Missouri Air National Guard launches mentorship program
JEFFERSON CITY - Senior female leaders of the Missouri Air National Guard began constructing a new mentorship program Wednesday focused on recruiting and retaining seasoned female air guard members.
Chief Master Sgt. Laura Clark and Col. Kimbra Steer led the program, which is part of a larger leadership initiative spearheaded by Maj. Gen. Steve Danner.
"Statistically, women tend to get to a certain point in their career, whether it be family, civilian career or life events, [where] they choose not to re-enlist or stay until retirement," Clark said. "A large priority from the air perspective is to increase our retention numbers overall."
The program aims to include mentorship for all Air Guard members to help build and develop their experiences for increased leadership roles.
Senior Master Sgt. Susan McGarry said the council will enhance the overall strength of the Missouri National Guard.
"The vision is for the program to be open to all current and retired military and civilian employees who support the growth and development of female military leadership," McGarry said. "Success will require targeted development by all supervisors, male and female. We look forward to the partnerships that will be developed through this program."
Sterr said the council can have a big impact on ensuring a diverse workforce.
"Our current leadership has recognized that we need to mentor and grow our female airmen so they can assume leadership positions," she said. "We want to make sure we are a diverse organization where all airmen are equally recognized and supported."
Clark said the senior leaders who met in Jefferson City have proven records of success that make them suited to lead the program.
"The representatives were selected and nominated by their wing leadership to have a seat at the table to provide input to what this program will ultimately become," she said.
The group is scheduled to meet for a second time November 20-21 at Whiteman Air Force Base.