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Published:June 5th, 2011 07:40 EST
Are Women Veterans Having a Harder Time Finding Employment Than Male Veterans?

Are Women Veterans Having a Harder Time Finding Employment Than Male Veterans?

By Ron G Anselm

This is a question that has posed many opinions since the economy hit rock bottom a few years ago. Just like finding the answer in a mathematical problem there are many variables to getting to the point. First, we all know that not just veterans but everyone is having a harder time finding a job in a job market that is so saturated with many diverse skills and is so packed with people looking for a job that employers are at the luxury of taking their time to fill possible needed positions.

When the economy was booming and growing, employers were at the mercy of finding people to fill the positions they thought they needed to hire for. Most companies hired on candidates because they could and at that time and had the money to do so. Also, when there were more jobs out there than people that meant that the specific skills needed for the positions companies needed to hire for was in a bigger demand so companies had to hire quickly when they found the right candidates for those positions as to not lose that person to another job or employer. Not that way anymore as we all know.

When the economy tanked out, employers were forced to lay off as many workers as it took to sustain the business, so at the point; employers discovered they could delegate the responsibilities of the laid off workers to the employees they kept which meant they now found out they can do more with less and save money.

Employers that are now hiring are also paying candidates less money than that position they hired them for normally paid in the past. Companies know there are people out of work and more than likely have been out of work for a very long time, so those people are more than likely going to be desperate for work and are going to take just anything to say they now have a job. Yes, that is taking advantage of people but that`s just the way it is now.

 This is just the grim reality now days for anyone. When it comes to employers and job statistics for veterans it gets even grimmer.  In my last article on veterans I mentioned the percentage of unemployed veterans that returned home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is at an all-time high and continues to grow. And there will be many more veterans returning home from the now three wars we are engaged in, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. We don`t have ground forces in Libya as of yet but that could change at any time.

The reality now days is a lot of employers are hearing more and more about PTSD and depression in veterans returning home from the war. Companies have basically formed their own opinions about veterans that develop this disorder and have formed opinions about how these veterans will act in jobs and society.

Frist off, the opinions and ideas these employers have about veterans with PTSD and depression is inaccurate and wrong. I don`t know where the employers get this information from, probably from hearsay and untrue information from unreliable sources but I have heard the worst opinions.

In my experience working in the civilian job market after I got out of the military, I worked with more depressed and difficult people that were not ex-military veterans just civilians that never served in the military than I ever worked with and been around in my ten years serving my country. So, people that were not veterans were some of the most difficult people to work with and be around. And most of them were so unprofessional it made me want to turn and head for the door.

 The ex-military workers in those same companies I worked with were the best people I had ever been around and they were the easiest people to work with. Maybe because there is a brotherhood and sisterhood for ex-military people but from the professional skill set standpoint those ex-military veterans were the best and happiest people to go to work with every day.

So, first of all these companies and hiring managers need to realize that all veterans are not depressed just because they come home from war. They need to realize the value veterans bring to the workplace and as I mentioned in one of my last articles on this, veterans are the best and bring to the workplace extraordinary skills and experience.

This is just for veterans in general, when it comes to women veterans the job news gets even grimmer than the grimmest. One of the questions that is now finally noticed and being explored is are women veterans having a harder time finding employment that male veterans?  To answer this, you have to look how the answer to this question goes in all different directions.

The military in general is probably made up of ninety-percent men and ten-percent women or thereabouts. So, to say that women veterans are having a harder time finding jobs than male veterans is to say that the statistical data on this is probably focusing more on male veterans than female veterans because since there is a higher percentage of males in the military than females means it would appear that male veterans in general are at a higher unemployment rate than female veterans but the data is probably a little more skewed when you take everything into account.

In my opinion, yes female veterans are having a harder time finding work than ever before, Yes, the economy is down and once again heading in the wrong direction, gas prices are destroying company budgets from the logistical side of business and forcing companies to save money which cuts hiring, and everyone is unsure of the future when we hear that bad news everyday about the employment numbers, so that adds to the paranoia about hiring but to a point I think women have a harder time finding employment than men in general and if you are a female veteran it gets even harder.

My ex-wife is ex-military. When she got out it took her over seven years to find her first job after getting out of the military and she was in the medical field in the military. She had great training, great skills, could have probably been a physician`s assistant with her knowledge she gained while serving or could have ran a medical billing company but no one wanted to hire her. The only reason she found a job and got a fresh start is because in my last position I was basically the Vice President of Operations and hired her on for an open position we had available in medical billing which helped here regain her confidence once again and gave her a fresh start once again in the job market.

She also served during the initial and first Iraq War, Desert Storm One as I did. Maybe one of the reasons employers did not want to hire her is because of the misinformation most companies have about war veterans and PTSD and depression. She did not have either one of these disorders after she got out, so you see the problem misinformation can cause when it comes to having incorrect information from unreliable sources especially about veterans. No one normally will hire you on if you have been out of work seven years, so I was glad I could help but that`s not the point.

The point is why didn`t companies hire her on when she applied for the many jobs she was more than qualified for? Who knows, but these companies and hiring managers need to start taking advantage of what the Veterans Administration has to offer when it comes to the understanding of military veterans and the military in general and the best training in the world the military gives us veterans. Times have changed when it came to the 1960s when it used to be a male dominant job market. Now, there are many more women in upper management position and running the company than ever before.

When it comes to leadership positions, women are great candidates, especially women veterans. Military training is tough and probably the toughest out there and the military is not easier on women just because they are women.

Those drill sergeants eat women for lunch as they do men when they screw up and are not up to the best of the best when they first start out in basic training, so military women are treated the same as military men.  This instills motivation and confidence in women which adds to their professional resume when it comes to jobs.

The second thing is there are many more women going to West Point and the Coast Guard Academy to become officers in the military. This once again Is not an easy task to accomplish and more and more women are meeting that challenge and becoming high ranking upper brass in our armed forces.

Anyone male or female that has served as an officer in the military comes out with the best jobs skills, motivation, problem-solving abilities, professionalism, and overall resume that will blow anyone that has never served in the military in that same position off the map.

So, women veterans are great candidates for upper management position in civilian companies. To leave on a more positive note I hope companies start to take advantage of researching more and more about the truth about military veterans. And start to work with the Veterans Administration on the many programs available to them about hiring veterans.

This article is mixed on veterans in general and women veterans but it all comes down to a team thing. In any company or in the military we are all part of a team with one objective and that is to get the mission or job done together.

Whether you are a male or female veteran you will be an asset to any employer and does not mean if these same veterans have PTSD or depression that since they will be receiving treatment that they will not once again be the same person they were before heading off to war. After getting treated if they do have this dosorder, they will come out of it sussfully.

As a suggestion, companies should have their Human Resources Manager attend training offered by the VA on veterans and the truths about PTSD and depression. Let the HR Manager get an idea about military training and job skills and how veterans can be a great asset to any civilian employer.