Inaugural AF Women’s air, space power symposium

Airmen and Guardians will have the opportunity to participate in the inaugural Department of the Air Force Women’s Air and Space Power Symposium virtual professional development series March 8-11, 2021, during Women’s History Month.

This four-day event is sponsored by the Department of the Air Force Office of Diversity and Inclusion, in partnership with the Women’s Initiative Team and is open to all Total Force men and women.

“This event is critical to building the Airmen, Guardians, and leaders we need, focused on improving our force readiness and taking care of all our Airmen and Guardians. We’ve lined up a variety of leaders from across our force to highlight a culture of inclusion that leverages our nation’s unique diversity into a strategic advantage,” said Lt. Gen. Mary O’Brien, deputy chief of staff for Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Cyber Effects Operations for the Air Force and general officer champion of the Women’s Initiatives Team.

Designed to inspire meaningful action, the purpose of the symposium is to engage participants in conversations about inclusion of servicewomen and to better understand the impact of inclusion on readiness and culture. During the event, participants will have an opportunity to discuss topics that affect servicewomen and to hear from senior leaders, Airmen, Guardians and subject matter experts.

The theme of this event echoes the priorities of the Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., to ‘accelerate change or lose’ and Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond’s priorities of ‘lean, agile, and mission focused.’

“The Women’s Air and Space Power Symposium was specifically designed to be interactive, providing participants an opportunity to listen and engage at all levels on key topics affecting servicewomen.
This is also an opportunity to embrace inclusivity, and acknowledge that diversity is much more than demographic diversity; thought, age, gender, approach, and diverse backgrounds matter,” said Tawanda R. Rooney, acting senior advisor of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. “I liken diversity and inclusion to a marathon and not a sprint. For change to root, it will not happen overnight, but events like this offer a more direct avenue to understand the issues, thus helping to shape our efforts as we move forward.”

This professional development opportunity is free to all Department of the Air Force civilian employees, cadets, and all active duty, Air Force Reserve, and Air National Guard uniformed Airmen and Guardians. Airmen and Guardians interested in participating can register at Once registered, participants will receive the link to participate in the symposium.

Sessions will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., EST. Members should confirm with leadership that they are permitted to attend during duty hours.

Agenda (tentative; subject to change)

    March 8

  • 9 a.m. — Symposium Launch & Keynote Speaker: Lt. Gen. Mary O’Brien
  • 10 a.m. — Leading Airmen & Guardians Boldly
  • 11 a.m. — How to Make Change in a Bureaucracy
  • 12 p.m. — We Stand on the Shoulders of Giants
  • 1 p.m. — Military Sexual Trauma: Changing the Narrative
  • 2 p.m. — Less Talking About Diversity and Inclusion and More Doing
  • 3 p.m. — Open Forum: What Do You Want Commanders to Know
    March 9

  • 9 a.m. — Keynote Speaker (to be announced)
  • 10 a.m. — Maintaining a Competitive Edge through Diversity and Inclusion
  • 11 a.m. — Servicewomen’s Health
  • 12 p.m. — Beyond Bystanders: How Men Can Be Allies
  • 1 p.m. — Infertility and Perinatal Loss: Resources and Support
  • 2 p.m. — Keynote Speaker (to be announced)
  • 3 p.m. — Open Forum: What Do You Want Commanders to Know
    March 10

  • 9 a.m. — Keynote Speaker (to be announced)
  • 10 a.m. — The Behavioral Health of Active Duty Servicewomen
  • 11 a.m. — Childcare, 24/7 Operations, and COVID Impacts on Women in the Workplace
  • 12 p.m. — Retaining Women: Why It Matters
  • 1 p.m. — Schulte Assembly: Cadet Perspective
  • 2 p.m. — Intersectionality: Understanding Identity & Leveraging Strengths
  • 3 p.m. — Open Forum: What Do You Want Commanders to Know
    March 11

  • 9 a.m. — Keynote Speaker (to be announced)
  • 10 a.m. — Women, Peace, and Security
  • 11 a.m. — Organic Mentoring
  • 12 p.m. — Discovering Resilience
  • 1 p.m. — Representation Matters
  • 2 p.m. — Symposium Close and Keynote Speaker: Gen. Jacqueline D. Van Ovost
  • 3 p.m. — Open Forum: What Do You Want Commanders to Know
  • Participants can find more information on the Women’s Air and Space Power Symposium social media pages.

    (Courtesy photo)

    Fun Fact!
    Did you know Walt Disney helped create the mascot for the Women Airforce Service Pilots?

    Famous children’s book author Roald Dahl, author of classics like the BFG and Matilda, wrote a book called “The Gremlins.” This story’s female character went on to inspire the Walt Disney company to illustrate the character called Fifinella.

    After seeing Fifinella in the book, the Women Airforce Service Pilots asked the Walt Disney Company to use this as their official mascot. From then on Fifinella was featured on patches, planes, jackets, and is incorporated into this year’s Women’s Air and Space Power Symposium logo!

    (Courtesy photo)

    (Courtesy photo)



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