BPW Foundation's Women Misbehavin' Blog

Well behaved women never make history

Two Identities Too Many?

Posted by danielleac on May 26, 2011

I am a veteran. A female one, at that.

Not that I’ve ever considered it a strike against me, but it is a tag that is quickly becoming associated with numerous negative connotations due to the current barrage of media portraying women veterans as hot messes. Transitioning out of the military was a bit hard – after earning the respect and camaraderie of my fellow soldiers (mostly men), I found that when I exited the service, the civilian boy’s club barred the door, and civilian women didn’t quite know what to say to a woman who could hit center mass from a couple of hundred yards with a big gun. (Most of them probably didn’t know what “center mass” meant..) And, yes, I carry a couple of scars, figuratively and literally, that I didn’t claim before I entered the military. But, I’m not broken, nor are most of the women vets I know – we take multi-tasking to a new dimension, we never give up, and we just won’t stop until we’ve surpassed our goals.

I am a Gen Y er. Thirty. College degree. Married. Couple of kids.

The civilian workplace surprised me by boxing me into yet another category: Gen Y (born between ’78 and ’94). It took me some time to understand why this was a negative, as Gen Yers are known to be speedy workers who complete tasks and move on, individuals who appreciate hard work and hard play, and surprisingly, intrinsically motivated to finding the answers to life and work using every tool at their technologically-advanced fingertips . It is a strike, though, since change is hard, and the way of the younger generation does not match up with status quo.

So, what’s the bigger problem?

The snowball , in my opinion, is that there are too many of us. Too many misunderstood veterans, too many barely-launched Gen Yers that don’t know where to start to get what they want (or don’t have the patience to wait for it), and way too many employers who realize they need us to replace the ever-aging Baby Boomers, but don’t know how to harness the initiative and committed nature of either sub-population.

Here’s where you come in, Gen Y Women: Help BPW Foundation continue pursuing the creation of Empowered Workforces and Successful Workplaces by telling us what you think by taking this Gen Y survey.

We promise not to stop researching and working on your behalf, our history as the first Foundation to tackle women’s workplace issues stands behind us as proof that we mean what we say.


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