To celebrate Women’s History Month this year, Southeast Regional Maintenance Center (SERMC) reflected on the theme "Honoring Trailblazing Women in Labor and Business."
The guest speaker was author Brenda Jackson, a trailblazer in her own right as a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Jackson’s message to the audience was “believe in yourself and follow your dreams.”
Jackson speaks from experience. To relieve job-related stress during her career at a major insurance provider, she began reading romance novels during her travels across the country. Although she enjoyed the novels, she was dissatisfied with the lack of cultural and ethnic diversity.
After complaining to her husband that she could do better, he registered her for a writer’s conference and encouraged her to try her hand at writing. It was at the conference Jackson made the decision to follow her dream.
Her professional writing career began in 1995 when she published her first book. Since then Jackson has written more than 100 novels and received numerous national and literary awards including being nominated for a The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Image Award for Outstanding Literary Fiction.
Eventually, Jackson was able to retire from her management job. She continues to write, and two of her novels have been made into movies, with two more in the works. What began as a hobby, morphed into a tremendous success story.
The success Jackson experienced parallels what started as a handful of volunteer women serving in the Navy. Today, more than 68,000 Active and Reserve Sailors, making up nineteen percent of the Navy's enlisted force, including eight percent of all Senior and Master Chiefs are women. Eighteen percent of the officer force, and 11 percent of all admirals, are women.
From nurses to heavy equipment operators, from Seaman Recruits to Admirals, women are making a difference at every level in the U.S. Navy.
For more information on the history of women and their numerous contributions to the Navy, visit: http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/organization/bupers/WomensPolicy/Pages/WomensHistoryMonth.asp