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Archive for the ‘Mentoring’ Category

You Are Invited To Celebrate Women’s History — Make Women’s History Event Tuesday – March 18, 2014 at The United States Navy Memorial

Posted by Crystal Williams on February 26, 2014

Honorary Chair, First Lady Michelle Obama

In celebration of Women’s History Month 2014, we invite you to join Business and Professional Women’s (BPW) Foundation to honor the achievements, dedication to duty, and patriotism of women veterans, military/veteran spouses, female caregivers of wounded warriors, and women who have lost a loved one serving our nation.

We are pleased to recognize the vital contributions made by 

Joining Forces Mentoring Plus® Champions:

Angel Outreach Award: Courtney Banks Spaeth, 
Founder & CEO of NSAWW

Innovative Programming Award: Alliant Credit Union

Action with Compassion Award: Booz Allen Hamilton

 Grassroots Award: BPW North Carolina

Career Development Panel, Tools & Resources for the Civilian Workplace

Learn about tools and resources valuable in identifying a career path and pursuing the route to success in the civilian workplace

Career Development Panel, Social Media Strategies for Career Success
Find out how to use social media to support you as you explore industries and opportunities, create your online brand, and cultivate networks

Cocktail & Networking/Awards Reception

women

Date:
Tuesday – March 18, 2014
Time:
Career Development Panels: 4-6 pm
Cocktails, Networking Reception & Awards Presentation: 6-8pm
Location:
The United States Navy Memorial
701 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20004
Register: Register before March 13th (Space is limited)
Join as an Event Sponsor! Please contact Mary Ann Sack
masack@bpwfoundation.org
 
 
Moderated by Erika Gonzalez,
NBC4 News Anchor
 
Guest parking available at reduced $8 rate at PMI Parking (D Street NW, between 8th and 9th Streets; Entrance next to the Caucus Room Restaurant). Please bring your ticket to the event for validation.
 EVENT-SPONSOR_STARSMARCH5
Advertisements

Posted in BPW, Joining Forces, Joining Forces for Women Veterans, Media, Mentoring, Mentoring Advisory Council, Military, Military Families | Leave a Comment »

Engaging More Than One Million Girls and Young Women in STEM Education and Careers

Posted by YWM on January 23, 2014

BPWFoundationlogocolorBusiness and Professional Women’s (BPW) Foundation is partnering with the “Million Women Mentors” (MWM) initiative.  Launched in January during National Mentoring Month, the initiative will support the engagement of one million science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) mentors – male and female – to increase the interest and confidence of girls and young women to pursue and succeed in STEM degrees and careers.

Supporting women in non-traditional fields has long been part of BPW Foundation’s mission. Since 1969, BPW’s career advancement scholarships have provided financial assistance to financially disadvantaged women 25 years of age or older seeking to further their education, advance their careers or re-enter the workforce. BPW Foundation solicits prospective scholarship candidates from its state and local Legacy members.  Most of last year’s scholarship recipients are pursing degrees in STEM or related fields.

BPW Foundation’s goal is to share information about Million Women Mentors among its legacy chapters across the country, to engage STEM mentors and to encourage young girls and women interested in STEM fields to pursue their goals with the help of a mentor.  One aspect of BPW Foundation’s commitment to mentoring young women is the BPW Young Careerist program conducted by BPW local and state organizations which recognizes and assists young women as they start their careers.  In addition, BPW members provide career enhancement tools to women of all ages through locally conducted Individual Development programs.  joining this initiative is a natural fit with our ongoing work.

“With our legacy of ‘working women helping women work®’ BPW Foundation is proud to partner with Million Women Mentors to support women across their STEM career spectrum, from young careerists to mid and upper-level professionals, to those transitioning out of the military,” said BPW Foundation CEO Deborah Frett.

BPW Foundation also seeks to leverage this partnership to promote access to STEM career opportunities among women veterans, military spouses and women who have lost a loved one serving in the Armed Forces. “Many women veterans leave the militarywith a wealth of technical training and experience, but they don’t know how to translate those skills into meaningful careers,” said Leslie Wilkins , member of the BPW Foundation Board of Trustees and Founder and Director, MEDB’s Women in Technology Project.  “Having access to STEM professionals through Million Women Mentors will help these skilled women, who unselfishly served our country, leverage their skills and tap into careers in STEM. Million Women Mentor’s work can also support the talented pool of unemployed and underemployed military spouses and surviving family members and bridge the gap (often due to multiple moves or the loss of a loved one) to a successful career in STEM.”

In the past 10 years, growth in STEM jobs has been three times greater than that of non-STEM jobs. Today 80% of the fastest growing occupations in the United States depend on mastery of mathematics and knowledge and skills in hard sciences. While women comprise 48% of the U.S. workforce, just 24% are in STEM fields, a statistic that has held constant for nearly the last decade. While 75% of all college students are women and students of color, they represent only 45% of STEM degrees earned each year. Too many of these young women begin in STEM but leave those degree paths despite their good academic standing, often citing uncomfortable classroom experiences and disconcerting climate. Even when women earn a STEM degree, they are less likely than their male counterparts to work in a STEM field even though STEM jobs pay more and have a lower wage gap: 92 cents on a dollar versus 75 cents in other fields.

“Clearly the need for women in STEM is there,” said Frett.  “By tapping into current pools of talent among our women veteran and military spouse community, and contributing to tomorrow’s STEM professionals among our young careerists, BPW Foundation continues its vision to partner to create successful workplaces for women, their families and employers.”

Posted in girls, Joining Forces for Women Veterans, Mentoring, STEM, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

CAREER MENTORING FOR WOMEN COPING WITH THE DEATH OF A SERVICE MEMBER

Posted by YWM on January 16, 2014

Surviving spouses, sisters, mothers and other women grieving a loss can get career mentoring

BPW mentoring logo.cThe Business and Professional Women’s (BPW) Foundation and the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) are partnering to provide career mentoring and resources to military widows, surviving sisters, surviving mothers and other women who have lost a loved one serving in the Armed Forces.

Through BPW Foundation’s Joining Forces Mentoring Plus program , (JFMP) surviving spouses and other female family members will have access to its no-cost national mentoring program. The program uses both one-on-one contact and a sophisticated online platform of resources for this deserving cohort of women. Mentorships and resources extend beyond job attainment to support job retention and career advancement.

“Since January is National Mentoring Month we couldn’t be more excited to announce our partnership with TAPS to support military spouses, daughters, mothers, sisters and fiancées, who have tragically lost a loved one who served our country,” said BPW Foundation CEO Deborah Frett.

“In addition to their grief, these women now face the difficult challenge of rebuilding their lives.  Having the option of a meaningful, sustainable career is often key to this effort.”  Joining Forces Mentoring Plus provides access to free mentoring provided by volunteer working women, Subject Matter Experts for special needs, and a vast number of state-of-the-art career resources through our internet platform.

“And our unique benefit of Working Women Helping Women Work® provides these female military spouses/family members with a truly understanding helping hand,” Frett added. The program offers tailored mentoring to assist career development.

“We are so grateful to the Business and Professional Women’s Foundation for offering the Joining Forces Mentoring Plus program for free to women grieving the death of a loved one who served in the Armed Forces,” said Bonnie Carroll, military widow and TAPS founder.

Carroll said that career mentoring is often very helpful for women grieving the loss of a loved one who served in the Armed Forces. “Families of our fallen troops often change career courses completely following the death of their loved one. They have to build a new life after the deaths of their loved ones and many have to find a new direction in life. Having such a caring and supportive mentoring program available will be an invaluable resource for the families left behind by our fallen troops.”

If you are a surviving spouse, mother, daughter, sister, or other who has lost a loved one serving in our Armed Forces, you can get involved by visiting www.JoiningForcesMentoringPlus.org or contacting Helpdesk@bpwfoundation.org.

Posted in Career Advancement, Joining Forces for Women Veterans, Mentoring, Military Families, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Recognizing where you are and where you want to be!

Posted by YWM on September 25, 2013

By Kelly McCarthy

During my 25 years in the beauty industry, I never would have thought that I would become the Leader I am today. This industry has provided me with the life skills needed to be a better person, daughter, sister, employee, leader and mentor.

My role as a mentor began naturally as I began leadership early in my career. I displayed qualities of leadership that others saw in me. I didn’t see them however. I was thrust into many decision making positions and I did my best based on “common sense”. However I found that my “common sense” and another individuals “common sense” are very different and my experience began as a “Trial by Error” leader. Then I found my mentor!

I have since learned to manage my intentions and focus on what I want or need my end result to be. As I began to learn new tools in communication and networking, I began to grow and shine. I have helped lead many companies down a path of success but more importantly I was able to do that one person at a time. I have had the pleasure of leading teams as large a 100+ and as small as 14. My network of incredible people that I have helped and have helped me has grown to numbers I cannot count, however I never take it for granted nor do I feel like I have reached my peak!! There is much more I can do for myself and for others and much more I have to learn!
About 7 years ago I made a decision to begin the search to find a position within the beauty industry that allows me to accomplish personal and professional goals while supporting and mentoring others. I found the perfect match 5 years ago when I decided to become a Dean of Paul Mitchell the School, a cosmetology school.

I now provide support and guidance to hairdressers in training as well as my amazing staff of educators and administrators. We don’t only focus on the technical skills involved to become a hairdresser or salon owner, we also provide life skills, social emotional learning, community awareness, networking and professional development skills that allow a person, no matter how old, find their calling. This is where I love to be.

When looking for an organization to volunteer my time to, I found the search very difficult! I have been searching for almost 2 years and then I realized what I needed to do! Inspired by my brother, a veteran of the Marines, who is struggling with PTSD, my decision was made. He has challenged himself to transition back to a “new normal” and I have watched his accomplishments and his setbacks. That is when Joining Forces Mentoring Plus popped up on my internet search!

So you can say it was meant to be! I look forward to beginning a path of giving back to all that have gave so much. If my professional and personal skills that I have learned and developed through my years as a female professional can assist another woman in accomplishing their personal and professional career goals, I’m in!

I specialize in positive thinking, understanding thoughts and how to manage intentions as well as recognizing where you currently are and how to establish solid goals. Then I can assist in helping you take the first step toward achieving them! Understanding what you value in life and then recognizing whether or not you current routine of behaviors actually are supporting one another!

I have much to give yet much to learn from any mentee and look forward to building healthy relationships!

Posted in Career Advancement, Joining Forces for Women Veterans, Mentoring, Uncategorized, Women Veterans | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Survey of Women Small Business Owners Highlights Need for Financing, Importance of Mentorship

Posted by YWM on September 3, 2013

As women continue to start businesses in this country at ever increasing numbers, it is imperative they have the right tools to be successful. But do they? Results from a recently-conducted Business and Professional Women’s (BPW) FoundationWomencontractors survey to gauge the current environment for women entrepreneurs and small business owners addressed this question. In the executive summaryReady to Grow: A Snapshot of Women Small Business Owners some of the critical findings on topics such as the importance of technology, the role of mentorship, financing, barriers to entry, and gender impact are examined. Most survey respondents said they are not using outside financing to run their businesses. Not surprisingly, financing was also cited as one of the top barriers to entry/growth. Half of survey respondents indicated that mentorship is important to their success as small business owners. The results also indicated a correlation between women’s decision or choice to run their own businesses and their perception of gender impact. Among the women veterans who responded to the survey, it is clear that available targeted benefits are under-utilized. The full survey summary results are available at www.BPWFoundation.org.

This survey was conducted among approximately 500 women, current and former small business owners and entrepreneurs who posted a range of success rates for their businesses, and included questions specifically targeted to women veterans and military/veteran spouses. BPW Foundation CEO Deborah L. Frett presented the preliminary results in June at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America Annual Meeting. Results from this survey will help BPW Foundation define areas of further research as well as fine-tune program resources for women small business owners. T

The following organizations distributed BPW Foundation’s Women in Small Business Survey to their members and networks: Alliant Credit Union; California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls; Dell & Intel; National Association of Community College Entrepreneurship; National Association for the Self-Employed; National Council of Women’s Organizations; U.S. Black Chamber of Commerce; and Women Impacting Public Policy.

Posted in Mentoring, Small Business, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Joining Forces Mentoring Plus to Support Caregivers of Wounded Warriors

Posted by YWM on July 18, 2013

BPW JFMPlogo.lowBooz Allen Hamilton and Business and Professional Women’s Foundation have announced  a partnership to support women veterans and military/veteran spouses as they navigate the path to success in the civilian workplace. This new partnership enlists women who work at Booz Allen Hamilton to connect with women veterans and military/veteran spouses and create sustaining “high-tech, high-touch” mentoring relationships.

Booz Allen Hamilton-Joining Forces Mentoring Plus partnership will also include an important new focus on caregivers of wounded warriors. These women face unique challenges in adapting their lives—and employment—often either abandoning successful careers to become full-time caregivers to their disabled loved ones or re-entering the workforce to assume responsibility as primary breadwinners.

Booz Allen’s interest in reaching out to caregivers of wounded warriors grew out of the company’s involvement at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where employee volunteers noted the gap in support for the family members and loved ones attending to the needs of their wounded warriors. Executive Vice President Robin Portman, who serves on the Advisory Council that assisted in the development of BPW Foundation’s Joining Forces Mentoring Plus® , immediately saw the opportunity to expand the program’s resources to embrace caregivers. “Military Caregivers serve our nation each day by providing round-the-clock emotional and physical care to our American heroes,” says Portman. “Booz Allen’s partnership with the BPW Foundation’s Joining Forces Mentoring Plus® program will support these hidden heroes whose challenges are virtually unseen.”

“We are very excited about the range of expertise and value-added that Booz Allen Hamilton will bring to Joining Forces Mentoring Plus®, and to the women veterans and military/veteran spouses they will assist,” said Deborah L. Frett, BPW Foundation CEO. “These women veterans, military/veteran spouses, and caregivers will benefit greatly from the passion and extensive knowledge Booz Allen Hamilton women employee mentors can share,” Frett said, noting that Booz Allen’s consulting practice includes both federal and corporate clients in myriad industries. “We are proud to welcome Booz Allen Hamilton as a Leadership Partner and look forward to working with them and learning from—and alongside–them.”

Booz Allen Hamilton-Joining Forces Mentoring Plus will enlist mentors from the company’s diverse population of women employees across the country to be trained as mentors to serve thousands of caregivers and spouses who make daily sacrifices to care for and support their service members. This initiative will spotlight women among Booz Allen Hamilton’s numerous efforts to support military veterans and their families with career opportunities, community partnerships, and services tailored to meet the unique needs of the greater military community.

In addition to regular meetings with mentees, Booz Allen Hamilton mentors will utilize a custom portal within BPW Foundation’s Joining Forces Mentoring Plus® internet platform, which provides mentor training and a wide range of resources, information, and subject matter experts to support them as mentors.

Posted in Joining Forces for Women Veterans, Mentoring, Military Families, Uncategorized, Veterans, Women Veterans | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Expanded Technology and Entrepreneurship Resources for Women Veterans and Military Spouses

Posted by YWM on July 2, 2013

Dell IntelDell & Intel and Business and Professional Women’s Foundation are partnering to provide free technology assistance and entrepreneurial tools to guide and support the expanding community of women veterans and military/veteran spouses served by Joining Forces Mentoring Plu who are interested in starting and/or growing small businesses. These Dell-Intel resources will be accessible to all members of BPW Foundation’s Joining Forces Mentoring BPW JFMPlogo.lowPlus® online employment mentoring platform.

Dell & Intel’s technology and entrepreneurship expertise will strengthen the “Working Women Helping Women Work®” mentoring component of Joining Forces Mentoring Plus® and supplement the program’s employment/career resource library. These important new resources recognize the growing number of military women who want to start their own businesses and are looking to gain the expertise and skills needed for success. Dell & Intel will offer individualized guidance to educate and guide these women as they evaluate their job-seeking and professional hardware and software needs. Dell’s Center for Entrepreneurs will supply tools for Joining Forces Mentoring Plus® military women-launched businesses, and the company will enlist mentors and subject matter experts to advise and meet the specific needs of this targeted audience of women.

“BPW Foundation is pleased and proud to welcome Dell & Intel into the Joining Forces Mentoring Plus® community,” said Deborah L. Frett, BPW Foundation CEO. “Their support of women in the workplace, as employees and employers, aligns with our goal of creating work environments that are inclusive and value the skills and contributions of working women. BPW Foundation applauds their specific focus in this partnership to help provide women veteran and military/veteran spouse entrepreneurs with the tools they need to succeed in their new businesses, and in their civilian lives.”

“Research indicates that women veterans’ civilian entrepreneurial career progress is hindered by obstacles they face translating their skills and their lack of hands-on career support. Similarly, military spouses’ workplace success is often compromised by frequent moves, lack of job transition guidance, caregiving and single parent childcare issues,” said Belinda Matingou, Business Development Director at Dell who focuses on diverse small businesses, including those owned by women and veterans. ”Dell is proud to support the Joining Forces Mentoring Plus® online platform to build on the existing framework of Dell’s Center for Entrepreneurs that provides resources and information to entrepreneurs everywhere.”

Dell & Intel’s technology and entrepreneurship resources are an important addition to the growing list of free tools and information available to women veterans and military/veteran spouses via BPW Foundation’s Joining Forces Mentoring Plus® internet platform, which connects volunteer working women mentors and subject matter experts to support success in the civilian workplace. The program’s “Working Women Helping Women Work®” philosophy builds on a workforce development model to help women veterans and military/veteran spouses navigate their individual challenges as they find and succeed in civilian careers.

BPW Foundation identified employment and career mentoring as a critical need of transitioning women veterans during its inaugural Joining Forces for Women Veterans National Summit in October 2010. First Lady Michelle Obama recognized this “mentorship gap” in the White House’s selection of BPW Foundation as the lead organization for a large-scale mentoring initiative to benefit women veterans and military/veteran spouses. BPW Foundation has since forged partnerships with more than 55 corporations and non-profit organizations to fulfill this mandate, and at the recent White House Champions for Change: Women Veterans event The First Lady recognized BPW Foundation “for the exceptional work that they do every day for women veterans.”

Posted in BPW, Joining Forces, Joining Forces for Women Veterans, Mentoring, Military Families, Small Business, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Foundations Launch Financial Literacy Support Program for Women Veterans and Military Spouses

Posted by YWM on May 1, 2013

BPW ment.low.resAlliant Credit Union Foundation and Business and Professional Women’s Foundation are partnering to provide free financial education, counseling, and tools for the rapidly growing community of women veterans and military/veteran spouses served by Joining Forces Mentoring Plus® to promote and facilitate economic stability and prosperity in their civilian lives. These financial literacy resources will be available to all members of BPW Foundation’s Joining Forces Mentoring Plus® online employment mentoring platform through a designated Financial Literacy Portal with access to online, phone, and one-to-one counseling and education.

 Alliant Credit Union and BPW Foundation will jointly seek additional credit union partners to join a consortium that leverages individual business strategies, marketplace strengths, and geography to meet the diverse and expanding needs of Joining Forces Mentoring Plus® women veterans and military/veteran spouses. The consortium will develop and oversee financial resources that include helping younger women veterans establish credit, military spouses facing portability challenges as a result of frequent moves, older women veterans looking to plan for retirement or second careers, caregivers of wounded warriors saddled with responsibility for family finances, as well as entrepreneurs and business owners seeking advice and access to capital.

 David Mooney, Alliant Credit Union President/CEO, has championed financial literacy initiatives across a broad spectrum of consumers, including children and women. Alliant Credit Union Foundation’s early support of BPW Foundation’s 2010 Joining Forces for Women Veterans National Summit helped identify and focus attention on the specific financial education needs of women leaving the military. Subsequent research and learning led to the development of a tailored financial literacy library in a trusted setting to respond to the overwhelming need among women veterans and military/veteran spouses.

 “There is no question that our Joining Forces Mentoring Plus® audience of women veterans and military/veteran spouses needs access to financial literacy tools and education to find and understand the resources that will enable them to support themselves and their families. Alliant Credit Union’s commitment to providing financial literacy for women in general, and military women in particular, makes them the ideal lead partner for this consortium. BPW Foundation is grateful for the continuing support of Dave Mooney, Alliant Credit Union and its Foundation,” said Deborah L. Frett, BPW Foundation CEO. “We are excited at the prospect of offering our audience a unique credit union membership opportunity as well as credentialed, personal one-to-one counseling and education. Alliant Credit Union’s online presence affords us the ideal launchpad for an expanding partnership with credit unions across the U.S.”

David Mooney added, “The purpose of Alliant Credit Union Foundation is to promote economic empowerment and self-sufficiency. One way we do this is by supporting financial literacy-related initiatives. It’s especially gratifying for us to provide such assistance to women veterans and military/veteran spouses through our partnership with BPW Foundation.”

The Credit Union Financial Literacy Portal is the latest addition to the growing list of free resources and information available to dollarwomen veterans and military/veteran spouses via BPW Foundation’s Joining Forces Mentoring Plus® internet platform, which connects volunteer working women mentors and subject matter expertise to support success in the civilian workplace. The program’s “Working Women Helping Women Work” philosophy builds on a workforce development model to help women veterans and military/veteran spouses navigate their individual challenges finding and succeeding in civilian careers.

BPW Foundation identified employment and career mentoring as a critical need of transitioning women veterans during its inaugural Joining Forces for Women Veterans National Summit in October 2010. First Lady Michelle Obama recognized this “mentorship gap” in the White House’s selection of BPW Foundation as the lead organization for a large-scale mentoring initiative to benefit women veterans and military/veteran spouses. BPW Foundation has since forged partnerships with more than 54 corporations and non-profit organizations to fulfill this mandate and at the recent White House Champions for Change: Women Veterans event The First Lady recognized BPW Foundation “for the exceptional work that they do every day for women veterans.”

Posted in Joining Forces, Joining Forces for Women Veterans, Mentoring, Uncategorized, Women Veterans | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Citi and BPW Foundation Join Forces to Mentor Women Veterans and Military Spouses on Finding and Building Successful Careers

Posted by YWM on December 12, 2012

Citi and Business and Professional Women’s (BPW) Foundation have announced Citi Joining Forces Mentoring Plus, a partnership to support women veterans and military spouses in their search for satisfying and successful civilian careers. This new partnership enlists women who work at Citi to volunteer to form sustaining “high-tech, high-touch” mentoring relationships with female veterans and military spouses.

“Citi employs a diverse population of women in positions around the world and in every area of the company. They bring a vast reservoir of knowledge and expertise to guide mentees to find meaningful careers in the financial sector and beyond,” said Deborah L. Frett, CEO of BPW Foundation. “We are proud to welcome Citi, a company that has already shown tremendous commitment to veterans and military families, as a Leadership Partner in Joining Forces Mentoring Plus®.”

Citi Joining Forces Mentoring Plus builds on two of Citi’s initiatives to support the success of diverse populations: Citi Women, a company-wide effort to foster the ongoing development of women leaders from recruitment to senior management as well as to facilitate the engagement of clients in a dialogue; and Citi SalutesTM, which comprises the firm’s efforts to support military veterans and their families with career opportunities, community partnerships, and financial products and services tailored to meet the unique needs of the greater military community.

“Mentoring is an important way that Citi Women and Citi SalutesTM can work together to support female veterans and military spouses, helping them further develop and translate their military skills and experiences into meaningful and rewarding civilian careers,” said Suni Harford, Citi’s Regional Head of Markets for North America.  “At different points in our careers, many of us have benefited from mentorship by a senior professional.  It’s a privilege to now have the opportunity to provide the same type of advice and counsel to women who’ve sacrificed in service to our country.”

In addition to regular meetings with mentees, Citi mentors will utilize a custom portal within BPW Foundation’s Joining Forces Mentoring Plus® internet platform, which provides mentor training and a wide range of resources, information, and subject matter experts to support them as mentors.

BPW Foundation identified mentoring as a critical need of transitioning women veterans during its inauguralJoining Forces for Women Veterans National Summit in October, 2010. The Office of First Lady Michelle Obama recognized thisBPW JFMPlogo.low “mentorship gap” in the White House’s selection of BPW Foundation as the lead organization for a large-scale mentoring initiative to benefit women veterans and military spouses.  BPW Foundation has since forged partnerships with more than 48 corporations and non-profit organizations to fulfill this mandate.

Posted in Joining Forces for Women Veterans, Mentoring, Military, Military Families, Uncategorized, Women Veterans | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Mentor A Woman Veteran; Give Back to Those Who Have Given So Much

Posted by YWM on November 13, 2012

Deborah L. Frett, BPW Foundation CEO

Deborah L. Frett, BPW Foundation CEO
This article first appeared on the Huffington Post

While we should thank our veterans every day, collectively we as a nation all said thank you on Veterans Day, November 11. But many of us want to offer more than just a sincere “Thank You”, we would like to do something.  In February of this year, Business and Professional Women’s Foundation launched Joining Forces for Women Veterans and Military Spouses Mentoring Plus™ to connect women veterans and military/veteran spouses with volunteer working women mentors to help them navigate the challenging path to success in the civilian workplace. Research BPW Foundation has done underscored an overwhelming gap in career, employment and entrepreneurial support when a woman leaves military service.

This is particularly concerning when you look at recent BLS veteran employment figures. While over all employment numbers for post-9/11 veterans seeking work fell to 9.7 percent last month, compared to 10.1 percent in August and 11.7 percent in September 2011, the numbers for women veterans are not as encouraging. Nearly one out of five women who served in the military at home or abroad during the Afghanistan and Iraq wars is now without a job. The unemployment rate for post-9/11 female veterans rose to 19.9 percent in September, compared to 14.7 percent last year

Women leaving the service often face unique challenges including being single mothers or care givers for family members.  In addition, women veterans are often looked at differently than their fellow male veterans. Even though they fill 99 percent of military jobs including serving in war zones, employers don’t equate their skills at the same level as their male counterparts. Women who served in war zones are not afforded the same level of prestige as their male counterparts.  And female veterans often do the same thing to themselves; not recognizing that they are veterans, so they don’t seek and claim the benefits due them for their service.

Women currently make up 15 percent of our military forces and eight percent (and growing) of our veteran population. Joining Forces Mentoring Plus™ was created to meet the career needs of these women and help to guide them in their job searches and career development.  Using a career development mentoring model we are engaging a cross section of civilian and veteran mentors who are providing insights, advice and encouragement to steer women veterans on an individualized course of action for success in the civilian workplace.  In addition to mentors, there are a wide rang of online resources, online training as well as subject matter experts to tap into.

Our ongoing success of course will be measured by the successful transition and reintegration of our women veteran mentees but there are some things that can’t be measured.  Long-term relationships and friendships are being formed and women veterans are gaining confidence in themselves and pride in the skills they gained in the military.

One of our mentees, Ginni G, said, “I submitted my form online and like magic, the names of five possible mentors came back.  I was able to select the one I thought fit my needs, a Senior VP of Human Resources.

“Our first meeting far exceeded my expectations. Between the time that I had signed up, and our first meeting, I actually had an interview with a company and was scheduled for a second. My mentor quickly adapted to my changing circumstances. Rather than looking at long term goals, she immediately provided some terrific insights for my upcoming interview. She outlined key tips and techniques both about interviewing and the somewhat taboo subject of salary negotiation. I feel much more prepared for my second interview. I will be calling her after my second interview and I picture us continuing our mentoring relationship long after this.”

Most importantly Ginni said “I am impressed with those who are choosing to be mentors. These are women who want to give back. It takes time to serve as a mentor, and I am grateful that so many women have chosen to do so.”

We hope that many women will want to share their life and work experiences and help women veterans.  It is a rewarding and meaningful experience.  I encourage you to join us and sign up at www.joiningforcesmentoringplus.org.  It is also easy to sign up to receive a mentor!

Posted in Joining Forces for Women Veterans, Mentoring, Uncategorized, Veterans, Women Veterans | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »