2017 Juneau Area Women’s Leadership Symposium
Posted by PA1 Kelly Parker, Thursday, March 30, 2017
In honor of Women’s History Month and the many contributions of women throughout American history, the Juneau area Coast Guard held its 2017 Women in Leadership Symposium. The symposium, attended by both men and women, provided an opportunity for Coast Guard members to discuss family and military life, as well as network. Participants joined in focus groups and a panel discussions on gender related topics with workforce members and senior leaders.
This year’s morning key note speaker was Sally Smith, who has worked for four Alaska governors, directed two state agencies, staffed the Juneau regional field office for former U.S. Senator Mark Begich, represented Fairbanks in the Alaska State House and served as Juneau’s mayor from 2000 to 2003. Her inspirational life story of how she arrived in Alaska 48 years ago with only a music teaching certificate, a couple of suitcases and a guitar, was a highlight of the symposium.
The event included focus group roundtable discussions that covered topics, such as successful mentoring, temporary separation and transitioning to the civilian workforce, stress response, blended retirement system and self defense.
Guest speakers included both Rear Adm. Michael McAllister, 17th District commander, and Capt. Laura Dickey, 17th District Chief of Staff. They discussed expectations of senior officers, senior enlisted leaders, and leadership skills and roles in the workforce.
“Women’s leadership and leadership in general is really something important for the Coast Guard and for me personally,” said Lt. Yvonne Yang, project officer for this year’s symposium. “I think in general having leadership events like these are important to have people to network and identify issues that us as a workforce are facing as a whole, both men and women.”
With the theme of building on the past and leading into the future, the Women Leadership Symposium provided a great venue for leadership discussions that will stick with the attendees well into the future.