In a few weeks CMSGT Lorna De la Cruz and I will be attending the Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium. Of course we are there to represent the Naval Senior Enlisted Academy (it’s a little ironic that the Navy is sending someone from the Air Force and Coast Guard) but we are also interested in bringing the issues that are important to women in the service today back to the schoolhouse.
One of the things I am going to work on while I am at the symposium is discussing with women what had made them decide to stay in the service. When I look at the numbers for gender diversity in the Coast Guard and Navy, I see both services do a good job of recruiting women but there is a steady decline. I’d like to find out if there are certain characteristics or common themes of women who chose to stay active duty. I believe once we can tap into the people staying in as opposed to being focused on those who decide to get out we might find some answers and be able to initiate change.