USA: NBK Holds Women’s Symposium

NBK Holds Women's Symposium

More than 100 Sailors from commands around Navy Region Northwest attended the third annual Women’s Symposium Mentorship Program on Naval Base Kitsap (NBK), April 26.

The symposium is designed to provide mentorship to all service members stationed in the Northwest by providing them with support and guidance.

“I think the importance of holding this is definitely for people to get mentorship, people to get inspiration, for women and men to come together and say that we are not segregated anymore,” said Yeoman 3rd Class Allie Hasenwinkel, symposium coordinator.

Although it was called a women’s symposium, the lessons learned are not solely meant for women.
Command Master Chief (SS) David Lynch, assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) said the event is gender neutral.

“It’s more how do we all get together as a team and make sure that the integration for males and females continues to go smoothly; this isn’t going to happen if we don’t all get together and talk about these things.”

The theme of this year’s symposium was, “It isn’t who is going to let us; it’s who is going to stop us”.

“Basically making it a point that who is going to stop us? We are unstoppable; we can do anything we set our minds too as long as we all chip in and work as one force,” said Hasenwinkel.

Guest speakers covered topics such as charting life courses to career progression in the military, along with sharing their own personal experiences.

“As a command master chief I can talk about just what we talked about here today,” said Lynch. “How can you make it as a female in the Navy today? Being a minority group, where it may be one female to five males. I think these strategies, if we talk about them here, will have much more success at the deck-plate level.”

There was also a question and answer forum so attendees could address their own concerns about topics such as the effects of social media on service members and the importance of developing boundaries between one’s personal and professional life.

Hasenwinkel said she feels that events like this one make a difference and will positively affect future Sailors and make it better for them.

“This is a new Navy; it’s an exciting Navy with plenty of opportunities,” said Hasenwinkel. “I think that this is definitely an event that can get everyone together, get on the same page, get advice, get inspiration and get everyone involved to just say that we are integrated.”

Naval Today Staff , April 30, 2012; Image: navalbasekitsaprelocation