michelle-obama-redbook-image-for-websiteBPW Foundation is proud to share an online preview of the November issue of RedBook magazine, featuring two Joining Forces Mentoring Plus® participants, who met with First Lady Michelle Obama during a private July 2014 White House roundtable on women veterans.

Good Morning America highlighted the article today and The First Lady’s attention to the challenges women veterans face. BPW Foundation was asked by the White House to partner on the roundtable, to lend subject matter expertise and to recommend participants for the discussion.

The full article, available in new stands next week, will feature five female veterans discussing the challenges they face finding employment after leaving the military. The story explores how tough the transition to re-enter civilian life is and how we can help mentor and support women during the re-entry. These women are trained leaders with skills and experience yet they can’t find work. The statistics are staggering – as of July 11% of former service women were unemployed, compared to fewer than 9% of their male peers and 7% of civilian women.

Sonia Whipp, who is being mentored through BPW Foundation’s Joining Forces Mentoring Plus® (JFMP) program, is featured in the online preview. Sonia’s story highlights the challenge of translating the skills she learned in the military to a career in the civilian sector. She is working closely with her JFMP mentor from Citi, to revise her resume to capture her military experience and showcase her skills for the civilian workplace. The story of four other JFMP mentees will be featured in the full article next week, including Michelle Young, who is being mentored by a JFMP mentor from Booz Allen Hamilton.

Sonia’s story and the White House roundtable discussion (featured in the Redbook article) continues to validate BPW Foundation’s research on women veterans (our 2007 survey and research; 2010 Inaugural Summit on Women Veterans, etc.) and supports the ongoing feedback and outcomes from women veterans in our mentoring program. We’ve done the research and identified the best practices and lessons learned – now is the time for action!

WHAT YOU CAN DO: The Redbook November issue hits newsstands October 14th. Share it broadly and use it as a discussion tool among your employee resource groups and within your communities. Help spread the word about women veterans unique career and employment needs, the demand for women veteran-specific program funding and why mentoring and helping them prepare for and find employment is such an important issue.

MENTOR A WOMAN VETERAN: JFMP needs mentors! Join at www.joiningforcesmentoringplus.org and sign up as a mentor, subject matter expert etc.

HELP FUND WOMEN-FOCUSED VETERAN PROGRAMS. Consider making an individual donation and/or talk with your company or organization about becoming a JFMP partner. Contact Karen Montagne about Partnership opportunities.

GIVE US A SHOUT OUT ON SOCIAL MEDIA: We love re-tweets and shares! Here are some sample posts for you to use.

Read November issue of #Redbookmag, featuring 2 @bpwf4womenvets mentees, who met with @FLOTUS @Whitehouse  
@bpw4womenvets attend @whitehouse roundtable on women vets @redbookmag READ 
5 female veterans and the challenges they face finding employment after they leave the military @Redbookmag @FLOTUS @womenmisbehavin 
Explore the tough transition when women #veterans re-enter the workforce @bpwf4womenvets @Flotus 
Learn how @bpwfwomenvets mentee found her dream job #womenveterans @redbookmag 
As of July 11% of former service women were unemployed @redbookmag @bpw4womenvets 

THANK YOU: Your support and partnership has allowed these women to advocate for other women veterans, share best practices on a national level, and highlight the need for women-veteran specific support.