Women Climbing Success Ladder in Military, DoD Civilian Work Force
By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Mar. 22, 2006 Women have come a long way in the military services and federal government, and many of them have left legacies for future generations to follow, a top Defense Department official said here yesterday.
Gail H. McGinn, deputy undersecretary of defense for plans, tells attendees at DoD's Women's History Month observance March 21 at the Women in Military Service for America that women have come a long in the military and DoD's civilian work force. Photo by Rudi Williams
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
This year's Women's History Month theme, "Women: Builders of Communities and Dreams," focuses on women who helped pave the way for other women to climb the ladder of success in the military and civilian work force, said Gail McGinn, deputy undersecretary of defense for plans, during DoD's Women's History Month observance at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial here.
Women's History Month presents an opportunity to celebrate the extraordinary accomplishments of women from the past, present and future, McGinn said. "Today, women make up 14.6 percent of the active-duty force and over one third of the DoD civilian force," she said. "Nearly half of the U.S. labor force is female. An increasing proportion of DoD senior-level active-duty and civilian positions are filled by women."
McGinn, the observance's presiding official, said the overall representation of women in DoD senior-level positions has improved significantly. "However, the Department of Defense, along with other federal agencies, is facing a shortage in key critical occupations and educational disciplines that must be addressed proactively," she said.
She pointed out that the Defense Department is the largest federal employer, with more than 750,000 civilians, 1.3 million guardsmen and reservist, and 1.4 million active-duty personnel. The observance highlighted 121 military and civilian female role models working in science, engineering, math or technology disciplines.
"We asked the defense components to spotlight some of their role models in these areas," McGinn said. "The work that these fine women do is critical to our national security. Today, we celebrate their contributions and unwavering commitment to DoD."
Some of the women traveled from throughout the country and as far away as Germany and Alaska to take part in the program. "These women are doing great things for the Department of Defense," McGinn said.