Public Works Partners is excited to support Take Office, a nonprofit professional education program founded by Jeri Powell to accelerate pathways to careers in public service for women. Take Office creates nonpartisan professional training opportunities for women interested in preparing for leadership positions in public policy and politics, including running for public office. Building on research that has found that disparities in representation in public office often come not from voters’ choices, but from barriers that keep women off ballots in the first place, Take Office aims to propel women onto the ballot and into positions where they can impact policy decisions. 

Take Office provides accomplished professionals interested in pursuing leadership positions in politics and public policy with the tools they need to succeed by bringing together a cohort of participants from diverse socio-economic, racial, and ethnic backgrounds to examine political and social issues through a gender equity lens, to sharpen leadership skills, and to learn to impact policy decisions. The program emphasizes the creation of opportunities for participants to expand their networks of high-achieving women peers and introduces students to mentors in a variety of public policy fields. The next cohort will begin in the spring of 2021. This is the program’s second cohort and the first to participate in a completely virtual program. 

To support Take Office as it starts up, Public Works will conduct a landscape analysis of similar programs and design an evaluation framework and tools to assess the success of the program’s first cohorts. Drawing on our Organizational Health practice, our engagement will position Take Office to rapidly refine its program and to provide programming that is effective and meaningful to participants. Through this work we will work closely with Take Office leadership to draw out best practices for measuring success and tracking impact, develop surveying tools, and create a plan to support Take Office as they implement the survey. As always, our focus will be on ensuring that Take Office has the tools needed to fulfill its mission and positively impact its community.

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