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Hiring our Heroes

January 13, 2012

hh“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others? …” That quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is at the heart of why I am so proud to work for FedEx – a company that supports our military families and recognizes the potential of women.

And what better way to kick-off the MLK “Day of Service” than to be part of an event honoring our nation’s military spouses. Today, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, NBC4, NBC News, Joining Forces, the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) and HandsOn Greater D.C. Cares will host Hiring Our Heroes at the Washington, D.C. Convention Center.

Hiring our Heroes is the nation’s largest career forum and hiring fair dedicated exclusively to military spouses. As part of the event, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Women in Business will offer a mentorship forum. This event hopes to connect military spouses with people who understand the personal and professional challenges unique to military families as well as provide them with advice to advance their careers.

Women are 95 percent of military spouses, and they face numerous challenges to employment and upward mobility, which include:

  • About nine moves over the course of a service member’s career
  • Deployments that can vary in length of time
  • State licensing requirements
  • Lack of career networks and mentors

Recent U.S. Defense Department figures show unemployment has reached 26 percent among military spouses. There also is a 42 percent wage gap across professions between military spouses and their civilian counterparts.

Our company employs numerous veterans including FedEx founder and chairman, Frederick W. Smith, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps. Each year we participate in several events to support our troops. Since 2005, we’ve helped transport Christmas trees to our military as part of the Trees for Troops program. This election season, FedEx is proud to continue our partnership with the Overseas Vote Foundation to provide voter services for our military service members.

The Center for Women in Business, an organization that FedEx is a founding member, recognizes the challenges military spouses face in the workforce. The organization helps female entrepreneurs and small business owners develop a support network that enables their success.

As a woman and Chairwoman of the Center’s board of directors, it’s good to know that my company supports the success of businesswomen around the globe. And through efforts like today’s mentoring event, FedEx hopes to provide military families and women the support they need to succeed, both personally and professionally.

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