INSPIRE-ing women: Program helps women attain professional, leadership goals

  • Published
  • By David DeKunder
  • 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

A program at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland is helping empower women at Sixteenth Air Force in developing both their professional and leadership skills through mentorship, career-building, and community activities.

INSPIRE, the acronym for the Invest and Nurture Successful Practices to Influence, Revitalize and Empower Women program serves women who are military and civilian members assigned to Sixteenth Air Force and its subordinate organizations on the Security Hill campus at JBSA-Lackland, and JBSA-Lackland partners, and promotes equity, inclusion and collaboration among women professionals.

The purpose of the INSPIRE program is to unite diverse and mission-focused women throughout the JBSA-Lackland community by investing in and nurturing successful practices with the goal of empowering women to meet their full potential, said Gloria Trevino, Sixteenth Air Force deputy chief of plans and resources.

“The Sixteenth Air Force INSPIRE team is committed to sharing strengths, talents and experience, and provide opportunities to train and partner with various organizations to achieve higher professional and leadership successes,” Trevino said. “INSPIRE activities are a platform for women focused on professional and development training through transparent keynote speakers, brown bag lunch-n-learn series, interactive panel discussions, and guided small group discussions.”

Trevino said INSPIRE partners with local organizations, corporate-level businesswomen, Department of Defense Senior Executive Service, and senior ranking Air Force professionals who want to mentor and provide professional development to women.

One partner is the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce Woman to Woman, Leader to Leader group, a sub-committee of the Military Affairs Council. This partnership helps link organizational professionals with women entrepreneurs, offering mentoring and networking opportunities in the local community.

In addition, INSPIRE members are actively involved in giving back to their community. The program supports Dress for Success San Antonio by providing professional attire to low-income women going to a job interview, entering or returning to the workplace.

INSPIRE members also provide volunteer support at the Battered Women and Children’s Shelter and Sister of Charity of the Incarnate Word.

Founded in 2016, the INSPIRE program came about from a climate assessment conducted by the Air Force Intelligence and Surveillance Agency, or AFISRA, which was headquartered at the time at JBSA-Lackland. The assessment, which was conducted in 2015, discovered several concerning issues women with AFISRA were experiencing.

As a result, the AFISRA commander at the time appointed two JBSA-Lackland members, Col. Laura Ryan and a civilian, Jeannette Moore, to find solutions by gathering feedback from military and civilian women assigned to JBSA-Lackland. Both Ryan and Moore conducted seminars in which women provided input on workplace issues important to them.

Seminar attendees requested a women-specific group or forum be created to help them get together for guidance and mentorship, planting the idea for INSPIRE.

INSPIRE is one of many endeavors and programs within JBSA that are in accordance with Women’s Equality Day, observed Aug. 26.

For more information about the INSPIRE program, call 210-975-4940 or 210-977-6577.

Editor's Note: Mention of non-governmental organizations is informational only and does not indicate Federal endorsement.