Written By: Nicole Renteria
In recent headlines, women have been making more appearances in large corporations across the country. Due to new data, it has been proven that the gender diversity in the boardroom has significantly increased the productivity of companies. But what about the diversity outside of the conference room, on the battlefield?
Defense Secretary Ash Carter has recently approved a new lift on gender restrictions in military services, allowing women to join military combat positions. This January there will now be about 220,000 jobs opened to women, originally only occupied by men. These positions range from infantry, armor, reconnaissance, and some special operations units. What does this mean for women all across our military services? If they can pass the gender-neutral performance standards and requirements, they will be able to do things such as: drive tanks and lead infantry soldiers directly into combat.
This new stride for gender equality caused several Marine Corps officers to raise several questions concerning the change. After numerous studies were conducted, women were proven more likely to be injured during combat, therefore slowing down some aspects of the procedures. However, Carter’s decision to diversify the infantries emphasizes the strengths women are able to bring to the Armed Forces. Similar to the work women contribute to the boardroom, they are able to enhance the productivity during combat due to personality differences. During his announcement at the Pentagon, Carter said “And even more importantly, our military will be better able to harness the skills and perspectives that talented women have to offer.”
Although there has been controversy surrounding this event, the overflowing support for it has been overwhelming. Carter has received support from the Army, several other infantries, and even from presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. During an event in New Hampshire, Clinton praised the move and offered encouraging support for women who are qualified for these positions “to compete and win them”.
With only two female soldiers recorded for completing the vigorous Army’s Ranger School, there is still several obstacles in the way for women looking to join the newly offered positions. For someone who aspires to one day join the Marine Corps, it is inspiring to learn that women now have equal opportunities as men in combat. To one day apply for a position as coveted as a special operations soldiers is a dream, made reality. Women have a lot to offer, whether that’s in the boardroom or in combat, and to be able to fight for the same job as a man is tremendously important.