WIIS Report Examines Progress in Careers
A report released by Women In International Security (WIIS) – part of the Center for Peace and Security Studies (CPASS) – offers a first-of-its-kind look at the challenges and opportunities being encountered by women working in peace and security in the U.S. executive branch.
According to the study, authored by WIIS Executive Director Jolynn Shoemaker and Jennifer Park:
- Women are finding little to no discrimination that is exclusively gender-based but are sometimes experiencing ageism.
- Agencies with more women already in leadership positions are leading the way in fostering positive environments for women.
- Achieving work-life balance is seen as of high importance and options have improved over the years, but part-time jobs are scarce, and in some cases office culture discourages flexible arrangements even when they are expressly permitted.
- Training and mentoring vary by agency; more leadership training is needed everywhere.
“Progress has been made. That’s the theme,” Shoemaker says. “Young women realize what women went through in previous eras, and now they feel the opportunities are limitless.” The report makes recommendations toward four broad goals: promoting leadership development for women, supporting work-life balance, building a culture of mentorship among women and taking steps to develop the next generation of women who will be leaders.
Shoemaker says that studying at the School of Foreign Service often benefits women who are working to establish themselves as emerging leaders. “Women coming out of SFS automatically have that credibility,” she says.
A global network of women and men focused on advancing women’s leadership in the fields of international peace and security, WIIS has been housed at Georgetown, within CPASS, since relocating from the University of Maryland in 2001. WIIS has about 1,500 members from nearly four dozen countries engaged in academia, diplomacy, intelligence, the military, government, non-governmental and international organizations, the media and the private sector. Read the report at http://wiis.georgetown.edu.