BPW Foundation's Women Misbehavin' Blog

Well behaved women never make history

Giving Thanks to Women Who have Served Our Country

Posted by BPW Foundation Contributer on November 26, 2014

There is a lot of well-deserved recognition and gratitude that envelops veterans and members of our armed forces during the second week of November.  We are proud of all who have served and serve.  Like other organizations supporting veterans and women veterans in particular, BPW Foundation’s Joining Forces Mentoring Plus® (JFMP) works all day and every day of the year to hand-match women veterans with free mentors who can help them in the pursuit of a civilian job and career.  Our JFMP team recognizes and is well-equipped to address the unique needs and gaps that exist for women transitioning from active duty as well as those who have been out of the service for awhile.

Our priorities are to secure funding which makes this program FREE for women veterans, understand the skillset and network of a generous mentor volunteer, and facilitate the connection by hand-matching the two.  This does not work like a dating site- we delve into the nuances at JFMP.  We want to ensure a productive and meaningful relationship, and that has resulted in numerous success stories.

Do you know that we have been advocating for and providing mentoring for ALL professional women since 1919?  We are not new to this scene.  JFMP is modeled on BPW Foundation’s “Working Women Helping Women Work” approach.  We truly know what we’re doing, and it’s helping change the trajectory of women’s lives.  We have linked arms with other veteran service organizations and together we provide a quilt of support on the legal, financial, benefits, and career fronts. We aren’t embracing women who have served our country as a cause du jour.  We are fully committed to—and invested in—doing right by ALL of America’s working women – and it’s through this lens that we are working to support the career transitions of women veterans.

Our Employer Partners “get it”.  Their underwriting of JFMP is not lip service.  They know that some of the very best people who could run a supply chain for a grocery chain are the very women who made it happen in the military theater.  One of the largest online retailers wants to specifically hire women veterans because they are fluent in logistics and calm in pressure-packed environments like their fulfillment warehouses.

This resonates, doesn’t it?  Whether someone managed postal mail, provided medical services, served on the front line, or kept the line moving at the fuel depot, she has skills that transcend the specific nature of her role.  Shouldn’t she be given the support and the platform necessary to be successful in any role because she choses and is capable of doing so?

Women veterans don’t transition to civilian life with a turnkey resume understood by the non military workplace, but that’s an easy fix when they get the right help.  Whether a mentor is a VP of Communications for a global financial organization, a long-time office clerk/manager/supervisor, or a small-town entrepreneur, she has special insights and advice to offer a woman veteran.  After getting to know one another, those interactions may include everything from editing a resume, to mock interviewing to handing off a personal contact.  Everyone involved wants to ensure success through meaningful employment.  It’s not a simple journey, but it’s one that is eased by the right assets and support.

You can help us replicate this success for even more women veterans by making a financial donation to fund the technology and the lean and talented crew that makes this magic happen.  You can also show your support by becoming a mentor, member, Subject Matter Expert (www.JoiningForceMentoringPlus.org), or encouraging your workplace to support the program and encourage widespread support like Booz Allen Hamilton, Citi, Alliant Credit Union, and many others have done.

Mostly, we hope you will join us in incorporating support for women veterans and their unique needs into daily life all year long…not just in November.

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