Bonnie Kanitz, Defense Commissary Agency, East Region director, recalled a time when a job interview began with a few unflattering inquiries.
“Are you married? Do you have children? – These questions were inevitable and exclusive to female job seekers, and marked a time in history when women’s role in society were strictly domestic.
Today, Kanitz said, women have broken through the “glass ceiling” of stereotype and gender barriers.
“We have seen a lot of changes, and have many opportunities that didn’t exist 30 years ago,” said Kanitz as guest speaker for the event. “Young women today can look to a wealth of opportunities and choices. A baby born in America this year will grow up in a society more inclined to judge her potential on the basis of her abilities, talents and character, and not her gender.”
Kanitz has 32 years of commissary management experience, beginning in 1975. She was the first woman to be selected as regional manager and a senior executive service member within DeCA. She is responsible for 99 commissaries in 28 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
This year’s theme, “Generations of Women: Moving History Forward,” celebrates the wisdom and tenacity of past and future generations of women, and recognizes the impact of generations working together, said Sgt. 1st Class Deia Washington, equal opportunity advisor.
“Moving history forward is a process of individuals coming together and confirming the ideas that working together can be effective in building a better and more compassionate world.”
The event also featured Spc. Yvonne Brooks, chaplain assistant, reciting the Maya Angelou poem, “Phenomenal Woman.” Sgt. 1st Class Myra Austin, HHC, 262nd Quartermaster Battalion, performed the National Anthem. Fort Lee Soldiers and family members represented famous female contributors in a performance entitled, “Who Am I” and the Lee Playhouse Drama Team performed a Women’s History skit.