Diversity and inclusion the focus of presentation

  • Published
  • By Mark Wyatt
  • 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs
HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – The Air Force’s first chief of Diversity and Inclusion came here July 24 to discuss ways to create a culture where all members of the workforce are valued equally and contribute to the mission.

Chief Master Sgt. Janna Wesley, who is now the superintendent of Military Force Policy for the Directorate of Military Force Management Policy in Washington D.C., spoke about diversity and inclusion.

“When you think about diversity and inclusion, there are four words I want you to think about: attract, recruit, develop and retain,” she said. “We need diversity and inclusion to fly, fight and win.”

Wesley served as the chief of Diversity and Inclusion at Headquarters Air Force from July 2016 to May 2018. In that role, the chief developed and delivered awareness training across the Air Force.

Wesley put a huge emphasis on communication, even saying that she’d amend the Air Force motto to ‘Fly, Fight, Win … and Talk.’ She said she was confident the base populous would pull together and help a family that just lost its house in a fire, but added that we don’t necessarily respond to one another that way on a daily basis.

“It shouldn’t take a fire for us to come together,” Wesley said.

In an article published last year on af.mil outlining Air Force D&I initiatives, Air Force senior leaders highlighted the need to support an environment that will enhance the ability to recruit from the broadest possible pool of talent, solve the toughest challenges and engage the full power of an innovative force.

Galen Williams, Hanscom’s Diversity and Inclusion manager, who hosted Wesley during her visit, explained the significance of having her speak to members of the workforce.

“The chief’s presentation was important to the Diversity and Inclusion Program at Hanscom,” said Williams. “We have to recognize and appreciate the importance of having this topic discussed here and throughout the Air Force.”

During her one-hour presentation in the chapel annex, Wesley encouraged personnel to set the example for others in their respective organizations.

“People listen to what you say, but they also tend to follow what you do,” she said. “You can talk all day, but if you don’t do something to back up what you said, they’re going to follow what you do.”

Wesley offered two presentations for the Hanscom community. Following each presentation, the chief answered questions from attendees.

For one airman who has been in the Air Force for less than nine months, Wesley’s presentation meant a lot.

“This is something we should have more conversations about,” said Airman Linda Carrasco, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Detachment 7 personnelist, who was born in Venezuela. “Some topics are uncomfortable for people, but because they are uncomfortable, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have them. I think her presentation was the start of a good conversation.”

To learn more about the D&I program at Hanscom, contact Williams at 781-225-5586 or by email at galen.williams@us.af.mil.