[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                              September 11, 2009
Observances

Equality Day speaker encourages
women to improve lives

By Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff

For the past 89 years, women have continued to struggle to make improvements in their lives and to build on the passage of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which allowed women the right to vote, said Rosemary Denman.

Denman, the chief of staff for the 88th Regional Support Command (RSC), told members of the Fort McCoy community at a Women’s Equality Day observance Aug. 27 that women continue to work to build a balance between their work and private lives.

Photo: Rosemary Denman addresses a large audience attending the Fort McCoy Women’s Equality Day luncheon held Aug. 27. (Photo by Val Hyde)
Rosemary Denman addresses a large audience attending the Fort McCoy Women’s Equality Day luncheon held Aug. 27. (Photo by Val Hyde)

Although women often still are seeking equal pay, access to quality childcare, sick day care, etc., women have made many notable advances, such as getting more and more top positions. Denman said these include the current speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, a serious contender for the presidency, and the military’s first four-star general Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody, commander of the Army Materiel Command.

According to the Office of Personnel Management, the number of women and minorities in top-level leadership and more technical career positions is rising steadily every year.

“We always need to be going forward and gaining,” Denman said. “We can make things better for the next generation. Each one of us can remake the world as it should be.”

The day serves as a tribute not only to famous women, but to everyday women. Denman said these women, with whom people interact regularly, can teach, and provide direction and inspiration to help women achieve their goals.

Denman, herself, has reached a high-ranking position as she provides supervision to an organization with nearly 300 personnel, including Department of the Army civilians, military technicians, Active Guard/Reserve and troop program unit Soldiers. The 88th RSC is a new two-star (major general) command that started standing up at Fort McCoy about two-and-one-half years ago as the result of a Base Realignment and Closure action. During her civilian career, she has served in many key senior civilian leadership positions for more than 26 years.

Women also have made many strides in the military and now serve in about 80 percent of the jobs open to Soldiers, said Denman, a retired Army command sergeant major. Female Soldiers can drive Humvees, serve in escort details, as military police and fly planes and helicopters, which brings them under the threat of attack, just as their male counterparts, she said.

Women can serve as mentors to help other women keep their sights set forward.

Photo: Lt. Col. Annie Jackson (left), Fort McCoy Garrison Deputy Commander, presents a certificate of achievement to Rosemary Denman, the guest speaker at Fort McCoy Women's Equality Day observance Aug. 27. (Photo by Val Hyde) (An Extra to The Real McCoy Online)
Lt. Col. Annie Jackson (left), Fort McCoy Garrison Deputy Commander, presents a certificate of achievement to Rosemary Denman, the guest speaker at Fort McCoy Women's Equality Day observance Aug. 27. (Photo by Val Hyde) (An Extra to The Real McCoy Online)

If people meet three challenges, they can help women and others meet their goals. The challenges are 1) Always be tenacious and resourceful; 2) Give women the tools they need to help themselves, such as getting skills and training for their jobs; 3) Understand the importance of supporters (mentors).

“In my career, I did not have any female mentors,” said Denman, who encouraged women to become mentors. “Mentors are a prime source of advice. If we all work together and meet these challenges, we will be successful.”

More information about how to become a mentor and mentorship opportunities can be found on the Army Knowledge Online site.

Lt. Col. Annie Jackson, Fort McCoy garrison deputy commander, said women need to have the courage, determination and perseverance to make it.

Many women were involved in making the passage of the 19th amendment a reality, and many more women have been involved in moving women farther along.

In her case, the women who preceded her helped her to become the first female garrison deputy commander in Fort McCoy’s 100-year history.

The event was sponsored by the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) office at Fort McCoy. For more information about future EEO events at Fort McCoy, call 608-388-3106.

 

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