USDA to rename Client Technology Services under IT modernization drive

Federal News Radio
By: Jory Heckman

Friday, February 23, 2018

As part of an ongoing federal information technology modernization, the Agriculture Department plans to rename one of its IT service providers to reflect a doubling down on customer service.

Rory Schultz, a client executive at USDA, said Thursday during an AFFIRM panel discussion that the agency’s Client Technology Services would rebrand itself as the Customer Experience Center, effective March 2, and would reflect a new focus on enterprise end-user services under Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.

“There’s a complete emphasis on customer … This is what our secretary said, and this is what we’re going to be implementing,” Schultz said Thursday during an AFFIRM panel discussion.

Since December, USDA has been working with the General Services Administration and the Office of American Innovation to pilot a centers of excellence program that would bring the public and private sectors together to help implement the White House’s finalized IT Modernization Strategy.

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Women leaders in federal tech urge developing diverse talent pool

Federal News Radio
By: Jory Heckman

Thursday, January 25, 2018

For years, the federal government has experienced challenges around recruiting young talent, fresh out of college, for information technology jobs. It’s also had some challenges in trying to diversify the federal workforce. Where those areas overlap, the problem can be felt more acutely.

Last year, the Office of Personnel Management reported that women comprised more than 43 percent of the federal workforce. However, the agency also found that in 2015, only about 70,000 women worked in STEM-related career fields in the federal government in 2015.

During an AFFIRM panel discussion Thursday, several women in federal technology management positions called on hiring officials to help broaden the diversity of the federal workforce, and to empower women to climb the career ladder at their agencies.

Renee Macklin, the Commerce Department’s director of IT enterprise services, said a diverse workforce is best suited to take on her team’s mission, which now includes a rollout of shared services across the department.

“I do believe that everybody brings something to the table, and diversity is so important when you’re trying to solve some of the problems that we deal with in technology, because everybody brings a different point of view,” Macklin said. “And no point of view is, ‘This is the only way.’ And I think, when you embrace that,  and understand that you need each other in that whole diversity realm, you get a better solution. ”

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Women in federal IT should move around to move up, says panel

Federal Times
By: Jessie Bur
Thursday, January 25, 2018
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The key to achieving leadership positions as a woman in the federal IT workforce is a willingness to move often to the best opportunity, according to current and former senior-level IT officials who spoke at the “Trailblazing Women in Government” luncheon hosted by the Association for Federal Information Resource Management on Thursday, Jan. 25.

“What I would encourage folks to do is to move around, try different positions and also be really open to new experiences in life. Don’t limit yourself, try not to stay in one organization for a really long time. I would say every five or six years start thinking about moving and going on,” said Adriane Burton, chief information officer at the Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resource and Services Administration.

Between 2012 and 2016, the percentage of women serving in the Senior Executive Service has hovered between 33 to 35 percent, according to a 2017 Office of Personnel Management report on SES employees. This means that most leadership positions in the government are still held by men.

In 2016, women also held only 25 percent of the nation’s tech jobs, according to a report by the National Center for Women and Information Technology.

Stacy Dawn, assistant director for privacy and security compliance at the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Information Technology, explained that moving up the professional ladder in government requires a breadth of experiences, which can often only be gained from working a variety of positions.

“Apply for every promotion that looks interesting to you, because let them tell you if you’re the best qualified. Because you might think it’s interesting, you might be a little unsure, but they’re going to pick the best qualified and if that is you, then you own that job,” said Dawn.

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What's Stalling Progress for Women at Work?

McKinsey & Company
Thursday, January 5, 2017

Corporate America's gender-diversity programs are falling short. Companies need to think differently to ignite change.

Podcast transcript

Simon London: Hello, and welcome to this edition of the McKinsey Podcast. I’m Simon London, an editor with McKinsey Publishing. Today, we’re going to be talking about women in the workplace. That is, the representation and career progression of women in big companies and upper organizations. Joining me here in our Silicon Valley office are McKinsey partner Alexis Krivkovich and senior partner Eric Kutcher. They’ve helped lead groundbreaking research on gender diversity in corporate America. Alexis and Eric, thank you very much for being here today.

Eric Kutcher: Thank you for having us.

Alexis Krivkovich: Thank you.

Simon London: Let’s start with a 30,000-foot question. McKinsey has done quite a lot of research over a number of years now on this topic. Why does it matter to us? Why does it matter for our clients? What makes it a pressing management issue?

Eric Kutcher: The first thing for most companies that have recognized this as an issue is it’s very much a strategic issue. And the reason it’s so strategic is that we know, from all the research that we’ve done and others have done, is diversity, broadly — and I think it largely comes from diversity of thought and diversity of the way we solve problems — actually leads to better outcomes. And you can show a very high correlation between more diverse organizations (and gender diversity being a very big part of that) and actual company performance. It’s not that surprising when you think about it, because if you think about where talent comes from, and the war for talent, or the desire to really ensure that we get the best talent in an organization, how can you possibly get the best talent if you’re not pulling from the fullness of the talent pool?

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