Fostering Equity for Female Veterans

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Female veterans are a vital, yet sometimes overlooked segment of the workforce. It’s crucial for organizations to recognize and address the unique challenges faced by women veterans to create an inclusive and supportive work environment.

Supporting female veterans not only enhances diversity but also taps into a rich pool of skilled, disciplined, and experienced professionals. Women veterans bring unique perspectives and strengths shaped by their military service, which can significantly contribute to an organization’s success.

5 Ways to Level the Playing Field for Women Veterans

Create Targeted Recruitment Programs
Develop initiatives specifically targeted to elicit interest from female veterans. Partner with organizations that support women in the military and advertise job opportunities through channels frequented by veterans. Highlight how your company values military experience and the diverse skills veterans bring. Most importantly, ensure that your recruiting materials include realistic imagery of women.

Ask Both Men and Women if They Served
To identify veterans in your workforce, include a question asking all employees if they have served in the military. Instruct hiring managers and recruiting staff to avoid assuming that veterans are men. This approach ensures that female veterans are acknowledged and can access any veteran-specific resources or support.

Offer Comprehensive Support and Mentorship
Implement mentorship programs pairing female veterans with other veterans or senior employees who understand the unique transition from military to civilian work. Provide access to resources and professional development opportunities tailored to their needs. Unsure about the needs of this population in your workforce? Consider conducting a survey.

Ensure Equal Opportunities for Advancement
Conduct regular reviews of promotion and pay equity across genders and veteran status. Establish clear, unbiased criteria for advancement and ensure that female veterans have equal access to leadership roles and career growth opportunities. Discourage managers from using social activities (golfing, lunches, sporting events and happy hour) as a yardstick for promotability. Women often have personal preferences and/or family and personal duties that limit their availability or desire to participate in after hours or off-premises activities.

Keep Your Assumptions in Check
Avoid making assumptions about the experiences or capabilities of female veterans. Understand that each veteran’s journey is unique. Recognize their diverse backgrounds and avoid stereotypes related to stature, appearance, sexual orientation or other assumptions that are offensive to women. Engage in conversation and dialogue with them to understand their individual strengths, aspirations, and how they can best contribute to your organization.

Be Connected Career Navigation

This blog is part of a series curated by the Be Connected Career Navigation team, designed to offer guidance and support through a career-focused lens. Our goal is to empower not just individuals, but also helpers, organizations, communities, and systems, ensuring a holistic approach to career development.

The Be Connected Career Navigation team is dedicated to assisting transitioning service members, veterans, military and veteran spouses, and military installations. We provide tailored support and resources to help navigate the complexities of career transitions. Learn more at www.ConnectVeterans.org/CareerNav or call 866-4AZ-VETS and ask about no-cost Career Navigation services.

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Be Connected and ConnectVeterans.org are provided in partnership by:

Special thanks to the Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family for their partnership and support.

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