Cannon's first Women’s Leadership Panel
By Senior Airman Gage Daniel, 27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs
/ Published October 22, 2020
CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --
Recently, Cannon held its first Senior Leadership Panel composed entirely of women, for an audience of men and women to listen to one another’s experiences, and come together through shared and similar experiences.
The overall goal of the panel was to open dialogue between members and share experiences with the women of Cannon.
“It was to show different perspectives and backgrounds to relate to the diverse nature of women at Cannon,” said Maj. Lindsay Scott, 27th Special Operations Group standardization and evaluation chief and one of five Women’s Leadership Panel panelists. “Not all of the topics were directly related to women’s issues, but it allowed the audience to hear responses from the female perspective.”
In the military, as in any organization, it’s important for people to feel as if they belong. Getting together and discussing shared issues, trials, and experiences, is one way many people come together and find a sense of belonging.
“Women are still a minority in the Air Force and many career fields have smaller percentages of women,” Scott said. “By having a forum for women across the base, it allows for women of all ranks to come together to share their unique experiences. It also allows for members to feel welcome and share their perspectives, and allows anyone to attend, sit back, and listen. The bond we share is being female, but we have a lot to learn from our diverse backgrounds.”
Encouraging and developing one another is also just as significant as making people feel as if they belong.
“As leaders, it’s important to encourage and develop those around us” Scott said. ‘It’s exciting that female leaders are becoming more common in the Air Force and can provide mentorship from that perspective. There are still barriers that women face when balancing personal and professional goals, so it’s important that we continue to share our unique experiences with one another.”
Having the panel allows younger women in the military to come, listen, and learn about the lives of those who have already been in the military share their experiences, and learn how to understand and overcome some of the same issues they may be experiencing, as well as accomplishing some of the same goals.
“While participating in the Women’s Leadership Panel, I gained assurance and motivation,” said Senior Airman Dajah Thrash, Commander's Administration administrative assistant to the wing commander. “Listening to the stories of how far these women have come in their careers gives me assurance that anything I put my mind to is possible. Knowing that someone before me has accomplished so much gives me the motivation to continue to work toward my own goals.”
Having leadership panels is imperative because it permits women the opportunity to gain insight, motivation, and advice that may be challenging for them to receive in their day to day lives, Thrash said.
Going forward, the WLP plans to host more panels, with more women answering questions and sharing their personal thoughts and feelings on specific matters at hand, to continue to positively impact future generations of women leaders in the Air Force.
“I truly believe that you never know the impact you may have on those around you,” Scott said. “I hope that the audience was able to relate to at least one of the perspectives of the women on the panel. If anyone wants to continue the conversation, please seek us out.”