Statements of Principle

A Safe and Productive Work Environment

Background: Women in Government Relations (WGR) was founded by a group of women who recognized that women in the field of government relations were not afforded the same pay and opportunities as their male counterparts.  In addition, they recognized some women faced harassment, discrimination and intimidation in the workplace, as did many of their counterparts in other professions.  For those in the field of government relations, a hostile work environment may be created both inside and outside of an immediate work space, ranging from uncomfortable behavior from superiors and peers to sexual harassment and assault. We are committed to supporting our members and continue to work toward creating a community in which members of the profession can engage in an open dialogue to effect change. Reports of harassment within a variety of industries have made it increasingly clear that we must – and can – do more.

Recognizing the unique nature of our own industry, which is built on positive working relationships, this negative behavior may not necessarily occur only within our own organizations but may also include inappropriate behavior between and among policymakers and government relations professionals, for which there is no clear reporting or mediation process. This is true at the federal, state and local level.  

WGR represents those in the field of government relations whether they work for a non-profit, corporation, or the public sector – including those who work for federal and state elected officials and administration officials – regardless of gender. Representing a significant portion of the government relations ecosystem, our members are at the epicenter of this issue and are in a prime position to drive this conversation and navigate a solution.

WGR’s commitment to fostering a safe, productive work environment: We are committed to fostering a safe, productive work environment across political aisles, within and between industries and sectors. As such, we are working with policymakers to ensure that appropriate reporting and investigation mechanisms are implemented concerning harassment that occurs within the broad work environment for government relations professionals and public officials and their staff. 

Internally at WGR we are committed to fostering dialogue on this important issue by:

  • Delivering programming, in collaboration with partners, that encourages broader mentorship and leadership opportunities for women in the field; 
  • Providing resources on safe and productive work environments to government relations professionals; 
  • Engaging in open and honest dialogue with all government relations professionals so that there is a uniform understanding of professional conduct; 
  • Supporting efforts to reform the reporting and investigation of claims of harassment in the public sector at both the federal and state level; and
  • Encouraging employers to review and enact policies and reporting systems that provide a safe, productive work environment.
Established April 2018