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SURFPAC Hosts Second Annual Surface Navy Women's Symposium

Story Number: NNS100317-30, by Lt. j.g Desiree Timmons, Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Commander Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (SURFPAC) hosted the second annual Surface Navy Women's Symposium at the Naval Base San Diego theater March 16.

Over 350 surface warriors gathered to discuss current surface women's initiatives, take advantage of mentoring and networking opportunities with senior leaders and receive guidance on career development and life/work balance.

Capt. Ann Phillips, chief of naval operations staff deputy director of surface warfare and the keynote speaker for the event, encouraged women to never stop learning and to take advantage of every opportunity to challenge themselves personally and professionally.

She also discussed pivotal moments in her career and why she continues to serve, setting the tone for the symposium.

"Women have a great opportunity to take an ever-increasing role in leadership, in industry, in business, in education and society at large," said Phillips. "If you want to be on the cutting edge of developing technology as a woman in the 21st century, the Navy is a great place to be. As surface warriors we are always learning and improving, building upon the basics with our personal leadership styles – being a surface warrior is about being the best you that you can be."

Highlights of the symposium were panel discussions and break-out sessions where Sailors had the opportunity to ask senior officers and enlisted leaders about their personal experiences.

"We work hard to build diverse panels that can speak to a wide range of operational experiences and expertise," said Lt. Cmdr. Mark Haney, SURFPAC's diversity director. "These panels provide a unique opportunity for Sailors to ask questions that are important to them both personally and professionally and receive real-time feedback from senior surface warriors."

Topics discussed in the panels included women and leadership at sea, general life skills information, Navy child and youth programs, spouse programs for male spouses and life/work balance.

"The symposium made me realize that I can achieve, just like these women are achieving," said Culinary Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) Glenda Young, from USS Makin Island (LHD 8).

The Surface Women's Symposium, a SURFPAC initiative, is currently offered in San Diego, Norfolk and Hawaii and will expand to Mayport, Fla., and the Pacific Northwest in 2010.

For more information on upcoming surface women's events, visit the Office of Women's Policy Web site at

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