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My Coast Guard
Commentary | Oct. 22, 2020

Building Female Leadership: Register for the Annual Officer Women Leadership Symposium (OWLS), Career Workshop

By Shana Brouder, MyCG Writer


The 2020 Annual Officer Women Leadership Symposium (OWLS) and Career Workshop will be virtual and is scheduled to be held Nov.4 to 6, 2020. This year’s theme, “Leadership for a Lifetime,” targets female officers and senior enlisted members who are interested in learning practical leadership skills from other women in the military, as well as the public and private sectors. Participants will have an opportunity to acquire concrete tools to help change the perception of women in leadership roles.

Space at the virtual conference is limited. If you are interested, please send your request to attend up the chain of command for unit-level approval as soon as possible. While the unit is responsible for covering the registration fee of approximately $150, the return on investment is well worth the cost.

Keynote presentations from leadership experts like Carol Folt, president of the University of Southern California, on how you can stand firm in your values while skillfully navigating challenges presented by both internal and external forces.  Registered attendees will also hear from military leaders. Air Force Lt. Col. Jessica Ruttenber and the Coast Guard Vice. Adm. Linda Fagan, among others, who will present on the topic of cultural change within an organization. Attendees will glean practical skills and techniques on how to find and use their voice to first create change within themselves, and then more broadly within their community.

Find a full preview of the OWL agenda at the symposium site.

For those female officers and female senior enlisted who are looking to make successful career transitions after their military service, the Career Coaching Workshop offered as a part of the OWLS is designed to help you do just that. It is designed to assist veteran officer women and military spouses who are considering a career change and interested in improving their career success.

The Career Coaching Workshop also offers virtual exhibit booths and a virtual job fair where attendees have the opportunity meet with representatives from top-caliber, military-friendly companies and organizations to explore a range of available career resources and job opportunities – and possibly even interview on the spot!

More about the Career Coaching Workshop agenda can be found on the symposium’s website.

Whether you’re looking to transition or to grow your career within Coast Guard, the OWLS and Career Coaching Workshop offer a wealth of information for female officers and female senior enlisted to draw from. As stated in ALCOAST 389/20, commanding officers/officers in charge are strongly encouraged to support the professional development of civilian and military personnel. While expensive, your unit will certainly benefit from your investment in your members who choose to attend this conference.

Following unit-level approval and registration for the conference, attendees should send an email to including your full name, rank or civilian pay grade, job title, unit/office/division, current professional development supervisor’s location, and if you’ve previously attended this conference (yes or no) utilizing the subject line: OWLS/CAREER WORKSHOP ATTENDEE(S). Please also note that it is the responsibility of the attendee, not the unit, to access the OWLS virtual platform and establish internet connectivity for the event.

Additional Resources:

  • ALCOAST 389/20 – OCT 2020 16th Annual Officer Women Leadership Symposium (OWLS) 2020
  • The Annual Officer Women Leadership Symposium (OWLS) and Career Workshop – General Symposium and Pricing Information website
  • OWL Agenda – Preview of the OWL Agenda
  • Career Coaching Workshop Agenda – Preview of the Career Coaching Workshop Agenda