Why Women Should Take Big Jobs in Government

Sarah Feinberg and Valerie Jarrett highlight the importance of women in government and the challenges faced in politics and public service.

Valeria Jarrett, the chief advisor to former President Obama, has an impressive career history in the public sector and government, marked by her calm leadership, ability to listen, and collaborative approach. Her insights, as shared above, offer an important perspective on women’s role in leadership and government.

Starting her career in local government under the mayor of Washington, Jarrett’s journey has been one of learning, growth, and empowerment. She learned the importance of listening to people, regardless of how loudly or softly they speak, and the humility of realizing that one doesn’t have all the answers. These lessons served her well as she moved up the ranks, embracing the authority and the satisfaction that came with her roles.

Jarrett’s love for the public sector and the knowledge she gained about how the city works kept her committed to the demanding, 24/7 orientation of her job. More than just personal growth, Jarrett sees the public sector as a space where women, in particular, can excel. Her belief that women are naturally more collaborative and willing to listen aligns them with the skills needed for success in public roles.

But this path isn’t without its challenges. Jarrett emphasizes that women need to be courageous in speaking up about their experiences, especially when they feel unheard or overshadowed by their male colleagues. Supporting other women and being honest about the work environment is vital in fostering a culture where women’s voices are respected and valued.

Furthermore, Jarrett’s strong argument for women’s participation in government goes beyond career opportunities. She sees women’s skills in negotiation, soothing egos, and problem-solving as essential to making government work for communities, families, individuals, and the economy. Women, according to Jarrett, are the fixers, organizers, addressers, explainers, and soothers, making them ideally suited for the public sector.
Her closing statement is a powerful call to action. Since the government is the body making decisions that impact women’s lives, why should women leave those decisions to men who lack the necessary understanding? Her statement that “there is no better place for women than the government” resonates as a challenge to women to step up, take their seats at the table, and actively participate in shaping the policies and decisions that affect their lives.