According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, our country started 2015 with veteran unemployment at 5.3% with a combined national unemployment rate of 5.7%. While this is great news, there is a group of veterans that suffer from a higher unemployment rate than their peers. Despite their service to our country, female veteran unemployment and under-employment remains high.
As a former U.S. Army Artilleryman, I love the story of Mary Hays, better known as Molly Pitcher, whose husband was an artilleryman during the revolutionary war. At the Battle of Monmouth in June 1778, Mary Hayes carried water to line of cannons for both drinking and cooling down the barrels.
When her husband fell under intense enemy fire, Molly Pitcher stepped up and continued to in his position on the gun. Despite the danger, she continued the fight. For her efforts, General George Washington appointed her as a noncommissioned officer and she was referred to a Sergeant Molly, a title she used until her death in 1832.
With over 2.2 million female veterans, women make up 10% of the nation’s veteran population and those numbers grow steadily each year. The unemployment rate for women veterans as a whole has decreased but still remains higher than non-Veteran women. Many of these veterans are single parents which further exacerbates the problem.
The good news is, thanks to the rigorous and excellent training that our service members receive, our female veterans are well positioned to offer employers the gift of an enhanced and effective workforce. The importance of the skills, values, and attributes a female veteran brings to your organization cannot be understated.
So why hire a women veteran?
They are proven leaders not just in theory, but practice.
They have the proven ability to face adversity.
They work well as team and understand how the efforts of each member contribute to the overall success of the organization.
They understand and practice diversity in the workplace.
They are generally physically fit and drug free.
They are calm under pressure.
They have respect for policies, procedures, and regulations.
They have an applied use and understanding of technology.
They have a Global perspective of most situations.
They are men and women of Integrity and hold shared values.
They are experts in the application of Health and Safety standards.
They are generally well-educated.
They have a mission first attitude and get the job done.
They are expert planners.
They love a good challenge.
Finding, attracting, hiring, and retaining women veterans is a skill that companies looking for the highest caliber employees simply must have. Forward March not only trains top companies to do this, but we have also created a Military Talent Hiring Guide that teaches organizations the basics of military talent acquisition and retention. If your organization is truly dedicated to hiring female veterans, leave it to FMI to help make it happen.
~ Article written by Jason Caswell, Forward March Inc – Director of Training and Talent Pipeline Services