by Meg Mikulski
I am currently working as a jail social worker while completing coursework for my Master of Public Administration, Criminal Justice Public Policy degree. Since starting with IGEPS in Spring 2022, my awareness of gender-related issues in public service has expanded, as well as my experience in academic research. I am continuously learning about new gender issues in the public sector, including workplace policies and how gender norms and attitudes impact public policy and women in leadership, for example.
My work with IGEPS has primarily focused on a project with the United Nations, which resulted in three UN reports and one academic manuscript, “Gender Equity in a Global Context: Examining Legislation and Policies Promoting Women’s Access to Leadership Positions in the Public Sector”. The UN project highlighted policies globally related to the Sustainable Development Goals related to gender equity. I assisted in finding relevant literature and policies related to various policies related to SDG 5, as well as, coding each document using Atlas.ti to highlight relevant information for the manuscript. Through this process, I learned the nature of working on a comprehensive publication with a team of researchers. Although difficult at times, it is rewarding to be able to be a part of a project that can inform future policy work as it relates to gender equity.
I have also been given the latitude and support to write a Scholars Strategy Network policy brief that is still in progress related to the impact of felony murder laws on youth in the criminal justice system. Examining gender from different facets as it applies to the public sector has been fascinating and informative. Although some of the issues may be more commonly talked about (i.e. the gender pay gap), it is interesting to explore these issues as it applies to the public sector and continue to make these issues relevant in timely conversations.
The opportunities IGEPS provides will continue to support my career progress through academic research and allow me to see the world through a more equitable and intersectional viewpoint. Many of the issues that arise around gender equity also cross into the criminal justice field. Through the lens of gender equity, I am more conscientious of issues related to gender in both public administration and criminal justice. As a woman, it is imperative that I continue to highlight issues that could affect myself and all genders in multiple sectors and society at large.
About the author:
Meg Mikulski is a graduate student at John Jay College working towards her Master of Public Administration in Criminal Justice Public Policy. She has earned her Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Loyola University Chicago, and her Master of Social Work from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is currently in Minnesota working as a social worker in a county jail providing mental health services to inmates. She has previous experience working in community corrections, research and policy, and mental health fields in Chicago and suburbs of the Twin Cities. She hopes to continue her work in the intersection of mental health and the criminal justice system. Her personal interests include traveling, going to art museums, trying new foods, and spending time with her dog.