Nearly 43 percent of the federal workforce today is comprised of women, or approximately 781,000 non-seasonal, full-time permanent employees, the Office of Personnel Management reports.
Many of these women not only keep their nation running – they keep their families running, too. They are federal employees that, every day, pull off the feat of working hard at their jobs while raising a family at the same time.
To get a better idea of who a “Federal Hero Mom” is, here are seven examples:
Alaska P. Davidson
Married and with one child at the time, Davidson became in 1922 the first female special agent in FBI history. However, just two years after she began her service, new FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover asked Davidson to resign, according to the site, Amazing Women in History. No woman served as an FBI special agent again until 1972.
When President Franklin Roosevelt appointed Perkins as his Secretary of Labor in 1933, she became the first woman in U.S. history to hold a cabinet position. As the Social Security Administration describes, Perkins helped to write legislation that ultimately led to minimum wage laws and the Social Security Act. Biographer Kirstin Downey writes that Perkins served as the breadwinner for her husband and daughter, who both struggled with depression.
Azie Taylor Morton
In 1977, President Jimmy Carter named Morton as the U.S. Treasurer, making her the first African-American woman whose signature appeared on U.S. currency. In addition to serving as the president’s chief economic adviser during her four-year term, Morton and her husband, James, raised two daughters, according to the New York Times.
Widnall became Secretary of the U.S. Air Force in 1993, making her the first woman in U.S. history to lead a U.S. military branch. Widnall served in that role in the Department of Defense until 1997, focusing on quality-of-life issues and modernization during her tenure, according to her U.S. Air Force bio. Widnall and her husband, William, are the parents of a son and daughter.
Sandra Day O’Connor
Nominated by President Ronald Reagan in 1981, O’Connor became the first woman to serve as an Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. She served on the bench for 24 years. Today, the Arizona State University Law School is named in her honor, according to Biography.com. In addition to their legal careers, O’Connor and her husband, John, raised three children.
Anna Lee Tingle Fisher
In 1984, Fisher became the first mother in space when she served for one week as a mission specialist on the Discovery space shuttle. According to her NASA bio, Fisher stayed on with the Astronaut Office until 1989, when she took a leave to focus on her family – her husband and a fellow astronaut, William, and their two daughters. She returned in 1996 and contributed to early development of the International Space Station.
In 2014, Yellen, a mother of one, became the first woman to serve as Chair of the Federal Reserve. The “Fed,” as it is commonly called, is the country’s central bank. Forbes ranked Yellen No. 6 on its list of “The World’s Most Powerful People” and No. 2 on its list of “The World’s Most Powerful Women” in 2014.
Is Your Mom a Federal Hero, Too? Enter the Contest Today!
With Public Servant Recognition Week taking place from May 3 to 9, and Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 10, Harris Federal Law Firm has found a way to honor these women.
Through April 24, entries will be accepted in its inaugural “My Mom Is a Federal Hero” video contest.
To enter, children of female federal employees who are age 12 or younger can submit an original 30-second video to the website, FederalDisability.com. The child should describe in the video why his or her mother is a “federal hero.”
After all entries are received by April 24, public voting for the top video will be held through May 4. The contestant with the video that receives the highest number of votes will collect a $1,000 Amazon gift card. A pair of $100 Amazon gift cards will be awarded as runner-up prizes.