A second example of this results driven issue was my participation in the Secretary's task force for the employment and advancement of women in 2002. This was designed to develop a comprehensive plan that would help to correct some of the imbalances that were seen between men and women in their employment opportunities and the advancements that they were able to make. In December 2002 the task force met in Washington . In order to begin work and identified that there were several major categories that the comprehensive plan would need in order to address the current situation. These included data collection and analysis, business case, and an implementation plan that was related to the Department's strategic plan. A great deal of data and feedback was collected and analyzed by the task force from many different sources regarding the task force efforts.
The task force met again in January 2003 to help develop a draft report and refine the efforts for data collection in order to ensure not only accuracy and validity but relevance to the VA as well. Focus groups were conducted in March 2003 in Los Angeles, New York, Washington ., and Little Rock. These cities were selected to ensure representation of both men and women from as many departmental organizational elements as was possible. These focus groups helped to validate the concerns that were raised during the first meeting that took place in 2002 with the Secretary and helped to assist the task force further in developing strategies that would succeed.
Personally, I led the subcommittee on researching best practices for the report that was ultimately created by the task force. I led focus groups, researched relevant information, and developed the best practices section that went in the final report. At that time, the committee had been in existence for one year. The report was accepted as a blueprint throughout the Department and this indicated that the task force report provided meaningful and effective strategies for success that were not only feasible but were cost-effective and cross-functional to other minority groups as well. The report also helped to link this information to the VA's organizational goals and objectives. By implementing these strategies, measurable improvements and results will be seen which will help individuals assess their behaviors and identify different and better approaches that they might take in the future.