Profile Essay Sample – Lioness Living In A Bear’S Den
Kay Barnhill (KB) joined the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in the summer of 1973 as an office clerk. Their confidence and comfort was evident in their ability to provide solutions and guidance effortlessly to those who relied heavily on the vast range of institutional knowledge they possessed and the resources that were made available to keep the government employment machine running. Still, she fondly recalls one of the most exciting days of her nearly 40 years as an OMP: On the day of her wedding and the expectation of her first child. On our second floor, there was a room littered with half-empty booths.
I believe that if you take this position, the lower legislature will be able to ask many questions and to enforce many of these questions.
My position today is a tiny role I play in the development and management of the bear cave and the conservation of bears and other wildlife. I am available to the acting director, the board and all other board members and employees of this organization.
At a time when men dominated the top echelons of government and women rarely rose to former secretariat positions, KB worked her way up to the top, as did many women of her generation who sought to break down the patriarchal barriers they held hostage. At the time, smoke hung in my office air from the nearest ashtray and my base continued to grow as water leaked during a critical parliamentary session during my last pregnancy. I finished the meeting, then took my things and calmly made my way to the hospital to deliver my fourth and last child.
It was not long before my skilful network and political skills finally gave way to the role I was destined for. KB slowly changed from superior to manager, deputy administrator and then chief of staff. She waited and watched as the OPM administrators who had promised her the role moved on to someone else.
During my tenure, I worked with male administrators and managers and saw them come and go with the changes in the executive office, but I remained steadfast and strong in my position. KB had strong, intelligent women as deputy administrative director and head of many agencies, followed by chief of staff, deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and then as chief executive. As a young analyst sitting at the same desk I once worked at, men and women, young and steady, admired my ability to serve a broad range of government employees for more than 40 years and to make major changes in the workplace as a woman, despite my weathered face. Today, as more women take the helm, we see men in positions of power in a world that was once dominated by them.