by Senior Airman Christina Brownlow
Air Force Public Affairs Agency
2/10/2012 – WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Women from all branches of the armed forces will have the opportunity to learn leadership skills and network at the Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium here March 5-6.
The symposium, themed “United in Service — Our Global Impact,” will offer women the opportunity to focus on their leadership development while also highlighting the achievement of women leaders on the front lines around the globe.
“The symposium is important because it brings together enlisted, officer, and civilian women from across the services for professional development, networking, and inspiration,” Lt. Col. Jessica Milam, Air Force Diversity deputy director said, adding the symposium “offers amazing speakers from across the globe who will address the importance of women to the mission.”
The joint symposium partners the Air Force and Army with the Marines, Navy and Coast Guard.
“This symposium is part of a larger strategy of professional development of our Airmen as well as advocating for diversity and also the balance between work and life,” said Dan Sitterly, Air Force director of Airman Force Development. “This is exciting to me because when you talk to young Airmen today and ask them what is important to them, it is both family and their work.”
Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Olympic medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Courtney Lynch and Angie Morgan, authors of “Leading From the Front,” and Rep. Susan Davis, Co-Chair on Military Issues for Congressional Women’s Caucus, will speak during the first day of the conference.
The conference also will feature speakers and panel sessions on issues relevant to military women, such as “A Global Force for Good” and “Getting Stronger Through Diversity and Inclusion.” Additionally, a female general officer panel, including representatives from all branches, will address leadership issues.
The second day will be broken into separate service groups, where Air Force speakers will focus on topics including career development and balancing work and life. The overall goal is to encourage and retain women in the Air Force.
“How we can offer a lifestyle that can both leverage the tremendous amount of talent that women bring to the Air Force and balance of a family as they make a career out of it?” Sitterly asked.
Right now, approximately 19 percent of Airmen are women and our accession rate is about 22 percent, Sitterly said. “That’s a lot of talent we’re missing out on, so this symposium is going to discuss that, among other things,” he added.
“The Air Force needs women,” Milam said. “We value women and having this opportunity to have many generations of women from different career fields and experiences in one place is invaluable.”
For more information or to register for the symposium, visit SeaLeader.org.