Wives seeking nsa Talent

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With more thanforeign-policy employees, the U. The largest in terms of staff, it is also among the worst in terms of gender disparity. Women ed for one-third of the U. This severe underrepresentation of women is leaving a key talent pool untapped. It prevents U. Eliminating this disparity could carry considerable implications for global gender inequality—particularly given that women and girls are disproportionately affected by war, insecurity, natural disasters, and economic instability.

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While this issue is garnering more public attention —with advocates and activists calling on the U. Further, the specific causes of gender disparity in individual foreign-policy agencies have not been investigated, making it exceedingly difficult to pinpoint solutions. To address this gap, FP Analytics has undertaken a first-of-its-kind analysis of federal government agencies across all fields of foreign policy, including defense, international development, trade and investment, diplomacy, and national security.

The study marries data analysis to insights shared by women who are current or former foreign-policy professionals, illuminating the specific barriers preventing women from reaching their full potential. The agencies covered in this study are both creators and implementers of foreign policy, including cabinet departments focused on foreign policy and independent agencies. Where possible, FP Analytics has isolated individual foreign-policy agencies within larger domestic-focused cabinet departments. For example, the Foreign Agricultural Service is included in the scope of this study, but the Department of Agriculture as a whole is not.

This study reveals the clear passion and drive women have for careers in foreign policy. However, women are being held back on each rung of the proverbial ladder. Despite graduating from international-relations degrees at a higher rate than men, women are not being hired at the same rate, and their presence decreases at each stage of seniority. But once women have made it in the door, various cultural and institutional barriers in government hold them back and contribute to their being 30 percent more likely than men to re—undermining their advancement and potential contribution to the field.

Addressing this ongoing problem will require diligent work to tackle harassment and discrimination and create a more inclusive workplace culture for women. Alongside this cultural change, practical steps can and must be taken to ensure open and competitive hiring practices, strengthen support for a healthy work-life balance, and invest in women's Wives seeking nsa Talent development.

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FP Analytics conducted focus groups and interviews with current and former female employees across foreign-policy agencies about their experiences working for the U. The quotations in this report are their words, and their insights guide the narrative and recommendations. This problem afflicts foreign-policy agencies across all fields. Inwomen made up just one-third of employees in the military services the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guarda share which has dropped further, to 30 percent, over the course of the past decade.

A persistent gender imbalance in new hires is contributing to the shrinking overall percentage of female employees over time. Two-thirds of foreign-policy agencies—including all military services, economic, diplomatic, and national-security agencies, as well as the Overseas Private Investment Corporation—hired more men than women on average each year over the period. Inmore than 70 percent of them hired more men than women, as the average representation of women among new hires at those agencies fell to just 36 percent.

This is despite the higher percentage of women than men trained in international relations and affairs Wives seeking nsa Talent that period. This problem afflicts foreign-policy agencies across all fields, particularly in defense, the military, economics, and national security. This policy naturally disadvantages women, who remain a small minority in the military service: As ofwomen represented just 9.

This hiring disparity particularly affects foreign-policy agencies, which often attract veterans because of their experience in defense and national security. Inveterans represented a large share of employees in several foreign-policy agencies which have struggled to hire women: the Air Force 57 percentthe Army 50 percentand the Navy 43 percent.

By comparison, veterans represented slightly less than one-third of the entire federal workforce in the same year. The proportion of foreign-policy agencies that hired more men than women on average each year over the period. Inmore than 70 percent of them hired more men than women, as the average representation of women among new hires at those agencies fell to just one-third.

The average percentage of female graduates from U. ESAs apply to a of specific jobs, including attorneys and intelligence positions, and can be granted by the Office of Personnel Management OPMby executive order, or Congress in situations where hiring managers are concerned they will be unable to fill the position appropriately via competitive hiring and an open application process.

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However, by not advertising these jobs publicly, ESAs risk excluding women and minorities from candidate pools and reduce the likelihood that the government workforce will reflect the American population. Numerous studies have shown that people are more likely to hire or recruit candidates who look and act like them, in a phenomenon known as mirroring. Despite a lack of data, given the disproportionate of men in positions of authority, and likely responsible for hiring, the risks to gender equality from this policy warrant further attention.

This is a particular concern in foreign-policy agencies dominated by men. Among the foreign-policy agencies that have used ESAs the most, all but three have seen the percentage of women hired through ESAs decline sinceand those agencies hired notably fewer women than men through ESAs in In fact, over the past decade, women have represented 39 percent of ESA hires in foreign-policy agencies each year on average, and the share is trending downward.

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Further study is needed to better understand the divergence between foreign-policy and domestic agencies. Achieving gender parity among foreign-policy staff will require hiring practices which encourage fair and open competition. It is critical that hiring managers ensure that a diverse spread of candidates, including women, is brought in to interview, remaining cautious of who is being unintentionally excluded from the competition. In addition, monitoring the usage of ESAs and associated reasons can help ensure that they are being used only where necessary, minimizing the risk of women being discriminated against and excluded through the process.

Together, these dynamics contribute to a vicious cycle. The most severe gap between the representation of men and women across all the foreign-policy agencies is in top leadership. Wives seeking nsa Talent make up a considerably smaller percentage of top leadership than they represent in overall staff in every foreign-policy agency except the Peace Corps. The dearth of women leaders le to a lack of role models for women, which in turn discourages their career aspirations.

Across focus groups, current and former employees emphasized how having women as role models can have a tremendous positive impact on more junior women. Several focus-group participants called it inspiring and motivating to see increasing s of women appointed to top defense and national-security positions during the Obama administration. They particularly noted how meaningful it had been to see that all but one of the regional under secretaries at the State Department under President Barack Obama were women and, conversely, how discouraging and worrisome it is now that balance has almost entirely flipped, with all but two of these positions filled by men under the Trump administration.

This lack of women role models in leadership is both a cause and an effect of the narrowing pipeline of women moving up the career ladder.


In all foreign-policy agencies but one for which GS data is available forthe representation of women drops ificantly in GS levels 13 to 15 compared to below GS level 13, by an average of 15 percentage points. At GS levels 13 to 15, women are substantially outed by men in 80 percent of foreign-policy agencies, and in two-thirds of foreign-policy agencies women for a percentage lower than their proportion in overall employment. The proportion of foreign-policy agencies in which women are outed by men at GS levels 13 to The percentage of women falls further moving into SES, the leadership positions just below the top presidential appointees overseeing and coordinating civil-service activity.

As ofwomen ed for only 23 percent of supervisors among the military services overall and 37 percent among nonmilitary foreign-policy agencies. All but one agency the Peace Corps for which data is available had ificantly fewer women than men as supervisors. Women encounter serious barriers to advancement as they reach higher professional classification levels—a pattern consistent across all foreign-policy agencies for which data is available, Wives seeking nsa Talent the exception of the Air Force.

This culture creates a toxic atmosphere for women: Focus-group participants described being excluded from social occasions and informal work gatherings and passed over for work asments. As a result, women may find themselves at a disadvantage, with limited access to networking and advancement opportunities or to demonstrating their suitability for increased responsibility.

Focus-group participants noted how male supervisors and managers often make strategic decisions or as work at informal occasions such as lunches or happy hours, where women are not invited or welcomed. However, even in more formal office settings, focus-group participants described incidents where work was taken away from them, despite their having been hired specifically for that portfolio or ased it by a manager. In addition, multiple women expressed that they were not taken seriously, either by peers in their own teams or counterparts in different agencies.

Focus-group participants described being bypassed by male colleagues who preferred to work with other men even when those men were not the deated point of contact. Women supervisors are underrepresented across foreign-policy agencies, with their share consistently lower than their share of overall employment. Mentors can play an important role in professional networking and providing recommendations in the job application and promotion process. As such, women without supportive mentors may find that they lose out to their peers who are men: A study by Sun Microsystems found that Wives seeking nsa Talent with mentors were promoted five times as often as their nonmentored peers, and mentored employees were five times more likely to receive raises.

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Multiple focus-group participants articulated the need for a dedicated mentorship program for women to support career development. Mentors, regardless of gender, could be provided with training and guidance on how best to support women in the workplace, helping to ensure such a program is well deed, accessible, and sustained over time. Women in foreign-policy agencies are not only more likely to re than men, but do so more often than women in nonforeign-policy agencies.

On average, women are 30 percent more likely than men to leave by reing in military services and 28 percent more likely in nonmilitary agencies, based on the annual averages for the period from to In comparison, women in nonforeign-policy agencies are only 16 percent more likely than men to leave by reing. While the prevailing glass ceiling may discourage women from pursuing ambitions in public-sector foreign policy, women in focus groups also mentioned other factors, such as struggles with work-life balance and sexual harassment, that push women out of the field.

Sexual harassment has long been a problem in foreign-policy agencies, though it has been historically and chronically underreported. Recently, however, women have begun to come forward with s detailing their experiences of receiving sexual propositions and explicit comments, and of being assaulted, at work. A high-profile example of this shift came in with the publication of the MeTooNatSec lettered by senior women in the foreign-policy space, which described an atmosphere where abuse and assault are still common.

On average, women are 30 percent more likely than men to leave by reing in military services and 28 percent more likely in nonmilitary agencies.

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Just as they do in the rest of the government, women in foreign-policy agencies face both cultural and institutional barriers to filing harassment complaints. Culturally, women are often discouraged from lodging formal complaints out of fear that they will be labeled as troublemakers or problems. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission EEOC estimates that 75 percent of people who receive harassment never even mention it to their supervisor, let alone take the next step of filing a claim.

Within foreign-policy agencies, focus-group participants described witnessing known harassers be moved into different roles as a way of dealing with complaints instead of going through official channels. Many women have consequently lost confidence in the way their agencies respond to discriminatory behavior.

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In addition, women working in defense and national security reported feeling that they were expected to downplay or ignore instances of sexual harassment in order to serve their patriotic duty. The processes for reporting harassment and other Equal Employment Opportunity EEO violations are slow and expensive, and place undue pressure on victims. In53 complaints were filed across the government, of which zero were found to have been discrimination.

Complainants must hire their own lawyers, and adjudication can take anywhere from a few weeks to four years—while the subject of the complaint continues to work in the same place, alongside or with authority over the person they have been harassing. Harassment causes many women to leave their workplaces, as it reportedly makes them feel unwanted and unwelcome. A poll of women in the private sector found that almost half of women who experienced sexual harassment quit their jobs as a result, and a study reported that women who have been harassed are 6.

Women in our focus groups described a feeling of relief once they chose to leave foreign-policy agencies where harassment had been prevalent and move into jobs in domestic agencies or the private sector.

Wives seeking nsa Talent

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