BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. --
Air Force Global Strike Command welcomed more than 250 men and women to the 2017 Women’s Leadership Symposium March 13-15 at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana.
The symposium provided female Airmen professional development through mentorship, education and networking. The attendees discussed ways to celebrate and further women in the workforce. The discussions focused on topics like heritage, diversity, and work and life balance.
“We are here to make sure we have the most diverse and inclusive Air Force possible,”said Capt. Jannel Black, AFGSC arms control chief. “ I’ve been fortunate in my career to have some amazing female mentors, but I know that not everyone has. Our main goal is to provide a lot of mentoring and networking opportunities.”
Through the sharing of inspirational journeys, various guest speakers help educate attendees by engaging in three days of interactive workshops, panels, and skill-building activities, and develop discussions that focus on relevant issues in today’s workplace.
“Whatever you are going through, someone has gone through it before. It is not the end of the world,” said Senior Airman Zainab Alsultan, New Mexico Air National Guard and an Iraqi native. “Where I came from, there is no such thing as women in the military. This symposium gives me the benefit of interacting with women from other career fields around the Air Force. This is an opportunity for me to meet new mentors and friends, and renew a sense of responsibility.”
Maj. Frances Mercado, AFGSC international affairs officer said this effort started at the 20th Air Force and progressed to the major command level, providing Airmen from many global strike units the opportunity to attend. This year’s Women’s Leadership Symposium was created to ensure women continue to bring their skills to a more diverse culture.
Airmen who participated in the event expressed enthusiasm and a desire to see this symposium continue in the future. In closing, speakers encouraged participants to return to their units to educate other Airmen and make positive cultural changes in their work environments.