Our Fearless Leaders Transition from Being Women at War to Women at Work
Today we honor those who have fallen while serving our country.
"In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."
—Martin Luther King, Jr.
The US department of Veteran Affairs confirms the disproportionate ratio of men to women in the military and shares eye-opening facts and statistics of the challenges women veterans encounter after they serve our country. Because we care about gender diversity and inclusion in the workplace, we spoke with three women veterans to see what has helped some of our fearless leaders transition from being women at war to women at work.
Just like with gender diversity, there are companies making great strides to increase veteran employment in the workplace. However, since women veterans are less likely to be employed, it's essential to hear directly from those working now. Our hope is that more women veterans find employment and that companies will implement appropriate support during their transition.
Here is what these women have to say:
What's the biggest challenge you've faced at Raytheon and how did you overcome it?
"The biggest challenge I faced was the transition from military to corporate aerospace and defense culture. I mistakenly assumed that the cultures (acronyms, terminology, processes, hierarchy etc.) would be similar and I didn't realize what a steep learning curve I faced. I came from a situation where I was experienced and knew what I was doing and transitioned into a very unfamiliar environment. Change is scary and so I struggled at first, but then I realized that it was fine to accept that I didn't have all the answers and that I was new and needed to learn. Fortunately there are lots of people here at Raytheon who wanted to help me learn, grow and be successful!"
More From Raytheon:
"At Raytheon, we place an emphasis on diversity, inclusion and opportunities for all employees. One of the coolest things that Raytheon does is demonstrate that commitment to all women. There are five women directors on our board and four female vice presidents on the company's senior leadership team. In addition to those roles, there are women serving as vice presidents, senior managers, directors and several other leadership positions that number in the thousands. It's important that we talk the talk, but it's really cool to work for a company that walks the walk."
What do you miss about working in the military?
"When I was in the military, I wore a rank and occupational badge that let people know off the bat what I did and where I was in the Organizational food chain. Because of that, there was an automatic sense of deference that I received when it came to giving my opinion or ideas. However, when I took the uniform off, all people see now is a baby face and girl. Even though I am 31, I am still referred to as young lady and I have to battle my way through to be granted respect and a voice at the table. I sometimes miss the uniform because it showed my experience and expertise before I even opened my mouth."
—Jardin, USAF Veteran.
What's the coolest thing your company does to support women veterans?
"We offer a program called the "Heal Program" that heals a Veteran before they get into a crisis. We focus on healthcare, evacuation, advocacy and legislature. No Veteran gets left behind. We resolve issues concerning homelessness, unemployment, benefits, and suicides. However, the biggest problem I face is being one of a few female Veteran Executives. I'm usually the only woman at the table talking Women Veteran issues. I'm very confident and bold in stating my intent and advocacy for Women Veterans because I represent the speechless and hopeless. I overcome this challenge by waking up everyday knowing I fight for all Veterans and I can't quit or let them down. Advocacy is my passion and I live to make Veteran lives better."
—Cherissa, Retired Air Force Captain.
Here are some companies PowerToFly has teamed up with that have jobs and dedicated programs for veterans:
For more opportunities, check out our full list of jobs available now.
Tips from PowerToFly's Strategic Global Enterprise D&I executive, Dionna Smith-Keels
If you are someone who works in Diversity and Inclusion or is passionate about seeing more diversity in your company, you may feel overwhelmed about where to start. When it comes to D&I, the best place to start is at the top. If you really want the work you do to have an impact, you need to get leadership at your company to buy-in to diversity efforts.
How She Overcame Self-Doubt & Became a Full-Time Software Engineer at Quip
Have you ever dreamed of pivoting into the world of software engineering? Claire Johnson, a self-proclaimed chemistry nerd who landed a chemical engineering job straight out of college, certainly hadn't… that is, until she took her first programming class online at Stanford. Now she's a full-time software engineer at Quip, Salesforce's productivity platform. "I never would've thought that I would do this when I graduated college," she explains, laughing.
The Women at Work Podcast Shares Actionable Advice on Money, Working in a Male-Dominated Industry, and Finding a Sponsor
Recently I've noticed a bit of a trend (anecdotal evidence alert!) 🚨— I hear more and more folks asking for actionable advice.
For the boss you loved, the coworker you hated, and everyone in between
Two things are inevitable when someone leaves your team at work: there will be an abundance of sweet treats (I'm partial to those giant cookie cakes from the mall) and there will be a card passed around for everyone to scrawl the professional version of sweet nothings in. Depending on the "importance" of the person, you may get the bonus activities of farewell gifts and/or an all-team champagne toast.
If you are a New York based tech professional and you'd like to attend this event, please email your name and LinkedIn URL to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whether you are a software engineer, fitness enthusiast or both, you won't want to miss PowerToFly's evening of product demos and networking with the women tech leaders and allies at Peloton.
Founded in 2012, Peloton brought top talent together in its Silicon Alley headquarters to create a new concept in fitness. In their words, "We loved cycling but had a hard time finding a workout that consistently fit our schedules, and our at-home workouts never felt quite up to par. So, we set out to create a world-class indoor cycling studio experience on your time, and in the comfort of your own home."
This event is your chance to hear directly from the women tech leaders and allies who make their revolutionary products like the Peloton Bike, Peloton Tread and Peloton App possible. We'll be devoting a large portion of the event to taking your questions and I know the Peloton team wants to hear from you!
The unique evening will take place on Wednesday, February 12th from 6pm to 8:30pm at 125 W 25th Street.