AUSTIN, Texas – Hong Miller, Chief Human Capital Officer at Army Futures Command (AFC), is familiar with the challenges and triumphs women have faced in their pursuit toward equality.
“There are still glass ceilings that women continue to hit and are working hard to shatter,” Miller said.
As a leader in talent management and a female member of the Department of the Army’s Senior Executive Service, Miller shared insights on the importance of continual progress in women’s rights and civil rights as part of AFC’s Women’s Equality Day educational observance.
“While we’ve certainly come a long way, we still have some room for improvement,” she said. “As important and exhilarating as it is to celebrate the achievement of firsts, it also highlights the ongoing social reality that we have not fully achieved equality.”
The event, which took place on Tuesday in Austin, Texas, commemorated the Aug. 26, 1920, ratification of the 19th amendment, which granted women the right to vote.
It also served as an opportunity to celebrate women’s achievements in the armed forces and among the command’s civilian ranks.
“Women have supported the military long before they were legally allowed to serve or vote. And as far back as the Revolutionary War, women served as nurses, seamstresses, laundresses, cooks, albeit in unofficial capacity,” Miller said.
“Over 3 million women have served in or with the armed forces since the American revolution, contributing immensely to the strength and resilience of our armed forces.”
Today, women fulfill a wide variety of crucial roles, including combat roles, in the U.S. military but make up only about 17% of the nation’s total force. Similarly, just 30% of Department of the Army civilian roles are occupied by women.
Miller stressed the importance of harnessing fellowship programs, STEM outreach and workforce flexibilities to encourage broader staffing diversity and participation of women.
“We should continue to celebrate the historical achievements of women, but we should also remain mindful that we have not yet arrived.”
AFC’s observance of Women’s Equality Day included a flag ceremony executed by the Stony Point High School JROTC of Round Rock, Texas, and a reenactment of the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848, the nation’s first women’s rights convention, performed by AFC staff members.
Lt. Gen. Ross Coffman, Deputy Commanding General of AFC, provided closing remarks at the event that highlighted the value of Women’s Equality Day and other Army-supported efforts to advance equality for all people.
“Empowerment is about realization, it’s about truth, and this is about making AFC better,” he said.