-- CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa, Japan – Dim lights cause an orange glow to wash over a wide room. Bright red fold-out chairs line the floor, facing a stage where three long tables sit for selected panel members. Service members gather inside the Community Center, sitting and waiting expectantly for an event to begin.
On August 30, 2018, the Diversity Committee hosted the 2018 Women’s Symposium at Camp Foster, Okinawa, Japan. The symposium promoted gender equality, empowerment and raised awareness of equal opportunity resources. The event was put together in celebration of Women’s Equality Day on August 26 and was opened to all branches of the military.
HM1 Fredelyne Dolores, the Women’s Symposium coordinator, and a field medical technician with 3rd Medical Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, said the purpose of the event was to highlight the professional growth of women in the military.
A panel of female Sailors, Airmen and Marines shared their own personal stories to help mentor others and answer questions from a female service member’s perspective. The panelists represented a variety of ranks, including junior enlisted, senior enlisted and officers, in order to better connect with the audience.
“With this event, we can empower more women, more people in general, to push through, power through and be encouraged,” Dolores said.
One of the panelists, Cpl. Indigo Bach, a team leader with Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear section, 3rd MLG, said she believed, as a junior enlisted Marine, her participation in the symposium allowed her to connect with junior enlisted audience members.
Bach said she believes this type of experience sharing event could be very helpful for anyone in the military seeking mentorship.
Dolores said she hopes hearing other women speak at this event has encouraged and inspired other military members to work hard in their careers no matter their rank or gender.