Winning the retention wars: The Air Force, women officers, by Laura A. H. DiSilverio

By Laura A. H. DiSilverio

The Air strength and the nationwide safety challenge are the massive losers while proficient members decide to separate early. even supposing particular separation figures will not be on hand, research of the proportion of guys and girls via commissioned years of provider within the Air strength shows that ladies separate ahead of retirement extra usually than males. the chances of fellows and girls stay regular via eh first 4 years, the common interval of post-commissioning dedication. by means of the 5th 12 months, the variety of girls drops percentage, and through the next 12 months, the variety of ladies drops an extra 4 percentage, with corresponding raises within the percent of fellows. the proportion of girls maintains to diminish steadily via yr twenty, the purpose of retirement eligibility. Having decided that ladies cut loose the Air strength ahead of retirement eligibility extra usually than males, Lt. Col. Laura DiSilverio desired to discover why. the one individuals with the solutions have been the ladies who had separated, so the writer constructed a survey to elicit the explanations for keeping apart. the result of this survey of 1,000 girls seem during this paper. the 1st bankruptcy demonstrates why the Air strength wishes girls. It makes the demographic case and provides learn effects displaying the worth of variety in most cases and the price of ladies leaders specifically. the second one bankruptcy offers the survey effects, analyzes why girls break free the Air strength, and lists the kinds of courses that may preserve them. the ultimate bankruptcy appears to be like on the feasibility of imposing a few courses that would support the Air strength keep extra of its proficient contributors.

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Winning the retention wars: The Air Force, women officers, and the need for transformation

The Air strength and the nationwide protection challenge are the massive losers whilst gifted members decide to separate early. even if particular separation figures will not be to be had, research of the share of guys and girls via commissioned years of provider within the Air strength shows that ladies separate ahead of retirement extra often than males.

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No one leader or leadership style is right for all situations. The broader the leadership options available to the Air Force, the more likely the Air Force is to achieve success in a wide variety of situations and missions. Let me end with a word of caution: If inherently “female” leadership styles are an asset to an organization, the organization 16 DISILVERIO must take care not to squelch those styles or force everyone into the same leadership mold. Some danger exists in the Air Force of women adopting more “masculine” leadership styles, either because that is what they observe most often or because those are the styles that reap visible and immediate rewards.

Kanter, The Change Masters (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1983); C. J. Nemeth, “Differential Contributions of Majority and Minority Influence,” Psychological Review 93: 23–32; P. L. McLeod, S. A. Lobel, and T. Cox, “Cultural Diversity and Creativity in Small Groups: A Test of the Value-in-Diversity Hypothesis” (unpublished working paper, University of Michigan, 1993); L. R. Hoffman and N. R. F. 2: 401–7. 22. mil. 23. Part of the explanation for the dearth of women at the most senior ranks is that the number of women receiving commissions 24–34 years ago, when today’s generals would have been entering the Air Force, was much smaller than the number of women entering the Air Force today.

For instance, if a child is ill and cannot go to school, someone in the support network may be able to care for the child, freeing the member to go to work. Also, in the event of a death or other crisis in the family, having friends, neighbors, and familiar clergy will reduce stress for the effected individual, allowing the member to return to work sooner and be more productive. The Air Force reaps benefits beyond the reduction in stress for its members and the subsequent decline in absenteeism.

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