News Release

The Women on Whose Shoulders We Stand


 photo of FEW’s Rocky Mountain Chapter President Pauline Gibson and Policy and Legislative Chair, Patt Franc.
FEW’s Rocky Mountain Chapter President Pauline Gibson (left) and Policy and Legislative Chair, Patt Franc,
introduced the group of participants
to the mission, accomplishments, and current efforts of the organization.
 Photo of Jill Tietjen with IBC event organizers Lindamarie Hanson and Julie Bednar.
Jill Tietjen, author of “Her Story,” with
IBC event organizers Lindamarie Hanson
and Julie Bednar

“The Power of the Women on Whose Shoulders We Stand” was the title of the Interior Business Center’s celebration of National Women’s History Month, Friday, March 7, 2014, on the IBC Denver Campus.

The program began with a brief presentation by representatives of the local chapter of Federally Employed Women (FEW) and then provided some rich but rapid-fire content from one of the authors of the bestselling book, “Her Story: A Timeline of the Women Who Changed America.”

The Denver Federal Center chapter of FEW President Pauline Gibson (administrative officer at Department of Labor) and Policy and Legislative Chair, Patt Franc (retired federal employee) introduced themselves. Franc stated that even though FEW was established in 1968, today their biggest challenge is getting the word out. Many federal employees have never heard of FEW. She described FEW’s mission as advancing opportunities and working against discrimination for all in the federal government.

Describing a number of FEW efforts, Franc pointed out that workplace bullying, including cyber bullying, is not always easy to identify. First, there is a stereotype that bullies are men. But 40 percent of workplace bullying is done by females. Bullying can be as subtle as withholding important information from others and assigning below grade-level tasks to a subordinate.

Julie Bednar, Deputy Associate Director of IBC's Human Resources Directorate, let the group know that the Interior Business Center is planning to provide training pertaining to workplace bullying in the future and to look for an announcement.

Jill Tietjen, trained as an electrical engineer, started writing about leading women in the scientific, engineering and technical fields in 1987. Today she is coauthor of a bestselling book about the achievements and leadership of women throughout history. Tietjen provided a sample of stories from “Her Story: A Timeline of the Women Who Changed America” organized by five principles of leadership for the twenty first century: vision, ethics and values, sense of community, stewardship, and passion. For each principle, she provided examples of women in history who exemplified at least one of these principles.

Asked what was her biggest surprise doing the research for the book, Tietjen replied it was simply the vast number of important women in history who are unknown to most of us. To those she described in her talk, including Abigail Adams, Lucretia Mott, Dorothea Dix , Harriet Tubman,  Frances Jacobs, Madam C.J. Walker, Lena Bryant, Margaret Mead, Admiral Grace Hopper, Ellen Ochoa and Madeleine Albright (who wrote the forward to “Her Story”), Tietjen said she has a list of 700 more women to add to the story.

Julie Bednar, who organized and introduced the event, added that it is “perfect timing to take what you learn here today with you to think about into the weekend.”

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