Nurturing excellence: empowering women in maintenance through mentorship and community

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kaitlyn Oiler
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany – To promote gender diversity and inclusivity within the community, Airmen within the 86th Maintenance Group held the ‘Women of Maintenance Empowerment’ event at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Nov. 3, 2023.

This event aimed to promote mentorship, followership and support to the 46 of 608 Airmen that are women in maintenance roles within the 86th MXG.

“My goal was to bring women of maintenance together and give us a place where we can mentor, encourage and empower each other to be better versions of ourselves,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Francina Matos, 86th MXG quality assurance inspector and event organizer.

This event played a role in fostering community through discussion and inspiring stories from a guest speaker in another male-dominated career field, Security Forces.

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Kellie Sawn, 28th Security Forces Squadron unit deployment manager, was the Lady Eagles program developer while stationed at Ramstein AB three years ago with the 569th United States Forces Police Squadron.

Sawn shared her motivation behind creating a mentorship program for women in Security Forces at Ramstein, which had inspired a similar program to start in the 86th MXG.

In the coming months, maintenance Airmen will see more opportunities to find mentors or mentor others.

“This event allowed maintenance Airmen a platform to educate others on their new mentorship program,” said Matos. “It was networking at its best!”

The ‘Women of Maintenance Empowerment’ event sets a positive example for promoting diversity and inclusivity in the military, inspiring women to excel in maintenance roles and motivating the next generation of leaders.