By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service
Sept. 9, 2008 - Women who choose to serve their country as military officers should be fully prepared to do so, and an organization has been working to fulfill that goal since 2003. "We stand behind this belief by providing programs that support and enable women to reach their full potential as leaders," said Susan Feland, president and founder of AcademyWomen. "Each year AcademyWomen hosts a leadership symposium to provide current, former and future women military officers the opportunity to network with like-minded colleagues and grow professionally."
Speakers from the military and the public and private sectors offer their support, personal advice and motivation to the members through keynote addresses and panel discussions.
A career coaching and professional development workshop will preface this year's annual symposium, which is slated for October. These programs provide development opportunities, resources and a chance for discussion that will assist attendees in all stages of their careers, Feland said.
"In the future, AcademyWomen will host podcasts [and] tele-seminar series, which will provide insight into specific career paths, and share stories of success in a particular field," she said.
The group is moving forward swiftly on other technologies to help women military officers develop leadership skills. It's developing an "eMentor" leadership program, and already publishes a quarterly online newsletter.
"Each edition focuses on topics of importance to our members and highlights the accomplishments of military women officers and veterans," Feland said.
AcademyWomen also supports, and plans to conduct, research focusing on the professional development of women officers in the military, their transition to civilian careers, and which professions they choose subsequent to their military service.
The organization is a new supporter of America Supports You, a Defense Department program connecting citizens and companies with servicemembers and their families serving at home and abroad.