By DoD News
By Lt. Col. Ann Stefanek
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 March 15 and 16 in San Diego, Calif. Themed “Connect. Empower. Succeed,” this year’s symposium will offer women from all service branches an opportunity to focus on their leadership development while also highlighting the achievements of women leaders on the front lines around the globe.
“The Air Force needs America’s best talent to succeed in this very competitive environment”, said Mr. Dan Sitterly, Air Force director of Airman force development. “Therefore, it is imperative that even while the Air Force is reducing the force to meet end strength, we do everything possible to continue to attract, develop, and retain the most talented and diverse Airmen.”
This year the Air Force and Army are partnering with the Marines, Navy and Coast Guard in the Women’s Leadership Symposium, making it truly a joint event.
Melanne Verveer, ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues, and Tammy Duckworth, Department of Veterans Affairs’ assistant secretary for public and intergovernmental affairs, 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 “Achieving Career Success,” “Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle” and “Financial Management.” A female general officer panel including representatives from all branches will address leadership issues.
The second day will include high-ranking senior officer speakers and agendas specific to each of the service branches. Air Force speakers will focus on topics including career development and work/life balance. There also will be mentoring lunches and breakout sessions for Airmen from similar assignments.
According to Mr. Sitterly, retaining Airmen with different experiences and perspectives strengthens the force and ensures the Air Force’s long-term ability to support the Air Force mission.
“The Air Force has a rich heritage of visionary leaders and we need to develop and retain the best and brightest Airmen to continue that tradition for the next generation”, he said.