Roundtable addresses women veterans’ particular challenges
November 12, 2014
Brian Leidy, director of the BCTR’s Military Projects, participated in a panel at a recent roundtable discussion at Cornell on the issues women veterans face. These issues include invisibility, devaluation, work/family balance issues, the lack of jobs in a recession, and the translation of military skills into civilian ones. The panel, Cornell Women Veteran Roundtable: From Service Boots to Civilian Shoes, also included Jordanna Mallach from the New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs and was moderated by veteran Lyndsi Prignon.
The focus of the roundtable was to provide a forum for employers to better understand how to recruit and retain veterans as employees. Through their years of work with military families, the BCTR’s Military Projects staff are familiar with the experiences of service men and women and are connected to and knowledgeable about the military and civilian programs and services available to assist them in work and life transitions. Brian Leidy noted,
The majority of women veterans that we engage with have transitioned to civilian work in military family support programs or are the spouses of active duty or reserve military who are currently serving. Although these women veterans may have a lot in common with the women who took part in the Cornell Women Veteran Roundtable, they are still very much associated with the military by employment and/or family ties and have not transitioned back to civilian life in the same sense as the women veterans who may now be students or employees in the Cornell and Ithaca communities. Only a small percent of the US population serve in the military, so many may not understand the specific challenges faced by veterans. Our involvement on the panel was to provide information, background, and a framework for a non-military audience about the experiences and challenges that women veterans may face as they leave military service.
The Military Projects have been working with military family support programs since the early 1990s, initially with the Army and Marine Corps but more recently with all the Services through the Department of Defense. They also recently began working with the Army Reserve Family Programs. Currently The Military Projects conduct research and program evaluation projects, facilitate outreach efforts to engage military families in services, and provided evidence-/research-based programming materials and technical assistance to support the military staff professionals who provide direct family services. The Military Projects’ involvement with military service men and women and their families primarily occurs while they are still serving on active or reserve duty. Nonetheless, having done deployment and reintegration studies as well as needs assessments for various military programs, Military Projects staff are familiar with the challenges that service members and families face when transitioning back to either installation or civilian life.
Women veterans face challenges, panel says - Cornell Chronicle