more likely to take breaks from the workforce. But it is also because they end up, and even
early, before they have started their career, before they have met their partners in life,
will decide, “I’m going to need the type of job where I can have that flexibility in order
to stay at home or have flexible work.” So they decide early on they do not make investments
in those extreme work types of careers that are ultimately the highest-paying. The Global Gender Gap report for the World
Economic Forum is produced out of the Kennedy School, led by one of our economists, Ricardo
Hausmann. Are we OK on…? OK. I’ll be quick on this. I just want to raise this to suggest
this is not just an issue for the US, but it’s really an issue internationally. Ricardo noted that among the 134 countries
covered in the report, they’re finding dramatic gaps are closing between men’s and women’s
health, and we’ve certainly seen this in the United States, right? But they’re having a
terrible time closing gender gaps in economic participation. Really, the issue in the US and in many of
these other places is figuring out, as Ellen was emphasizing, how do we make work compatible
with family? There are also all sorts of stereotypes for men who try to choose to support women
and stay at home. Societally, we have a lot of work in terms of social stereotypes and
the structure of work to figure out how to create this. So from a practical perspective, I would encourage
creating work-family win-wins. A lot of times, these things get perceived as pitted against
one another, but things like a flexible work schedule are ways of making win-wins out of
perceived work-family conflicts. The key thing is to negotiate and helping
people negotiate not only to get over a short-term pinch, but to negotiate for the long run so
that you are accumulating experiences over the course of your career even if there are
periods when you don’t have your foot completely down on the gas pedal, where you’re in the
workforce, you’re building your experience so that you remain engaged. There’s obviously
opportunities, as many of you live, for creating value also with life partners. Three things I would argue to remember. One
is create those opportunities to self-advocate by enhancing your negotiations through relationships,
but also by enhancing your relationships through negotiations, using those “I/We” strategies. I encourage you to reduce ambiguity about
norms and standards by getting as much information as you can for others and about what the appropriate
standards are, but importantly, reaching outside of convenience networks. Really get the best
data you can, and try not to let your search be biased. And then finally, creating those
win-wins for work and family. Now, my three questions for organizational
leaders and policy makers are how do you create an even playing field for opportunity? Some
of this is likely to be training, but I think if you do training, it needs to be grounded
in this research, so we’re not just telling women the same thing that we tell men. You
should give them differential advice. But I think even more important, it’s got to come
from stronger leadership, mentor and sponsorship. How do we reduce ambiguity? Some of it is
in making information available. For instance, the Department of Labor sponsored recently
an app to allow people to get more comparative information on salaries. How can we make more
transparent what the norms and standards are without standardizing everything? And then finally, how can we create more work-family
win-wins? In part, allowing people to even have the conversation to explore whether there
are opportunities, but some of this is also going to require that we reconsider our taken-for-granted
assumptions about the ways that work gets done and also what career paths look like.
I’ll leave it there. Tonya: Thank you. Thank you very much. [applause]

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