Naval Station Everett hosts Women's Symposium

Story Number: NNS121130-11Release Date: 11/30/2012 2:57:00 PM
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By Mass Communications Specialist 3rd Class Chris Bartlett, USS Nimitz Public Affairs

EVERETT, Wash. (NNS) -- Approximately 100 Northwest region Sailors attended the Surface Force Women's Waterfront Symposium, sponsored by Commander Naval Surface Forces Pacific (COMNAVSURFPAC), Nov. 29 in Naval Station Everett's main auditorium.

Its objective was to bring women from all levels of the naval community together to discuss personal and professional triumphs, challenges in everyday life and to identify creative success strategies.

An all-female panel of distinguished Navy leaders gave their personal stories and engaged the crowd in a question-and-answer session.

Interior Communications Electrician 3rd Class Heather Jackson said she especially enjoyed hearing the stories because they all came from diverse experiences and places.

"One of the women on the panel was my old divisional officer, so I really knew and understood where she was coming from as far as her leadership position because I worked for her before," said Jackson.

Lt. Stephanie Simoni, a symposium panelist from Destroyer Squadron Group 9, had a strong point about giving proper guidance for young Sailors.

"I think it is important to talk to that young Sailor, whether they are male or female about making the right decisions and situations they can possibly find themselves in their future in the Navy," said Simoni.

Machinist Mate 1st Class Leann Patrick, a four time women's symposium attendee also provided advice on decision making for the junior Sailor community.

"Always have a reason and direction to where you're going," said Patrick. "Find someone to hold on to mentor-wise whether it is male or female, higher rank or lower rank, someone to look up to and take traits from different people. Don't try to be one person, try to be the best of a lot of people."

Some of the struggles that most women spoke of were gaining respect and trust from your peers.

"I think if you have a little bit of respect for yourself, stand your ground and act professional, that will go a long way," said Command Master Chief Teri McIntyre from the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68).

Also noted was the enormous diversity of our Navy with its value of importance and strengths.

"Diversity isn't just about male or female, black or white, it's about what we all bring to the table and I think we do that very well," said McIntyre. "It's about building a team that understands what he or she is going to bring and mesh it all together."

The symposium provided Sailors the opportunity to freely ask questions and discuss topics of great personal interest to the audience about female issues to some of the senior female leadership in the Navy community.

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