The Hurdles Female Vets Face When Transitioning To The Civilian Workforce And What We Can Do To Help

The Hurdles Female Vets Face When Transitioning To The Civilian Workforce And What We Can Do To Help

Gale S. Pollock, The Female Quotient

12/2/2021 4:59:00 PM

The Hurdles Female Vets Face When Transitioning To The Civilian Workforce And What We Can Do To Help

Over two million female veterans represent a mighty and growing segment that warrant support outside the veteran community to succeed. To shed light on their experiences and share proposed solutions, YourNexStage and The Female Quotient hosted: Celebrating Women Veterans : Growing Through Allyship.

The Mental TollWomen face a myriad of challenges associated with the deeply psychological transformation of leaving military service and re-entering society. They report not feeling accepted by civilian women and they struggle with finding peers with which they feel supported and encouraged. “One of the problems in addressing the gaps in services and care is that (to date) there have been very few efforts to identify them,” said Szymanski.

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The University of Alabama is currentlyevaluating data from a nationwide survey of women veterans, and it will be essential to mine that data and use it to figure how we can close those gaps. It is also paramount that veteran organizations partner with civilian organizations to assist in the transition and experience of our female veterans.

This is whatYourNexStage(YNS), a nonprofit aims to do, said Szymanski who serves as chair of their board of directors. “We include everyone in the conversation and provide resources so women veterans can reclaim their status and emerge from the shadows, confident, proud and connected to a network of support.”

YNS is the first women veterans’ specific collaborative in the U.S. with the mission to provide transition support services for women veterans and transitioning service women regardless of race, gender preference, rank or discharge status. Said YNS founder Kate Watson, “It is truly about bringing organizations together to better serve women veterans. We’re here to weave the safety and support network, to provide case management where we can and to build the community everywhere we can.”

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Veteran Entrepreneurship As the first female and first non-physician Acting Surgeon General of the Army, retired Major General Gale S. Pollock had seen the evils of the battlefield with her own eyes. While serving she had discovered that 10 to 13% of all physical combat injuries involve the eye. As a self-described zealot for the vision impaired, she founded

Elevivo, “to overcome the stigma in the U.S. that if your eyes don’t work, your brain’s dead.”After talking to hundreds of injured troops, their families and the providers trying to take care of them, she said no one knew where to turn. “They don’t understand the language to go with the diagnosis, or what to ask because they’re scared. We’re providing that information.”  

Veteran entrepreneurship generates overone trillion in revenue for the U.S. economyevery year, and women veteran entrepreneurs are the fastest growing segment of entrepreneurs in the country. While only one in 10 veterans are women, they account for one in six veteran-owned businesses.

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Thereasa Black started her business after what became her last deployment while serving on active duty in the Navy. “My daughter was about to turn two and I’m a single mom. When I learned I had to leave before her birthday, I cried every day and knew I couldn't deploy again. And as an attorney I also knew I couldn't return home and work 80-hour weeks and never see her either.” 

Black, now a Naval Reserve officer, decided the time had come to start her own business and sought guidance from, a resource for military veterans and spouses. “I decided to make healthy desserts because before I was deployed my daughter

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