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Region Explores Women’s Roles at Interagency Roundtable
June 30, 2015
(Seated left – right): Holly Leicht, Regional Administrator, HUD; Hon. Loretta A. Preska, Chief Judge, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of N.Y.; Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, U.N.; Denise L. Pease, GSA Regional Administrator, Northeast & Caribbean Region 2; and Karen Greve Milton, Circuit Executive, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.
Posted by: Denise L. Pease, GSA Regional Administrator, Northeast and Caribbean Region and Julia E. Hudson, GSA Regional Administrator, National Capital Region, GSA Designee on the White House Council for Women and Girls.
To examine and discuss the changing roles and needs of women in today’s society, especially working women, GSA Regional Administrator Denise L. Pease, Northeast and Caribbean Region, welcomed Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, United Nations Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of UN Women to lead a conversation with a group of approximately thirty male and female regional leaders in New York City on issues impacting women.
The roundtable discussion was part of a series of women-focused panels and forums and were in support of the Agency’s role on the White House Council on Women and Girls headed by Regional Administrator Julia E. Hudson, National Capital Region and included participants from the Region’s federal leadership and industry leaders.
Dr. Mlambo-Ngcuka broached several topics and issues which challenge women today in the region, in the country and globally. She pointed out that today in 2015 there is still not a single country where gender equality exists. “Only twenty two percent of women in the political world are in decision making positions,” she said, “The result of this is lots of legislation gets passed that doesn’t work for women. The legislative landscape has to change.”
Grace Protos, Regional Administrator of the Women’s Bureau at the Department of Labor, shared with roundtable participants the “labor revolution” happening in the United States with initiatives like paid leave, sick days, and conversations around the family unit that have become dominant issues affecting women in the workplace.
Picking up the torch of discussion, round table participant Lt Col. John Knight, U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, touched on other areas where the need exists to bring women into decision-making positions and into the departments of law that enforce them. “A lot of decisions are made in board rooms” he stated, “and women need to be in the board rooms as well.”
Round table participants left energized and ready to become the change agents needed to make their discussion a reality. The consensus reached by all acknowledges that within our respective agencies, we can each work to effect change – and as a federal family, move the agenda forward for women in the workplace.
“As a proud member of the White House Council on Women and Girls,” said Julia E. Hudson, NCR Regional Administrator, “GSA remains committed to ensuring, as well as advancing, policies and initiatives pertaining to women and girls remain a top priority within the Agency.”