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EDI Director: EDI Observes Women’s History Month

Debra C. Chew Esq.

Each year, we recognize March as “Women’s History Month” by acknowledging and celebrating contributions women have made to society. This year’s national theme is "Working to Form a More Perfect Union: Honoring Women in Public Service and Government."

There are many ways to honor the women who have shaped our past and future through their service and government leadership. Recently, a colleague of mine shared an intimate conversation he had with his mother¬– a retired, junior high school mathematics teacher from the rural south. He lovingly recounted his mother’s tale of public service and how her unwavering commitment to the field of secondary education was often recognized and celebrated by her colleagues and the school’s administration. On one hot summer’s day, while standing before her students and drenched in her own sweat, my colleague’s mom recalled how her boss quietly entered her classroom to sit a cold Coca-Cola on her desk. Despite her other many awards and accolades, my colleague communicated to me that for his mom, it was the simple act of kindness and generosity– a cold Coca Cola being placed on his mother’s desk by her boss– that made her feel especially appreciated and inspired to be her very best.

At NIH, one way we show our appreciation for the hard work and dedication of our workforce is through our supportive programs that promote the health and wellbeing of individuals at work, at home, and everywhere in between. In order to make identifying and utilizing these programs easier, the Women’s Employment Committee has created the NIH Workforce Eligibility Matrix. This matrix reflects all the ways in which NIH has invested in our workforce as people, not just as employees.

I encourage you to individually celebrate Women’s History Month by taking a moment to thank a woman who is serving or has served in Public Service or Government. Tell her in person, write her a note, bring her a soda (or coffee, or tea); even the smallest gesture of thanks can lift and reinvigorate someone’s spirits.

If you would like to honor a woman who has touched your life or the life of others via Twitter or Instagram, you can join EDI in featuring stories and photos of outstanding Women in Public Service and Government by using the hashtag #NIHThanksYou.