WASHINGTON, D.C. — Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James kicked off Women’s History Month by speaking to attendees during the Center for a New American Security “Women and Leadership in National Security” conference in Washington, D.C., on March 4.
“There’s simply no country in the world as widely diverse as the U.S.” James said, who was the keynote speaker at the event. “Progress has been made, but we (the Air Force) can do better.”
She spoke about the steps the Air Force is taking to strengthen its diversity and inclusion by introducing nine initiatives. James, along with Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh, III and Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James A. Cody, signed two memos that were sent out to all Airmen to help guide the Air Force efforts.
Air Force leaders want to ensure the service attracts and retains the most innovative, skillful Airmen possible. “Diversity and inclusion help us become more strategically agile,” James said.
The initiatives SecAF discussed were career path tool transformation, diversity and inclusion perspective for development team boards, promotion board memorandum of instruction, Career Intermission Program, increased female officer applicant pool, Reserve Officer Training Corps rated height screening, identifying high-performing enlisted Airmen for Officer Training School, post pregnancy deployment deferment, and use of panels in civilian hiring.