VCNO Visits Big Apple to Highlight Women's Role in Navy Today

By Lt. Cmdr. Chris Servello, Vice Chief of Naval Operations Public Affairs
Image VCNO Visits Big Apple to Highlight Women's Role in Navy Today

-- The vice chief of naval operations (VCNO) and a group of female Sailors visited New York March 7 as part of Navy efforts to commemorate International Women's Day and March as Women's History Month.

Admiral Mark Ferguson participated in a United Nations (U.N.) discussion panel on women in non-traditional roles and later visited the New York Stock Exchange, where he and the Sailors rung the closing bell.

"Women are serving in critical jobs in every mission the Navy is engaged in around the world," said Ferguson. "I thought that it was important to highlight our talented female officers, enlisted and civilians, as they are an invaluable asset to the strength of our Navy."

Each year, in recognition of International Women's Day, there is a hosted-feature event related to the representation of women in the U.N. This year's panel focused on encouraging change in traditionally male dominated institutions, such as the military and police. Ferguson was asked to represent the U.S. Navy to share best practices and lessons learned about how to change culture and better employ the significant talent pool that women represent.

"Women comprise 58% of college graduates in the U.S. today and we want that talent for the Navy now and into the future," said Ferguson. "Talent wins every time; women in visible leadership positions inspire others and demonstrate that our Navy seeks only the best."

Joining Ferguson were Rear Adm. Annie Andrews, Director, Total Force Requirements Division, Capt. Lisa Franchetti, a surface warfare officer who commanded both a destroyer and destroyer squadron, Cmdr. Miriam Smyth, a career naval intelligence officer serving on the VCNO's staff, Lt. Sarah Flaherty, a Navy helicopter pilot, and Chief Petty Officer Lynn Rodriguez, a Seabee, Navy construction and salvage diver and 2012 Master Chief Anna Der-Vartanian Leadership Award winner.

The group finished the day by visiting the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), where they met with exchange officials and traders on the floor, before ringing the closing bell in support of NYSE efforts to highlight women in business and government. (See video of closing bell here:

More than 55,000 active duty and reserve women are serving in the Navy, comprising 17.1 percent of the Navy Total Force. The Navy currently has 35 active and reserve female flag officers and 59 female command master chiefs.

For more information on the history of women and their numerous contributions to the Navy, visit the Navy's Office of Women's Policy at: