Sacramento, California – March 10, 2016 – The shortage of women leaders at IT companies nationwide has consistently made headlines over the last several years. But Sacramento-based e.Republic has deliberately set a much more inclusive example. Of the company’s 185 employees, 124 are women. Most recently, e.Republic announced the promotion of Cathilea Robinett to president.
Robinett joined e.Republic, a media and research company focused on government and technology, in 1992. Originally serving as director of marketing, then chief operating officer and executive vice president, she was a driving force behind the success of the company’s flagship publication, Government Technology. She was also deeply involved in the launch of Public CIO and Emergency Management magazines, and the expansion of Governing magazine.
Robinett launched the company’s Center for Digital Government in 1998, followed by the Center for Digital Education in 2000, establishing e.Republic’s research capabilities and market intelligence platforms. She also played a key role in launching the Center for Digital Government’s Digital States Survey. The ground-breaking survey ranks progress made by all 50 state governments in their use of digital technologies to better serve citizens and streamline operations. Today, the biannual national survey is a benchmark for governors looking to modernize operations.
Robinett’s breadth of knowledge and hands-on experience in digital government has made her a sought-after speaker at the UN, Harvard, the White House, and countless government and education institutions and conferences. She is widely recognized as the public “face” of e.Republic by governors and mayors (many of whom consider her a close colleague) and industry leaders across 50 states.
Dennis McKenna, e.Republic’s CEO and co-founder, counts Robinett as integral to both e.Republic’s growth and the evolution of digital government in the United States.
“Outside the company she is a nationally recognized and trusted leader in the public sector,” McKenna said. “Internally she is a highly capable executive, successfully driving our corporate expansion and financial success through disruptive times in the media industry. When she started, we had 20 employees and one magazine. Today we have 185 employees, four media brands, three research institutes and more. She’s been a part of every major stride the company has made.”
Robinett is a pioneer not only in technology, but also in another area commonly dominated by men: government. After years of collaborating closely with state and local government officials from around the U.S., Robinett recognized a disturbing disparity.
“I was shocked to discover the number of women in elected positions in government has been decreasing over the years,” she said. “Elected female leaders in government positions at the state and local level were at an all-time high of 26% in 1992. Today we’re down to 20%, yet we are 51% of the population. The women leaders I’ve met are extraordinary people, but there are not enough of them. It’s my personal mission to change this landscape.”
In response, Robinett launched the ground-breaking Women in Government Leadership program in 2014. The program is made up of an annual cohort of 25 female elected officials and is a year-long fellowship, including leadership and management retreats, networking and relationship-building with other women leaders. A core part of the program is training leaders to mentor in their own backyards, creating the next generation of women in public service.
Robinett said the opportunity to launch programs like Women in Government Leadership is a big part of why she loves her job.
“Few people get to help make the world a better place when they come to work in the morning,” she said. “We have a world-class team of people making that happen.”