AUGUST 30, 2017, ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) – USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) hosted a Women’s Equality Day celebration in the ship’s fo’c’sle, Aug. 29.
The ceremony included an open panel of several of Truman’s senior ranking female Sailors and was designed to observe not only the passage of the 19th Amendment, but also to call attention to the great strides the country and Navy have made toward equality.
“The idea of an open forum for all Sailors to hear the stories of successful female senior ranking Sailors was an idea I could not pass up,” said Legalman 1st Class Kareshia Stallworth. “I wanted the panel to consist of several inspiring and successful senior ranking Sailors from around the ship so that the audience attending the ceremony, both male and female, could hear their stories and openly ask them questions about the adversities they may have faced to get to the point of their career they are at now.”
Women’s Equality Day was established in 1971 as a way to commemorate the long struggle for generations of women to gain their right to vote. Now, the observance also calls attention to the ongoing efforts made by women to establish full gender equality.
Senior Chief Aviation Maintenance Administrationman Shayla Tiggs said she was thrilled to be invited to be a part of the panel for the ceremony.
“Throughout my Navy career, I’ve had the opportunity of working with many strong and successful women,” said Tiggs. “I continue to look up to these women for inspiration, for I love seeing them excel in their personal and professional careers. It was an honor to be able to be a part of today’s panel in order to share both my story and my thoughts on women’s equality, as well as hear the stories of several other inspirational women.”
Women entered the naval service for the first time in 1908 with the establishment of the Navy Nurse Corps. Today, women serve in every rank from seaman to admiral, and hold nearly every job from naval aviator to deep-sea diver. Nineteen percent of the Navy’s enlisted force are women, including eight percent of all senior and master chief petty officers. Eighteen percent of the officer force and 11 percent of all admirals are comprised of women.
For Tiggs, equality is all about respect and empowerment.
“When I say respect, I mean respect for how far women have come and for the rights we as women have earned,” said Tiggs. “As for empowerment, it’s important for women to empower each other every day, in both our professional and personal lives.”
Truman has successfully completed Flight Deck Certifications and is underway preparing for Tailored Ship’s Training Availability (TSTA) and Final Evaluation Problem (FEP).
By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Rebekah A. Watkins, USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Public Affairs