Webinars: Successful Teleworking and Working through Family Challenges During COVID19

kid and parent sitting at computer
image form pixabay.com

The Washington State Employee Assistance Program has a series of upcoming webinars on successfully  working from home and coping with challenges during the current COVID-19 pandemic, which are open to all state employees. 

Upcoming Live Support Webinars

EAP is offering webinars on a variety of COVID-19 related topics to support emotional and mental health and wellbeing. Register for an upcoming live session or view a pre-recorded session on-demand below. More sessions will be added regularly.

EAP also has a website with links by topic to helpful resources from addiction to finances to parenting to support for marginalized communities.

Self Care with the WA State EAP (live)

This webinar addresses the emotional impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and offers ideas for self-care and strategies for managing stress and fear.

Monday April 20  10:00 a.m. -11:30 a.m.  Register Today

Thursday April 23 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Register Today 

Leading Teams and Supporting Employees through COVID-19 (live)

Tuesday April 21 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.   Register Today

Wednesday April 22  3:00 p.pm. – 4:30 p.m.  Register Today

Working from Home during COVID-19: Coping with the Challenges, Setting Yourself Up for Success (live)

Tuesday April 21  3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.     Register Today

Parenting and Family Challenges: Helping Yourself and Your Family through COVID-19

This webinar will offer insight into likely parenting and family challenges and tips and strategies to help support your family’s emotional health and wellbeing.

Monday, April 20, 2020  2:00pm-3:30pm   Register Today

Wednesday, April 22, 2020  10:00am-11:30am  Register Today

Thursday, April 23, 2020  9:00am-10:30am  Register Today

See all COVID-19 Related Webnairs & Resources

Upcoming Virtual Training: Unleash Your Talents and Do Your Best Work

home office

Unleash Your Talents and do your Best Work (Half-day Virtual Training)

Date And Time

Fri, May 29, 2020

9:00 AM – 12:00 PM PDT

This training is open to all, so please forward!

When you really understand who you are, you are going to be better at what you do! In this half-day workshop, you will:

  1. LEARN how to identify and embrace untapped talent in yourself and others.
  2. EXPLORE what gets in the way of you being your best self.
  3. DESIGN an individualized action plan to add value to your workplace.

This workshop is designed for anyone interested in learning how to unleash talent for themselves and others. It’s also great for supervisors, managers and HR professionals who help others succeed in the workplace.

Previous workshops have sold out quickly – early registration is recommended.

This course qualifies for 3 SHRM Professional Development Units (PDUs).

Link to registration:


·         General Admission

$125.00+$9.24 Fee

Select quantity: General Admission

Sales end on May 25, 2020

·         Government/Non Profit

$95.00+$7.42 Fee

Select quantity: Government/Non Profit

Sales end on May 25, 2020

Six Tips to Strengthen Your Immune System

woman jumping

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in the Washington State Employee Assistance Program’s April 2020 Newsletter

Strengthen Your Immune System

You and your family are working hard to limit your exposure to COVID-19 by social distancing, washing your hands, not touching your face, cleaning frequently-touched surfaces and more: all of the actions recommended by the CDC, Washington State Department of Health and World Health Organization (WHO). What else can you do? To support your immune system to function at its best, it’s more important than ever to take these commonly recommended self-care actions:

1) get adequate sleep (7-9 hours for most folks)

2) eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants

3) move your body regularly

4) avoid smoking and heavy alcohol/substance use

5) maintain a healthy weight

6) manage your stress. This advice is even more important for older adults because they are at greater risk for severe illness from COVID-19, as the immune system becomes less efficient with age.

Examine gaps in your immune system maintenance plan, and talk to your medical doctor, health/wellness adviser or an EAP counselor for support with healthier self-care actions and overcoming any roadblocks. You can also watch the EAP’s on-demand webinar on self-care during COVID-19 or visit our COVID-19 Resources page to sign up for an upcoming live webinar.

April is Diversity Month: A Message from Your State Business Resource Groups

“There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.” -Audre Lorde 


Washington State’s six Business Resource Groups (BRGs) are excited to present the following message in celebration of Diversity Month.

During Diversity Month, the business resource groups wish to generate awareness about the intersectionality of characteristics that make us unique and the need to demonstrate appreciation for each human being we encounter.  This month, we encourage you to create space for courageous conversations about identity and to learn more about someone who appears to have a different cultural background or experience from your own. Some ways to learn include: engaging in open dialogue, reading a book, watching a movie or video clip and more, all with an open and empathetic heart.

Statewide BRGs unite employees who identify with common backgrounds with allies under shared values and goals. All BRGs have a mission and goals outlined in their charters and bylaws. BRGs contribute to an overall statewide business strategy in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in a respectful workplace.  Each BRG member brings unique knowledge and perspective, making them an asset to our state business needs, helping Washington move closer to being the employer of choice.

Visit the Office of Financial Management’s website or select the links below to learn more about each BRG.

Thank you for choosing to be a public servant for the people of Washington State!


Upcoming Webinars

home office

As more and more employees begin teleworking as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic, more companies are offering professional development webinars you can take from home online.

Here are some training and support offerings from Compass Consulting and The Athena Group:

For those of you who missed the last Compass Consulting webinar, here is the recording of the Manage Stress during Difficult Times webinar:

Manage Stress during Difficult Times

1-hour Webinar

Facilitated by Amy Leneker

The Athena Group is offering various types of support from expert coaches and consultants, including free online webinars, resources for managers, coaching consultations and more. Explore current support . This web page will be continuously updated as new challenges and needs arise.

Centering Sessions Live Online Guided Meditation

Thursdays 10:00 – 10:30am PDT Starting April 9 Donation-Based

“We know you are holding a lot, both personally and professionally, and we know proven tools that can help. Whether you’re new to meditation or are a seasoned practitioner, you are welcome to join us for live, online, guided meditation sessions. These short sessions are open to all, so you can regroup, center yourself and find the ground under your feet.” This training does not have a set fee, as it is donation based.  >>> Click here to learn more & reserve your seat.


Staying at Home and its Impact on Your Mental Health

woman sitting in front of laptop chewing a pencil

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in the Washington State Employee Assistance Program’s April 2020 Newsletter

Is Staying Home Putting Your Safety or Mental Health at Risk?

Social distancing, working from home, self-quarantining, sheltering in place…we are all implementing some combination of these COVID-19 responses to keep ourselves, our families, and our communities safe. But actions that keep us at home and away from public spaces put some community members at risk in other ways. For example, those who are living with an abusive partner or a person with a substance use disorder are now more likely to be exposed to unsafe situations. And those who struggle with depression, anxiety or substance use may be feeling isolated and lonely, with worsening symptoms.

Sound familiar? Reach out for help now – call 9-1-1 if you or someone you know needs urgent help, call the EAP at 877-313-4455, or contact one of these resources:

·         Domestic Violence/Abuse

·         Suicide/Depression/Anxiety

Also see Taking Care of Your Mental Health in the Face of Uncertainty and Coping with Stress During an Infectious Disease Outbreak

Inslee Names Christine Bezanson Director of Results Washington

C. Bezanson

From the Office of Governor Jay Inslee:

Gov. Jay Inslee has named Christine Bezanson director of Results Washington, Inslee’s initiative to make state government more effective. 

Launched in 2013, Results Washington tracks outcome measures and key drivers that reflect the governor’s statewide priorities, such as: world-class education; prosperous economy sustainable energy and clean environment; health and safe communities; and efficient, effective and accountable government.

“Christy has extensive experience in state government and understands how data and tracking outcomes can help improve policy,” Inslee said. “She brings a client-focused approach to her work and I know she will build on the great work that Results Washington has done over the past seven years. I thank Pat Lashway for stepping into the interim role and for helping to manage through this transition. I look forward to welcoming Christy to my cabinet.”

Bezanson is currently associate director at the Washington State Institute for Public Policy, where she provides leadership for a staff of researchers conducting work in support of WSIPP’s non-partisan research portfolio. Prior to that she worked for the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, where she held a variety of positions including: senior director for the Enterprise Projects Office; senior director, operations chief, business process improvement coordinator, and also legislative, performance and business management coordinator of the Operations Support and Services Division.

She began her career as a consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton working on contracts for the U.S. Army, General Services Administration and the U.S. Department of Energy.

She holds a master’s degree in public administration from the Evergreen State College and a bachelor’s degree from Humboldt State Universityin Arcata, Calif.

Bezanson’s position is effective May 1. 



Census 2020 is Finally Here! It’s time to Take Action.


Editor’s Note: The Department of Commerce created this article, which was distributed via the Washington Internal Communicators Roundtable (WICR).

We’ve been hearing about Census 2020 — a once-in-a-decade snapshot of who we are — and spreading the word about its immense importance for more than a year now. And finally the time has come to take action (and lead by example).

The U.S. Census Bureau has mailed out the first wave of 2020 Census invitations to about 140 million households. Have you received yours yet?

Inside your invitation, you’ll receive a Census ID to use when you respond online.

Online?! Yes, online. “The Census Bureau is using the internet to securely collect your information,” the invitation reads. “Responding online helps us conserve natural resources, save taxpayer money and process data more efficiently.”

That said, the bureau can send paper questionnaires to those who request them.

The U.S. Constitution mandates a complete population count every 10 years to apportion seats in the House of Representatives. The state uses it to draw boundaries for every level of government down to school districts, according to the Office of Financial Management (OFM). An accurate census ensures fair and equal representation at all levels.

Federal, state and local governments rely on census data for planning and delivering education, economic development and employment, transportation, and health services.

In 2015, Washington received $13.7 billion in federal funds, which amounted to about $1,914 per person, according to the George Washington Institute of Public Policy. In addition, the private and nonprofit sectors use census data in their planning and decision-making processes.

Check out this table, which comes from OFM:

Programs Washington obligation
Highway planning and construction $664 million
Education – Title 1 grants, special education, Head Start, school nutrition $815 million
Health insurance — Medicare, S-CHIP, Medicaid $9.7 billion
Supplemental Nutrition, including WIC (Women, Infants, Children) $1.7 billion
Rural assistance programs $555 million
Section 8 and other housing assistance $630 million

The census process is safe, quick and very important to the future of our state and communities. OFM encourages state employees to spread the word using the following three talking points with state residents, including Commerce’s customers:

  1. Important: By taking a few minutes to complete the census, you can help protect Washington’s voice in Congress, bring tax dollars to our communities, and invest in better planning and services for your neighborhood.
  2. Easy: You can use the internet — via your home computer or on a mobile device — to submit your answers.
  3. Safe: Your personal data is confidential. Title 13 prohibits the Census Bureau and its employees from sharing personal responses with any other government agency or official or outside entity.

Please help spread the message. Given the outbreak, 2020 Census field operations have been suspended until April 1.

To learn more, visit OFM’s WA Counts 2020 webpage.

The Department of Commerce created this article, which was distributed via the Washington Internal Communicators Roundtable (WICR).

Upcoming COVID-19 Related Webinars

home office

The latest  State Employee Assistance Program newsletter has shared some upcoming webinars related to working through the COVID-19 epidemic.

Leading Teams and Supporting Employees through COVID-19 (live)

Wednesday, April 1 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Register today

Self Care with the WA State EAP (live)

Thursday April 2  9:30 a.m. -10:30 a.m.

Register Today

Working from Home during COVID-19: Coping with the Challenges, Setting Yourself Up for Success (live)

Friday April 3, 2020  1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Register Today

The Employee Assistance Program also has a recording of its

Self-care with the EAP webinar. You can view and listen to it here:

March 31, 2020 is Equal Pay Day. Read the Latest US Census Bureau Data About the Gender Wage Gap

image of torso that is half male and half female
photo from Pixabay.com

Editor’s Note: Today is Equal Pay Day, a day that is used to recognize the US gender-wage gap. It’s used to signify how much longer into the following calendar the average woman must work in order to earn the same wage as her male counterpart the previous year. The following is an article published March 31, 2020 on by US Census Bureau:


Women Still Have to Work Three Months Longer to Equal What Men Earned in a Year

For the first time and the earliest since its inception, Equal Pay Day – how far into the year women must work to equal what men earned the previous year – is March 31, a sign that the gender pay gap is narrowing.

The U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey Data tracks the median earnings of full-time, year-round workers used to calculate Equal Pay Day.

Originated in 1996 by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE), the Equal Pay Day initiative spotlights the gap between men’s and women’s wages.


Social Media Graphic: Earnings Differences[Source: U.S. Census Bureau]

At its lowest point in 1973, full-time, working women earned a median of 56.6 cents to every dollar that full-time, working men earned. Since then, women’s median earnings have gained 25 cents, reaching 81.6 cents in 2018.

This pay gap is costly.

NCPE estimates that “over a working lifetime, this wage disparity costs the average American woman and her family an estimated $700,000 to $2 million, impacting Social Security benefits and pensions.”

At the current rate, it will take until 2059 for women to achieve equal pay.

The gender pay gap has been studied extensively over time. No one factor, discriminatory or nondiscriminatory in nature, accounts for 100% of the pay gap. Researchers often rely on Census Bureau data to generate insights.

The Pay Gap Over Time

For about 20 years, through the 1960s and 1970s, the female-to-male earnings ratio was stagnant, hovering between 57 to 61 cents to the dollar of male earnings.

During the 1980s, the pay gap narrowed nearly 10 cents, marking the most income gain in any decade. It took nearly another 30 years for women to gain the next 10 cents to reach 2018’s ratio of 81.6 cents on the dollar.

Current Population Survey data from 1961-2018, show how the female-to-male earnings ratio of full-time workers has narrowed over seven decades.

Equal Pay Day Comes Later For Many Women

The gender wage gap varies depending on women’s education, race and whether they are married or have children, among other factors.

For example, tables from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) show women who were never married (90%) experience less of a gap compared to women who are in mid-life (75%), Latina (86%), hold a bachelor’s degree or higher (75%) or are separated (78%).

The gender-based pay gap narrows for blacks (89%) — though black workers have a lower median income overall — and all women 16-34 years of age (91-87%).

American Community Survey (ACS) data on single parents show that single mothers who earn less than $30,000 a year make up 51% of all single mothers while single fathers in the same income category make up 29% of their cohort.

Read the full article and see the infographics here: https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2020/03/equal-pay-day-is-march-31-earliest-since-1996.html