Today marks International Women’s Day, held annually on March 8. To commemorate the holiday, Retired Lt. Col. Kathy Gallowitz is eager to promote female veterans in the community, whose backgrounds have been shown to be passed over in the professional world.
“The problem today is that despite the unrelenting war on talent, highly capable female veteran talent is often overlooked because civilian hiring authorities do not understand how to translate military occupations into civilian jobs,” Gallowitz said, explaining that some job seekers may be reluctant to self-identify as veterans due to societal misconceptions.
“With 15% of the armed forces being female, it’s not surprising that only 27% of women veterans feel the general public understands the contributions of women in the military and that post-military transition is harder on women than men,” she said.
Gallowitz cites research from Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families, which reports that 55% of women veterans struggle to find a job, 38% say socializing in civilian culture is challenging and 37% have difficulty translating their skills into the civilian job market.
“Employment data indicates that women veterans’ employment patterns appear much more like that of civilian women than male veterans and that their military experiences seem to be of less value in the job market,” Gallowitz said. “For example, although women are filling technical positions in the military, they don’t appear to be able to capitalize on that experience in the private sector in the same way as men.”
Gallowitz said she grew up as a Navy “brat” and served nearly 30 years as an Air Force officer. She is the author of “Beyond ‘Thank You For Your Service,’ The Veteran Champion Handbook for Civilians,” and has master’s degrees in nursing and political science.
As an award-winning businesswoman with first-hand experience hiring veterans, Gallowitz consults with and trains employers to find, hire, retain and leverage veterans’ skillsets.
“Do these things to hire G.I. ‘Jane’: Use military skills translators, understand military culture and learn veteran-hiring fundamentals at Veteran Talent Academy ‘Basic Training,’” Gallowitz said.