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Posted at 4:20 PM ET, 02/14/2011

Barry wants more men in DOES leadership

By Tim Craig
Tim Craig

D.C. Council member Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4) publicly lashed out at council member Marion Barry on Monday after her colleague demanded that the head of the Department of Employment Services name a man to her senior leadership team.

At a confirmation hearing for Rochelle Webb, Barry (D-Ward 8) said he was "shocked" to learn that the acting director had yet to name a man to any of the "eight or nine" highest-ranking positions in her office.

"When you hire going forward, there must be some qualified men you can put in key positions in the agency," Barry said he told Webb during the Housing and Workforce Development committee hearing.

Shortly after that meeting, Bowser sent out a Tweet decrying Barry's comments.

"CM Barry insists that new DOES director hire a man as part of her executive team," Bowser tweeted. "Excuse me? I don't remember any fuss w/ all male leadership."

In an interview, Barry said he isn't backing down from his belief that that both men and women should make up the agency's leadership team.

"I sure did say that and don't apologize for it," Barry said. "When there are no men on the labor council, what does that say to the community? That there are no qualified men to hold any of those positions?"

Barry, who served four terms as mayor, said he made sure during his past administrations that at least "52 to 54 percent" of his senior staff was female. Now, he said, agency directors working for Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) should strive for the same diversity.

"I demonstrated my commitment," Barry said. "It didn't look right when you saw all female or all male."

Bowser was not immediately available to comment.

By Tim Craig  | February 14, 2011; 4:20 PM ET
Categories:  2010 District Election  
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Marion Barry is an idiot. When will this man just go away or disappear for good?

Posted by: illegalalien | February 14, 2011 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Speaking for the interest of his constituents from Ward 8, Barry is correct. Perception is reality. The message of an all female, or all anything, in public leadership actually resonates among those being served. The young men in ward are, in many respects, disrespected and alionated by virtue of their zip code. While Barry would have been better served by saying he wanted to see more Ward 8 residents represented in DOES leadership, of whatever race/gender, I do get his point standing in his shoes. He should be unapologetic.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | February 15, 2011 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Bowser I agree with you and that was hard to for me to type.

Do I get Barry's point..yeah, but DOES had many years with an all male staff. Let's see Joseph P. Yeldell and Gregg Irish had very male...very alpha male DOES administrations.

My hope is that this new DOES administration takes DOES seriously and the last director was MIA and lacked any type of relationship with the staff. I guess one could say he wasn't vested in moving the Agency forward.

There are many areas within DOES that need improvement, and the current economic conditions and the demographics that affects makes DOES's mission that more important.

Posted by: thelildiva4u | February 15, 2011 2:17 PM | Report abuse

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