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Surface Navy Women’s Symposium Highlights Women’s History, Achievements and Future

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW) Katherine Sanchez, Naval Surface Forces Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO - Naval Surface Forces (SURFOR) sponsored a Surface Navy Women's Symposium at the Naval Base San Diego theater March 5.

More than 200 officers, enlisted service members, and civilians attended the event, which was coordinated by SURFOR’s Diversity Office.

The symposium featured historical highlights and accomplishments of women in the Surface Navy. Speakers and panelists included a command-selected female commanding officer, a post-command patrol craft commanding officer, detailers and Command Master Chiefs who shared their experiences and insights, covering a range of topics including career milestone planning, balancing family life and work requirements, childcare options, and women’s health issues.

“There is a tremendous amount of experience in this room today. Take the time to speak with the participants. Ask them about their careers, tours in different ship classes and how they met the challenges of family, division officer and department head tours,” said Vice Adm. D.C. Curtis, Commander, Naval Surface Forces/Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S Pacific Fleet.

Lt. Hope Brill, deputy director of the Office of Women’s Affairs in Washington, D.C., presented a Navy women’s policy overview entitled “Today’s Women and Tomorrow’s Navy Organization.” The overview featured past, present and future statistical information on female officers and enlisted personnel.

“The panelists and speakers presented a wealth of information concerning women in the Navy, as well as new programs and initiatives we can look forward to in the future,” said Lt.j.g. Lisa Lange, who attended the event. “One thing that impressed me most was the passion the women in attendance displayed in their desire to make positive changes in the Navy.”

As outlined in the Chief of Naval Operations’ Guidance for 2009, building the future force and being a Top 50 Employer is a priority for the Navy. SURFOR’s Diversity Director, Lt. Cmdr. Mark Haney, said the symposium was successful in reaching the goal to raise awareness of new initiatives, leadership opportunities and social and family-life challenges of women in the fleet today. Haney also mentioned SURFOR’s recently launched Surface Warfare Officer (SWO) “e-Mentor” Program which capitalizes on the diversity of talent in the Surface community by facilitating the sharing of SWO values and knowledge throughout the community via the Internet.

For more information on women in the Navy, visit www.npc.navy.mil/AboutUs/BUPERS/WomensPolicy. For more information on the SWO e-Mentor Program, visit https://www.3creekmentoring.com/swo_mentoring.

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