United Front: Women Connect with the Local Government Profession

Hear how these managers are earning the respect of their peers and breaking down barriers they contend with in today's local government profession.

ARTICLE | Mar 1, 2018

The conversation on women in the local government management profession has been building momentum. As the discussion continues, it seems more important than ever to promote the triumphs and contributions of women chief administrative officers (CAOs). Appropriate and fitting for Women’s History Month, in the March issue of PM magazine, ICMA interviews five female CAOs from across the United States who are progressively earning the respect of their peers and breaking down many of the barriers they contend with in today's local government profession.

Read each one of these stories and you’ll find groundbreakers with different backgrounds and accomplishments, who faced different obstacles on their way to achieving their professional goals. What they share in common is being the first female city manager of their respective community.

"It Isn't Easy, But We Do It Anyway," features

  • Julie Underwood, ICMA West Coast Region member, city manager, Mercer Island, Washington.
  • Elizabeth Dragon, ICMA Northeast Region member, city manager, Keene, New Hampshire.
  • Margie Rose, ICMA Mountain Plains Region member, city manager, Corpus Christi, Texas.
  • Christina Volkers, ICMA Midwest Region member, city manager, Moorhead, Minnesota.
  • Gina Holt, ICMA Southeast Region member, city manager, Springfield, Tennessee.

Read Now

These stories were so compelling that we didn’t want to stop there. To continue with telling the stories of some of the women listed above and three others who are helping change the face of local government, ICMA has launched a special podcast series titled United Front. We dig deep, finding out more than just what motivated their achievements, but we talk about the #MeToo movement, the confidence gap, work/life balance when you have children, working in a profession dominated by males, and much more!

Women highlighted in United Front:

  • Bonnie Svrcek, ICMA Southeast Region member, city manager, Lynchburg, Virginia.
  • Julie Underwood, ICMA West Coast Region member, city manager, Mercer Island, Washington.
  • Christina Volkers, ICMA Midwest Region member, city manager, Moorhead, Minnesota.
  • Gina Holt, ICMA Southeast Region member, city manager, Springfield, Tennessee.
  • Marcela Piedra, ICMA West Coast Region member, city manager, El Centro, California.
  • Dana Muscott, ICMA Midwest Region member, city manager, Bay City, Michigan.

Listen Now

As you read these brief stories in PM and listen to the six United Front podcasts released in March, join the conversation on social media. Look for the hashtag #SheLeadsGov on Twitter and use it to share stories about the groundbreaking women in local government whom you know!

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