For the first time in U.S. history, women comprise about 11 percent of American troops serving in combat theaters in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) estimates women will soon account for 10 percent of the total veteran population. Women veterans have unique needs and challenges that affect their ability to maintain meaningful employment – for instance, many are single parents with dependent children and have histories of trauma, especially of a sexual nature. VA and community-based service providers have developed programs offering specialized services for women.
A collection of employment-specific resources for women veterans can be found below.
The Business and Professional Women’s (BPW) Foundation, a research and education institution solely dedicated to issues that affect working women, published an initial report in 2007 titled “Understanding the Complexity of Women Veterans’ Career Transitions” as part of its “Women Veterans in Transition” research project. Subsequent BPW publications based on that research include:
BPW’s “Women Veterans in Transition” page features other resources that address employer attitudes, public service sector employment and the job search process.
BPW also has a Connect-A-Vet webpage with nearly 200 links to resources for women veterans. These resources cover a range of topics including employment, education, finances, government agencies and programs, housing services and facilities, health, legal support, and professional organizations and special groups.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)’s Center for Women Veterans website contains important statistics and resources about women veterans. From there, you can link to the Advisory Committee on Women Veterans page and view reports from the committee’s meetings. A PDF of VA Homeless Veterans Programs Director Pete Dougherty’s presentation to the committee on Oct. 28, 2009, is available via the site and here as well.
The Department of Labor's (DOL) Women Veterans' Employment initiative is a collaborative effort across Department of Labor (DOL) agencies to identify and address the employment challenges of the women veteran population. Resources, employment tips, the latest news, and more on employment issues related to women veterans can be found at DOL's website.
Employment Assistance Guide for Service Providers Helping Homeless Veterans
National Coalition for Homeless Veterans
NCHV produced this guide in partnership with DOL-VETS to enhance the assistance offered by employment specialists working with homeless clients. It provides an overview of special challenges faced by homeless men and women, and identifies the community resources in place to help them with housing, health, income supports, job search and placement assistance, substance abuse and family counseling, and other services they may need. There is also a comprehensive list of employment assistance resources, both public and private.
Understanding the Complexity of Women Veterans’ Career Transitions
Business and Professional Women’s Foundation
This research project report examines the results of a 2007 survey, which was undertaken as part of a pilot study on the career transition experiences of women veterans.
Trauma-Informed Care for Women Veterans Experiencing Homelessness: A Guide for Service Providers
Women's Bureau, Department of Labor
Trauma-Informed Care for Women Veterans Experiencing Homelessness: A Guide for Service Providers, also known as the “Trauma Guide,” was created to address the psychological and mental health needs of women veterans. The guide is also a compilation of best practices aimed at improving effectiveness in engaging female veterans. Written for service providers, the guide offers observational knowledge and concrete guidelines for modifying practices with the goal of increasing re-entry outcomes.