By Latifa Lyles I Women’s Bureau, U.S. Dept. of Labor Blog.
Military Family Month affords Americans the opportunity to recognize the sacrifices that women and men who proudly serve our great country make, both on the battlefield and at home. When Military Family Month was first celebrated in 1993, in the aftermath of the first Gulf War, the demographic characteristics of service members and veterans were going through a dramatic change. Nearly 40,000 women were deployed in support of Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield.
Women veterans are now the fastest growing segment of the veteran community, equaling roughly 10 percent of our nation’s 22 million veterans. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs expects this growth to continue, with as many as 2.4 million women veterans across the country by 2020. Some other interesting facts about women veterans:
- Women veterans are also at least as likely as non-veteran women to have young children.
- Nearly 84 percent of female veterans are of working age (17-64 years) compared to 55 percent of male veterans.
- Alaska is the U.S. state with the highest concentration of women veterans in its population.
- A greater share of women veterans work in management, professional and related occupations than male veterans or non-veterans of either gender.
Knowing the facts about women veterans is crucial to understanding how women transition into the civilian labor force, and what we can do to help serve them. The Department of Labor wants to ensure that women veterans have gainful employment opportunities to care for their families, and also that they have time to spend with them once they find employment. The Women’s Bureau is proud to support the Department of Labor in pursuit of this important goal.
In addition, we’ve released information about resources available to women veterans to help them with important things such as getting job training and education, arranging child care and locating jobs.
We often hear “thank you for your service” as a common refrain for acknowledging the service and sacrifice of our nation’s veterans, but we owe it to them to actively demonstrate our gratitude as well. The Women’s Bureau and the Department of Labor are proud to play a part in the effort to help veterans translate the skills they learned in service to our nation into gainful job opportunities.