COLUMBUS, Ohio –
Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime associates gathered Aug. 22 in the Operations Center’s Buckeye and Cardinal Rooms to pay homage to the progress, achievements and contributions women have made to the success and legacy of America.
Hosted by the Defense Federal Community Office of Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity and incorporating the theme “Women’s Right to Vote, Your Vote Matters,” Land and Maritime associates participated in a program that highlighted the history of women securing voting rights. Educational and historical presentations were made by guest speakers that chronicled the efforts of influential, receptive men and visionary women to secure their right to vote.
Coleen McCormick, executive champion of the Federal Women’s Program, welcomed those in attendance and provided a short introduction and background about the program. She discussed an organization called Fair Vote and their activities supporting voting rights. “Voting is an American principle and a basic democratic right that should be protected, promoted and practiced,” McCormick said.
During the 1800s, women were spurred by their passion for ensuring the availability of a democratic lifestyle to all Americans. To transform this idea into reality, women advocated, agitated and organized until their demands for voting equality were rewarded in 1920 with the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. That action empowered American women with voting parity, forever changing the nation’s ideals.
One of several unique factoids shared by DLA associate and guest speaker Natalie Thurston included the revelation that the state of Tennessee provided the tie breaking vote in the 19th Amendment’s ratification. That life changing vote was cast by then Tennessee Representative Harry Burns, who purportedly got a letter from his mother urging him to break the deadlock and vote yes.
DLA associate and FWP Coordinator Jessica Bradhurst shared statistics that reflected the representation of women in Federal and DLA Land and Maritime workforces. Pointing out that women account for approximately 51% of the population, Bradhurst encouraged those in attendance to actively participate in leadership processes to help increase those rates to better mirror population levels.
The program also served to help introduce plans for an upcoming series of educational opportunities billed as the Women’s Power Series Workshops. Originally scheduled as one workshop per quarter, Deonna Coleman, EEO FWP chair and program coordinator, said the workshop series is designed to offer something for everyone.
“One of the topics we’re planning to cover during the workshop series is USA Jobs resume building, and it will be hands-on and interactive,” Coleman said. Additional topics will cover Dressing for Success, Behavior-based interviewing techniques with the inclusion of mock interviews and a workshop on work/life balance.
Coleman also promoted the voting machine demonstration scheduled for Aug. 28 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. outside of DLA Land and Maritime’s Buckeye Room to help visually highlight the message of voting participation.
DLA associates were also encouraged to volunteer as election poll workers if there was an interest or passion for strengthening voting opportunities.
The program ended with an open invitation to meet and mingle to energize those in attendance. Dessert was served to keep energy levels up and conversation flowing.