#BZFriday: Women’s Leadership Symposium

From Region Legal Service Office Europe, Africa, SW Asia (EURAFSWA)

Naval Support Activity Bahrain hosted the installation’s first-ever Women’s Leadership Symposium in honor of Women’s History Month on March 11, 2019.  Organized by Lt. Cmdr. Elizabeth Kiessling, Region Legal Service Office Europe, Africa, SW Asia (RLSO EURAFSWA) Detachment Bahrain, and emceed by Lt. Lindsay Ainsworth Victims’ Legal Counsel Bahrain, the successful full-day symposium featured a variety of senior officer and enlisted female leaders speaking on a variety of topics.  

Thanks to a superb advertising campaign led by Legalman 1st Class Luisa Rosado, RLSO EURAFSWA Detachment Bahrain, approximately 100 people attended the event, including women and men; officer, enlisted, and civilians; and personnel from the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Canadian Navy, Australian Navy, and United Kingdom Navy.  

Envisioned as a way to bring women from across Bahrain’s 140+ military commands together for mentorship and professional development, the symposium featured a robust schedule of events.  Agenda topics included a resiliency / work-life balance panel; presentations on effective communication, unconscious bias, and building up other women; and a workshop on setting and achieving goals.  

Capt. Darren Guenther, Commanding Officer, Naval Support Activity Bahrain, gives opening remarks before a “Leadership Lessons Learned” panel at the Women’s Leadership Symposium.

The day’s best-attended session was a “Leadership Lessons Learned” panel, which was expertly moderated by Lt. Annie Preis, United States Naval Forces Central Command. The panel’s speakers urged attendees to get out in front of problems, seek to learn something from everyone, and build personal and professional support networks.   

Capt. Darren Guenther, Commanding Officer, Naval Support Activity Bahrain, stated during his remarks that it was the best event he had seen during his two years as the installation’s commanding officer.  

“We hope that this symposium is just the start of a bigger conversation.  We plan to dig deeper into women’s leadership ideas and create a network of female leaders and mentoring relationships in Bahrain,” Ainsworth said.  

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