First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden often credit military spouses and women veterans as the “force” behind Joining Forces. The personal stories they heard again and again highlighted the gap in support for women trying to successfully coordinate their military family lives with productive careers and/or transition from the service to the civilian workforce. The dearth of easily-accessible, broad-reaching mentoring models for women veterans and military wives takes a toll on individuals, families, and our economy through the combined impact of unemployment and underemployment.
Facilitating the productive re-entry into the American economy of women veterans and military spouses is not a simplistic “feel good” program. Our economy will benefit from the leadership skills and workplace expertise these women have worked so hard to acquire.
Business and Professional Women’s (BPW) Foundation, working with public and private partners, is developing the tools, outreach, and capacity to meet this need through the launch of the Joining Forces for Women Veterans Mentorship Program, with a long-term goal of enlisting 100,000 women mentors to connect with women veterans and military spouses. By the end of 2012, 10,000 women mentors will be recruited in collaboration with our launch partner, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Our goal is to increase women veteran and military spouse employment, helping women to find and keep jobs that utilize and leverage their training while also building on their skills.
Read the full article at The White House.