In October, Lt. Catherine Nguyen and Lt. Joanna Gonzales -- judge advocates who currently are stationed at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam -- attended the 2017 Hawaii Women's Joint Leadership Symposium on Ford Island.
The symposium theme was "Charting Your Course, Navigating your Future," and it featured keynote remarks from Vice Adm. Mary M. Jackson, commander, Navy Installations Command. Jackson stressed five important themes during her speech: (1) Own it; (2) Navigate it; (3) Value difference; (4) It can get hard; and (5) The grass isn't always greener on the other side. "Bring talent to the table," Jackson encouraged the audience members. "Winning the fight against our adversaries involves winning the fight against ourselves."
During a break in the symposium agenda, Nguyen and Gonzales had the pleasure of speaking with Jackson.
"Having worked at the Naval Academy, I spoke to Vice Adm. Jackson about her time there, and the biggest changes she has witnessed during her time in the service," said Gonzales.
She also inquired about forthcoming changes to CNIC instruction. The annual symposium included several workshops, such as a women's wellness panel; a social media presentation; a financial readiness seminar; and an introduction to future employment with a "Branding Yourself" discussion and breakout sessions.
"A highlight of the event was a panel discussion that included representatives from all services," said Gonzales. "The floor was open for Q &A, and a lot of major issues were discussed, such as maternity leave/paternity leave, nursing rooms, certain CDC requirements, Fleet & Family classes for parents after they have children, and requests for post-deployment group or counseling sessions with other females."
Symposium participants were encouraged to use the event to network with leaders and peers, and to bring back to their commands knowledge and perspective gained during the event.
"It was important for me to attend this event as the installation commanding officer's staff judge advocate, so I could hear concerns that potentially he could address," added Gonzales. "Professionally, I attended to also learn about what the major concerns are that senior females are facing or seeing in the fleet."