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2022 Women’s Leadership Symposium promotes authenticity

  • Published
  • Air Force Global Strike Command Public Affairs

Airmen across Air Force Global Strike Command united both virtually and in person for the 2022 AFGSC Women’s Leadership Symposium April 12-13. The hybrid option allowed for more than 300 Airmen from across the Department of Defense to participate in the event.

The symposium’s mission is to promote a community of inclusion across AFGSC, enabling Strikers to lead as their authentic selves. Guest speakers, both military and civilian, were invited to speak about authenticity.

“As authentic leaders we are encouraged to bring our whole selves to our teams; engage and have the hard discussions,” said Maj Ashley Hazel, AFGSC Budget Analyst and 2022 WLS committee chair. “This year’s symposium brought together amazing men, women and leaders to share their experiences and connect with one another.”

Authenticity in leadership was explored through this year’s objectives:

  • Embracing our vision and desired purpose – who do you see yourself as and who you want to be?
  • Removing barriers and feelings of being less than or having to be more than who you are in order to succeed.
  • Finding confidence in the multiple identities we hold as women.
  • Having the courage to question and have hard conversations.
  • Being the leader you want to be!

The keynote speaker, The Honorable Gina Ortiz-Jones, Undersecretary of the Air Force, spoke to the attendees about bringing experiences at events like WLS and lessons learned back to their workspaces and across the Department of the Air Force.

“We obviously can’t be in every organization” said Jones. “This is where you all come in, by ensuring we are living up to our core values and doing everything possible to get the most out of our Airmen, Guardians and Civil Servants.”

The theme focused on finding the courage and confidence to lead genuinely and strengthen our bond as service members.

One attendee, Ms. Renee Faller, Procurement Analyst, 509th Contracting squadron, shared her experience at the symposium. “My biggest takeaway from WLS 2022 was not to let lack of representation keep me from reaching my dreams, taking on new tasks or paving the way for others.”

AFGSC engages with Strikers at all levels to ensure our Airmen are properly trained, equipped, and our families are cared for -- to promote Striker culture and to encourage Airmen to proudly be their authentic self.

“I am excited about our culture of inclusion that embraces diversity within AFGSC-- not just gender, ethnicity, or race…also diversity of authenticity, thought, experience, knowledge and backgrounds,” said Gen. Anthony J. Cotton, AFGSC commander. “Through events like this we celebrate our people - they are the foundation of every system, mission and sortie across our command.”