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US Department of State

2.5 | Washington, D.C. | International Affairs | 5001 to 10000 Employees

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InHerSight Score


Personal Development

Personal Development

Career Opportunities

Career Opportunities

Family Support

Family Support

3.1 Salary Satisfaction
3.1 The People You Work With
3.0 Learning Opportunities
3.0 Paid Time Off
2.8 Equal Opportunities for Men and Women
2.7 Management Opportunities for Women
2.6 Social Activities and Environment
2.3 Wellness Initiatives
2.2 Sponsorship or Mentorship Program
2.2 Female Representation in Top Leadership
2.1 Flexible Work Hours
2.1 Family Growth Support
2.0 Ability to Telecommute
1.7 Maternity and Adoptive Leave

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Is it perfect here for women? No. But it is not terrible, and enorous improvement has occurred over the past 30 years. Outside of certain male-dominated bureaus/work spaces - I'm looking at you, Diplomatic Security, and you, too, Information Technology specialists - there are fairly equal opportunities for women. Women in the past few years have felt more empowered to ask for opportunities, and to call out unequal treatment where it exists. There are many strong female role models and mentors. The Federal government as a whole needs to implement paid parental leave, but the regular USG vacation and sick leave provisions are generous. Telework is supported up to a point; I have been teleworking one day a week for ten years. There are some job-shares, and efforts are underway to make job-share partners easier to find.

Satisfied Rater

Most of the federal government is stuck in the Stone Age when it comes to even knowing the proven approaches to combatting discrimination against women, and the State Department is no exception. You can do very meaningful work here, but be prepared to fight much harder than your male colleagues for promotion.

Indifferent Rater

Women seem to rise quickly and obtain positions of influence within the Department, but there is definitely a bit of a boys club feel to some Bureaus. Family leave time is consistent with the rest of the USG, but not at all what it should be. If you've got sick leave you can use it to adopt/ give birth but there is no special leave for new parents. Single parents can have it rough, but the lower costs of childcare overseas make up for it a bit. In general I would say DoS is female/family friendly.

Indifferent Rater

The State Department is an incredible institution, but it is a slow-moving, risk-averse giant, still stuck somewhere in the early 80s. The gender disparity is real. Be it DS, political, economic, or any other cone, I count the number of times men have made simply unacceptable comments. Joking about rape with impunity, bullying female officers, deriding single fathers for taking paternity leave. We are still an organization stuck with men of a certain age who fulfilled the most traditional gender roles and struggle to understand any deviations. Their mentality bleeds into leadership decisions, into staff comportment, into implementation (or lack thereof) of equal employment opportunities. As a feminist, as a working professional, as an American charged with representing our values abroad, this organizational culture within our diplomatic agency is an incredible disappointment.

Unsatisfied Rater

DOS is still very much a boys' club. Although the there are a lot of smart women who work at State, they are leaving at an atrocious rate. Why? Because they are oftentimes not respected by male colleagues, are not promoted into the senior ranks, and because it takes such a large toll on their personal and family lives.

While State has made some positive changes, there are people sliding through the system that quite simply should not be there. Managers and supervisors make or break different assignments, but It is rare to find senior managers willing to take on the poor managers and supervisors under them, much less the ones that simply do not respect others or commit EEO violations on a regular basis. Oftentimes, employees are too afraid to speak up and defend themselves for fear of it impacting their corridor reputation or annual EER.

The lack of paid maternity and paternity leave at State is an embarrassment to our country. We advocate for women and children in our work overseas everyday, but we do not provide even the most basic leave options for our own employees during this crucial time. I know many people leave for this reason alone. The additional complications of finding childcare in DC and the lack of decent pay to cover those expenses is also something that needs to be addressed.

State is losing good workers because they do not value women in the workplace and they do not recognize the issues that are of most importance to us.

Very Unsatisfied Rater


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