Women's Equality Day Celebrated in Columbus

By Michael L. Jones DLA Land and Maritime

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The Defense Supply Center Columbus hosted its 2016 Women’s Equality Day program at the building 11 auditorium August 17 featuring a five-member panel who addressed women’s workforce and social issues – to include challenges and successes. Panelists representing education, human resources, human trafficking and other professional disciplines shared their views with the audience during the hour-long event.

Jim McClaugherty, acting DLA Land and Maritime commander spoke to the audience, chronicling significant events which highlighted the women’s movement in America. He pointed out that the DSCC installation, which opened in 1918, actually predated the 19th Amendment enacted in 1920 which empowered women with voting rights.

Characterizing a quote from President Barack Obama and identifying examples of local successful women like Congresswoman Joyce Beatty, Whitehall Mayor Kim Maggard and incoming DLA Land and Maritime Commander Rear Admiral Michelle Skubic McClaugherty said, “Empowering women isn’t just the right thing to do – it’s the smart thing to do… When women succeed, nations are more safe, more secure, and more prosperous.”

And that theme of prosperity linked to inclusion was expounded upon by the impressive group of panelist gathered to help highlight the event. Included were: Ms. Debra Yates, executive assistant to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service; Ms. Bryanttani Baker who works as an Anti-Human Trafficking Program Coordinator for the Salvation Army; Mrs. Gloria Milliner – a military veteran who now works as a human resource specialist; Mr. Ernest Evans, site lead, Midwest Region for the Defense Acquisition University and Air Force Col. Brad Tannehill, director of the DLA Land and Maritime People and Culture directorate.

Each panelist fielded an initial question from the event’s facilitator Ms. Toye Thomas, followed by a free-flowing question and answer session that covered a wide range of issues.  Tannehill responded to the importance of workforce (and personal) resiliency and Land and Maritime’s increased emphasis in that area, while Milliner provided insight into the introduction of the new human resources evaluation system coming on line and its focus on improving the performance evaluation process. The lack of women’s representation in upper management positions throughout DFAS, DLA and the Department of Defense was also an active part of the panel discussion.

McClaugherty recognized each participant with Land and Maritime mementos at the program’s conclusion for contributing their time to help ensure the event’s success.