VWIL Cadets Shine at Women’s Leadership Event

SymposiumThe 2012 Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium had no shortage of remarkable female leaders, but members of the Virginia Women's Institute for Leadership (VWIL) color guard stole the show in their trademark green and white Class A uniforms.

"After our presentation of the colors, prestigious female military leaders sought out cadets to take pictures, give us compliments, and learn more about the VWIL program," said Victoria Barrett '13.

Hosted by the Sea Service Leadership Association, the symposium gathered nearly 1,700 women from all branches of the United States Armed Forces and international female military leaders to examine the role of female leaders around the world. Among the notable women in attendance were Vice Admiral Karen M. Pottenger, one of the highest-ranking officers in the United States Navy; Mrs. Padma Bandopadhay, a retired Air Marshal for the Indian Air Force; and Major General Marcia Anderson, the Army’s first female African-American two- star general. In addition, 50 of the participants were flag officers, giving the VWIL color guard unit unique access to women with professional military experience.

The conference theme, "United in Service: Our Global Impact,” was brought to life by opening speakers — including Pottenger and Commander Jan Dunmurray of the Swedish Defense Command Centre — and carried throughout professional development workshops, networking activities, and panel discussions that covered everything from integrating work and life to diversity in various branches. Guest speakers such as Olympic athlete Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Tins Tchen, Chief of Staff to the First Lady, added to the impressive program.

Photos courtesy of Joe Martinez Photography.