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Glass Ceiling


Meet Sheryl
Olson, MT's
only female



the Fat

Women in



Tracks Bills

Paint The
Town Pink

2006 Award Recipients

Carol Mason,

Sandra Straehl,

Richard Haraldson with

Lt. Gov John Bohlinger







Breaking the Glass Ceiling for Women

ICCW was created by Executive
Order in 1976 as the Interde-
partmental Coordinating
Committee for Women under
Governor Tom Judge. "Equality
of opportunity is a principle un-
derlying the very foundation of
our society — yet it remains unat-
tained," said Judge in his State of
the State Address to the 45th
Legislature flan 5, 1977). "We
can not expect private employers
to make good-faith efforts to find
qualified women and minorities
to fill their better jobs, if the
state fails in its responsibility to
do so."

Judge assembled a committee of
exceptionally able, dedicated and
thoughtful individuals to share
common concerns, discuss mu-
tual goals, and advance employ-
ment of women in state govern-
ment during a time when women
nationally were viewed as mem-
bers of a dependent class whose
individual rights were subservient

to their class position.
After members were inducted,
they began critical in-depth stud-
ies of four basic needs: Child-
care, Training Needs, Promotion/
Personnel Policies, and Affirma-
tive Action.

Members of the

jp^^^t committee

J addressed the
Governor with
^L ~Tt concerns that

M - "equal employ-

^Lft Mk ment opportu-
nities for
women in state government will
not become a reality until depart-
ment directors are fully aware of
the problem (1976-1977) to de-
velop strong action policies to
implement change."
The very first memorandum
issued on September 26, 1 977,
was a collective voice for the
betterment of all women in state
government, just as the national
revolution of policy toward

women was taking effect. Voting
members Jeanne Anderson,
Claire Cantrell, Dee Capp, Judy
Carlson (chairwoman), Ann Dan-
zer, Barbara Duffy, Wanda Ed-
inger, Jean Eickmeyer, Mary Ev-
ans, Rae Haas, Elizabeth Hallo-
well, Susan Hansen, Helen Ho-
gan, Marilyn Huestis, Wendy
Katolas, Trudy Malone, Patricia
Moore, Peggy Naegele, Nancy
Raue, Nancy Rockwell, Lelia Wil-
liams and Alternates Mary Lou
Crawford, Lacy Culver, Kay Eller-
hoff, and Helen Murray were
breaking the glass ceiling for fu-
ture generations.
The 2007 Excellence in Leader-
ship Awards ceremony will
honor charter members of 1977
for their visionary efforts in help-
ing women in state government
succeed in the workplace. Please
contact Lindra Davies, (406)
444- 05 1 I if you know a charter
member and have their contact

Excellence In Leadership Awards

Established in 1 999 as the
"Breaking the Glass Ceiling
Awards," the annual Excellence
in Leadership Awards (ELA)
honor three individuals from
across Montana for exemplary
leadership and achievements, or
for outstanding efforts to help
women excel in the workplace.
Each year the ELA recognize

people from state government,
the public sector, and the private
sector who have outstanding
leadership qualities, who recog-
nize the value of women in the
workplace, and who actively
encourage women to move for-

This year's celebration is sched-
uled for May 16, 2007 in Room

303 of the Old Supreme Court
Chambers. Time TBD.
Now is the time to begin think-
ing about those individuals in
your community paving the way
for women to succeed. Links to
the nomination packets will be
available in the next edition of
Free Speech.

Celebrating Women

Sheryl Olson

Deputy Director

Department of


Sheryl Olson began as a student
intern, while working on her Mas-
ters degree in Public Administra-
tion from UM, never suspecting
that years later she would become
the only female Deputy Director
in state government. The experi-
ences she had as an intern, first at
the Legislative Auditor's Office and
later at the Dept of Health and
Environmental Services, were the
first steps in a twenty-year career
in state government. Today, she is
the Deputy Director of the De-
partment of Administration
(DofA). After her internships in
1 98 1 , Sheryl took the summer off
to ride her bike across America.
That fall, she started her first job
as an assistant to the director at
DofA. After seven years at that
job, motherhood called and she

spent the next five years working
as a stay-home mom. She came
back to the DofA in 1 993 as an
administrative officer, working
part-time so she could be with her
two daughters after school. A few
years later she became the Bureau
Chief of the State Procurement
Bureau and later the Deputy Ad-
ministrator of the General Service
Division. In March 2006, Sheryl
was selected as the Deputy Direc-
tor of the Department of Admini-
stration. "I am a living example
that women can find a balance
between home and a career. Being
a stay-home mom was the best job
I ever had, but having an employer
that could provide me with flexible
hours and a great benefit package
made it possible for me to enthusi-
astically merge back into a career

in state government." In-between
her career with the State and
raising her daughters, Sheryl also
made time to climb over 1 00
mountains, hike the length and
width of the Bob Marshall Wilder-
ness, and stay active in her church.
Her job now positions her to be
part of the agency that has the
greatest influence in improving
career opportunities for state
employees across the state. "I
understand the dedication employ-
ees have to getting a job done and
also the frustrations managers
have in trying to adequately re-
ward our employees for how hard
they work," said Olson. "Every
day I think of how proud I am to
be a state employee and humbled
that I get to work for the people
of Montana."

"It's not what we get,
but who we become ,

what we contribute.

that gives meaning to

our lives.

- Tony Robbins

To learn more visist


online/ 1 7/womentoring.html

Training Resource Reviews

Women and Leader-
ship: Essential Skills for
Success in Today's Busi-
ness - I Audio CD
Women in leadership positions
still face stereotypical attitudes
and negative perceptions. In
this program, women can learn
how to make sexual harass-
ment a non-issue and use office
politics to stay ahead of the
game. Learn the special lead-
ership skills unique to women
and how optimize them.

No More Chains: The real
you... getting it back - 4

Audio CDs

Dr. Kim shares practical tips
for individuals from all walks of
life. This program is designed
for the confident executive,
the nurturing housewife or the
exploring teenager. This series
is guaranteed to help you:
Guard your feelings and react
to conflict with wisdom instead
of emotions

Develop your confidence and
strength that has been hidden


I stumbled across this word
while googling "mentoring" and
liked its definition so much that
I thought I'd use it as the title
of the column. Wo-mentoring
is a new approach that is more
about commitment and learn-
ing and less about chemistry
and power. Oh, and they claim
it's not just for women. Aban-
don the hierarchal protege
form of mentoring and con-

sider a program that focuses
on personal growth rather
than promotions. Old school
mentoring was founded on
commonalities between two
people. The new school of
thought is to open yourself up
and seek a mismatch, which
may mean different people for
different aspects of your life —
love, work, personal growth —
or consider becoming a mem-

underneath the cares of life
Learn step-by-step verbal
comebacks when being at-

Discover how to finally say no
without shame or guilt
Take a stress test and find out
how balanced you really are
Discover how your generation
has influenced who you are.
Unravel the "real you."
For a complete listing of avail-
able training resources visit

ber of a mentorship circle.
This "switch" makes you both
the mentee and the mentor.
The new approach does not
involve looking for someone
two-three rungs up the career
ladder from you, in fact they
recommend you consider lat-
eral mentors that you can
relate to and learn from.

Michelle Robinson




Trimming the Fat out of Healthcare

Is the problem with your stationary
bike that it sits stationary? How
often do you push yourself away
from your desk and walk, stretch or
reach for a healthy snack?
According to the National Gover-
nor's Association (NGA) Center for
Best Practices, Americans spend $ 1 .8
trillion on health care each year, with
nearly 75 percent of the expendi-
tures go to treating preventable dis-

Our society's accepted culture of
inactivity and overeating poses seri-
ous incalculable dangers for our
nation. States cannot afford to ignore
these trends if they want to remain
globally competitive, diminish catas-

trophic health care expenditures, and
invest in a healthy, productive future
for our nation.

Each year, taxpayers — regardless of
health status — pay half of the na-
tion's $93 billion price tag for medi-
cal expenses directly attributed to
obesity. In Montana that translates to
$ 1 27 per taxpayer annually.
How can you help foster healthy

NGA says you can begin by reducing
cholesterol levels by 10%, which
could cut the incidence of heart
disease by as much as 30% — saving
the Montana economy $112 million
in health care spending each year.
Get on the preventative side by

eating right and exercising. This can
be as simple as joining a walking
group or as extensive as a fitness
program. Shape Up Montana is a
good place to start if you don't know
where to look.

State agencies can begin to promote
healthy behaviors by instituting sup-
portive environments and coalitions
that enhance healthy living choices.
Design a benefits program that re-
wards healthy lifestyle practices.
Take advantage of health screenings,
and other state offered workshops
to kick-start your personal invest-

Create a mind shift of benefit entitle-
ment to personal responsibility.

How do Women Rate in the MT Economy

According to the Montana Women's
Legislative Agenda 2007, women are
contributing more to their family's
economic security than ever before,
however the majority of women are
still working in low-wage, traditionally
female-dominated professions and
are the most likely to live in poverty.
In 2005, Montana families receiving
Temporary Assistance to Needy
Families (TANF) received an average
of $424 per month for a family of
three. Contrary to popular belief,
Montana families are not "getting rich
off the system."

This topic was particularly heated
when the Nevada Associated Press
pointed out that for every dollar a
man made in Montana a woman
earned 67 cents. At the request of
ICCW, Chief Economist Brad El-
dredge of the MT Dept of Labor and
Industry's Research and Analysis
Bureau presented a brown bag work-
shop in 2006 on the gender wage gap
in MT vs the US. One particular slide
in the power point was particularly
telling of the unpaid 'workload'
women shoulder. Slide: American
Time Use Survey results:

54% of women and 1 9% of men did
housework; 66% of women and 35%
of men did food preparation for the
family; in a household with children
under 6, women provided an average
of 2.7 hours of childcare versus 1 .2
for men; and married men spent 5. 1
hours for leisure (recreation) versus
a woman's 4.5, which included shop-
ping for the family.
To learn more about the state govern-
ment wage gap read the March 2006
edition of the Economy at a Glance
http.l/www. ourfactsyourfuture. org/?

"You won't
skid if you stay
in a rut"
-Kin Hubbard

But today, I am still just a bill...

The 2007 Legislative Session is
underway. The ICCW is moni-
toring an extensive list of bills
that are of interest to women
and their families. Sixteen bills
have been introduced, of which
I I hearings have been sched-
uled and 9 have been held.
One bill was passed by a Senate
committee as amended and one
has been tabled by a House

committee. There are still 28
bills that are in the draft stage
that have not been introduced
with one that is probably

If anyone would like to be
added to ICCW's Preference
list to receive hearing notices
or a printout of the latest status
of bills, please contact Jeri

Duran at (406) 444-5809 or
[email protected]


Interagency Committee for Change by Women

Helena, MT



E-mail: [email protected]

Meeting Schedule for 06-07

Jan 18
Feb 15
Mar 15
Apr 19
May 17
June 21

30-3:00 Library, Grizzly Rm
30-3:00 Mitchell, Rm 136
30-3:00 Library, Grizzly Rm
30-3:00 Mitchell, Rm 136
30-3:00 Library, Grizzly Rm
30-3:00 Walt Sullivan, 1st fir

Creating positive change for all state employees

by promoting the full participation of women in

state government.

To learn more about women's organizations in

Montana making a difference visit

Paint The Town Pink 5th Annual Event

Florence Crittenton, a 100-year old
Helena based non-profit, relies heavily
on volunteers and financial donations
to provide a therapeutic residential
home for young pregnant women and
their babies.

The theme of the fifth annual Paint
the Town Pink event is Fire and
Ice which promises to warm your
heart and take your breath away. The
event will take place at the Best
Western Helena Great Northern
Hotel on February 3, 5:30pm —
midnight, and includes live and silent
auction packages, dinner and dancing
to the Carousel Band.
Auction items include:
Weekend for 4 in the Willamette
Valley - Oregon's premier Wine Area,
including a Hot Air balloon ride and
breakfast in a vineyard; Palm Springs
Skins Pro Tour trip for 2; Never run
dry with the Ultimate Wine Cellar;
The Mans Package - 50" plasma screen
tv, leather recliner and a fridge full of
beer!; Fly fish the Missouri river; Origi-

nal art pieces; Spa day for 8 friends;
Salmon River Whitewater Rafting Trip
... plus themed dinners, artwork and
incredible silent auction packages.
Tickets are available at Haute
Headz Salon, Finstads Carpet One,
Leslies Hallmark, American Federal
Savings Bank and Expresso Nirvana.
The Great Northern Towncenter is
literally painting the town Pink! Busi-
nesses are supporting the fundraising
efforts by contributing a percentage of
sales to the
home during
the month
of January.
Please pa-
these busi-
nesses and

Send stories or leads to
[email protected]

thank them for supporting Florence

To reserve your place at this year's
Pink contact the reservation hotline of
949-5020. If you are unable to at-
tend, consider buying a raffle
ticket for a fantastic trip for four to
Carmel in California, including airfares,
3 nights in a celebrity hotel and $500
each to spend on shopping, spa treat-
ments or to golf Pebble Beach.
Or consider volunteering your
time, which is equally as valuable.
There are a wide range of volunteering
opportunities from decorating to the
clean up operation! For more infor-
mation call Chelsea Fagen at 43 1 -4493.
Financial donations are greatly appreci-
ated. Monetary donations should be
mailed to Florence Crittenton, 901
North Harris, Helena, MT 59601 or
donate online at .

Together we can change the future ...
two lives at a time.


Online LibraryMontana Historical SocietyMontana post [electronic resource] (Volume 2005 Sum) → online text (page 1 of 1)