In this final episode of LocalGov Life “United Front,” Julie Underwood, city manager of Mercer Island, Washington describes her career, her philosophy on finding mentors, and how she manages the “second shift.”
Julie Underwood, city manager of Mercer Island, Washington, has been the first woman and the first person of color in not one, but two, communities. “It seems silly but I thought if I fail, they’ll never hire another woman…another person of color again,” she said. She shared an anecdote about a councilmember remembering a woman who left a job to spend more time with her family. “He wanted to know if I would do the same thing,” Underwood said. Her manager asked the councilmember whether he would have asked that same question of a man. “He was mortified,” she said. “Unconscious bias. It happens all the time.”
In this final episode of LocalGov Life, United Front, Underwood describes her career, her philosophy on finding mentors, and how she manages the “second shift.” With three children at home and a demanding career, Underwood stressed how she and her spouse team up on most family responsibilities and how she outsources some of the household chores. She also gives some great advice on how to have those difficult gender bias conversations in a positive way.
ICMA’s vision is to be the leading association of local government professionals dedicated to creating and supporting thriving communities throughout the world. We do this by working with our more than 12, 000 members to identify and speed the adoption of leading local government practices to improve the lives of residents. ICMA offers membership, professional development programs, research, publications, data and information, technical assistance, and training to thousands of city, town, and county chief administrative officers, their staffs, and other organizations throughout the world. Find out more about ICMA, and the profession, at our website: http://www.icma.org
Follow us on Social Media!