U.S. Army Europe hosts first women’s forum

Oct. 16, 2012

By U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs

U.S. Army Europe photo.
U.S. Army Europe hosts its first ever 'Women's Forum' today in Heidelberg. The event provided a forum for Soldiers, Officers, DA civilians, and family members to identify issues, reinforce standards, and foster education across USAREUR.

HEIDELBERG, Germany -- “This conference is about the transition to the future and the addressing of issues that have to do with a large percentage of our force,” said U.S. Army Europe Commanding General, Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling. “Women sometimes don’t feel their voice is being heard so this conference was an opportunity for them to speak and for us, as a command, to listen.”

The USAREUR Women’s Forum, “Sitting at the Table”, was held at the Village Pavilion Community Center on Patrick Henry Village, Oct. 11.

It was the first women’s forum held in USAREUR and asked questions like: When you have questions, who do you turn to? How do you ensure your voice is heard? And do you provide input?

“This is a first for USAREUR,” said Installation Management Command-Europe Director, Kathleen Marin. “It’s a forum where women, whether military, civilian or family members, have come together and talked out issues that are particular concerns to women.

“What I have found very interesting about the conversation is the universality of many of the issues between civilians, family members and military, but also generationally.”

The women who attended the forum talked about issues that have caused problems in the work place. They brought these issues up with a chance to make changes and bring attention to problems that still persist.

“Frankly, I thought a lot of these issues had been dealt with and I am finding that some of the younger women are still dealing with some of the same issues, things that I dealt with 20 years ago,” Marin said.

During the forum the participants discussed, women in the military, career planning, single and divorced parenting, violence directed against women, leadership and effective communication.

“I think the best thing I will take out of this is some self-reflection,” said 18th Military Police Brigade Senior Enlisted Advisor, Command Sgt. Maj. Brenda Curfman. “I want to take the things that I’ve learned and do some self reflection, to ensure that I am passing on things that will help my Soldiers, enlisted, officers and civilians, to avoid some of the obstacles that I went through and give them good advice and guidance.”

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