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LEAD 2016 to Cultivate Leadership at Inaugural Symposium

By U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs | | July 7, 2016

YOKOSUKA, Japan (July 7, 2016) The Leadership, Equality and Diversity (LEAD) 2016 symposium is scheduled to take place July 21, at the fleet theater on Yokosuka Naval Base.

LEAD 2016 is a one day symposium focusing on cultivating leadership and understanding of equality and diversity issues in the Navy. The program is designed for Sailors of all ranks who seek to contribute their voice into shaping the Navy and listen to ideas on how they can make difference in their career and command.

“My goal for LEAD 2016 is to create an environment that will cultivate positive change for our Navy and provide Sailors the opportunity to network and to have their voices heard on issues they are struggling with on a daily basis, whether it be career progression, family planning, work-life-balance, PRT [physical readiness test], college or inequalities based on gender, race, age, religious beliefs or sexual orientation,” said Chief Aerographer’s Mate Stella Swartz, one of the organizers of the event. 

Scheduled events for the day include two panel discussions, a speed mentoring session, and speeches by Sailors of various ranks addressing different aspects of current issues in the Navy in a segment called ‘Sailor Talks’.

“I hope Sailors will be able to connect with other Sailors that may be going through the same struggles or have overcome similar struggles to find support and mentorship,” said Swartz. “I also hope they leave feeling empowered and inspired to influence positive change in their own commands and personal lives.”

Throughout the day participants of all ranks will be encouraged to be forthright in voicing their opinions, concerns, and ideas/solutions.  A key component of the symposium is to collect qualitative insights from Sailors to inform senior Navy leaders on how Navy polices and issues impact and are perceived at the deckplate level, and also to help generate solutions to improve quality and diversity in the Navy and strengthen the Navy culture.