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Women Veterans' Employment

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Symposium on Women Veterans' Employment: Skills Matter

The Commitment

On August 29, 2013, the Department of Labor (DOL) hosted the Symposium on Women Veterans' Employment: Skills Matter in Washington, D.C. DOL Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS) Assistant Secretary Keith Kelly introduced DOL Secretary Tom Perez, who opened the symposium, marking DOL's ongoing commitment to women veterans. Secretary Perez emphasized the need to "listen, learn, and do" and provide access to opportunities for women veterans through the "Department of Opportunity."

Secretary Perez Remarks at Women Veterans Symposium

The Collaboration

Experts from academia, public and private sectors were brought together at the symposium to explore realities about who comprises the women veteran population and how women veterans can optimize their skills. Among key points were how the era of service can impact the needs of women veterans, how gender affects certain combat injuries, and how one size does not fit all women veteran identities. The results of a Case Study of Women Veterans in California was presented, including tips for researchers in other states. A panel discussion highlighted how mentoring programs can help women veterans to succeed in a civilian career and how employers benefit from initiatives that bring this talented and dedicated population into their workforce. The day was rich with current and relevant information presented by professionals from across the nation who have a shared interest in supporting women veterans.



The Path Forward

The symposium was organized by the DOL Women Veteran Initiative Tiger Team, comprised of Major (USAF) Ariel Grace Batungbacal, Jenny Erwin, and Tonya Thompson. The team developed the foundation for a DOL VETS program focused on improving employment services for women veterans. The transition from the Women Veteran Initiative to the Women Veteran Program was announced and marked by the appointment of the first Women Veteran Program Manager for DOL VETS.

Dr. Nancy A. Glowacki, who will serve as the DOL VETS Women Veteran Program Manager, was introduced at the symposium. Nancy is a veteran committed to the successful transition of her fellow veterans. The Women Veteran Program will serve to identify the unique employment challenges experienced by women veterans, to optimize DOL resources for women veterans, and to elevate the women veteran topic for maximum impact.

The symposium closed with remarks from DOL VETS Deputy Assistant Secretary Teresa Gerton, who tied the lessons of the symposium together. A veteran herself, she emphasized the importance of women veterans being made aware of the employment services and resources available to them, and the need for a data-driven approach to move forward in addressing the unique challenges of women veterans. The Symposium on Women Veterans' Employment: Skills Matter was the third event this summer in a series of collaborative sessions designed to explore the employment-related challenges of women veterans.

Hot Tip For Women Veterans

Be sure to identify yourself as a "veteran" because you may gain access to resources you were unaware of!


Most women veterans are employed in the following industries:

28% government; 23.5% education and health services;

Women Veterans Vs Non-Veterans by Age Range

Unemployment status numbers for women veterans compared with non-veterans by age range.

Comparison of unemployment numbers for women veterans and their non-veteran counterparts by age range.