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Joint Women's Leadership Symposium (JWLS)

2020 JWLS Update

New Dates for 33rd Annual Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium to be hosted in Norfolk

Premier professional development conference for service women to be held September 1-2

Washington, DC (March 25, 2020)– The Sea Services Leadership Association (SSLA)  announces the reopening of registration for the 33rd Annual Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium for the new dates, September 1-2, 2020. The Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium to take place at the Marriott Norfolk Waterside in Norfolk, Virginia, is the largest gathering of U.S. military women in the nation. The Symposium was originally scheduled to take place in June, but is now postponed due to coronavirus concerns and travel guidance from the armed services.

This year's theme, “20/20: Leading With A Clear Vision,” will offer professional development and leadership seminars preparing women to excel in the military of today and tomorrow. The first day of the conference will be a joint services day followed by day two featuring sessions to allow discussions of branch-specific topics such as mentorship, Post Traumatic Stress, policy and family wellness. Service women and men from all Department of Defense branches, the U.S. Coast Guard, NOAA, and civilians, are encouraged to register.

“We look forward to bringing the Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium to Norfolk this year,” said SSLA President Marine Lt. Col. Jenny Storm. “Despite the need to postpone, we have a robust agenda featuring prominent military and civilian leaders that will help and prepare thousands of service members to perform to their highest potential.”

Speakers from previous years include Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer, Army Maj. Gen. Linda Singh, first African American and first female leader of the Maryland National Guard; Army Lt. Gens Laura and James Richardson, the only married three-star generals in the U.S. Army; and Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Lorna Mahlock, first African American female Marine General Officer. A full agenda for this year’s conference will be announced at a later date.

For the third year, SSLA will host a free networking and transitioning seminar at the Marriott Norfolk Waterside on Thursday September 3 for service members preparing to retire and transition to a civilian career. The seminar will offer guest speakers insight from their transitions as well as a panel of pro-military civilian employers. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in resume reviews, mock interviews, elevator pitch practice, the art of salary negotiation, mentoring, and networking best practices. Registration for the seminar is available here.

The Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium is recognized as the premier professional and personal development conference for women in the military. Past symposia have featured senior leaders from the White House, Department of Defense and the private sector. Attendees have lauded the symposium for its delivery of practical, immediately applicable knowledge and skills, and for the exposure, it has given them to a wide range of high-profile leaders and organizations. This is an event that cannot be missed for women and men of all ranks looking to benefit from networking, mentoring, education, and leadership development training.

Register for JWLS today!

Registration procedures will vary by services. Some services offer paid registration to their service members. To determine if you are eligible please follow your service-specific guidance to register for the symposium. Registrations not properly coordinated with service representatives could result in out of pocket expenses. Service Representatives are as follows:

ARMY- James (Jimmy) Cox, james.j.cox2.civ@mail.mi

NAVY - Any personnel requesting funded registration by the Navy must have command approval to attend TDY. Non-local members must be on command funded travel orders.  Registrations will be handled on a first come/first served basis with some caveats to ensure widest participation feasible. Once you have your command’s approval to attend, send the below information to  Submit your information as it appears, leaving slashes and semi colons in place.  Rank or Rate/Last Name/First Name/Command/Contact email; secondary email if desired/Local Norfolk Command? (Yes or No)/Command Approved? (Yes or No). 

Examples:   LCDR/Smith/Jennifer/USS Spruance/;; OS1/Clark/John/USFFC/

  • MARINE CORPS - Mr. Marc Sheppard
  • AIR FORCE - Per Section 030201 of the JTR, registration and travel to this symposium are authorized to be paid by the individual member's unit. If you would like a sample memo requesting unit funds, please contact:
  • COAST GUARD - Coast Guard will release an ALCOAST for registration guidance. Coast Guard members requesting to attend on orders shall not register until the authorized by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (CG-127). Members not attending on orders can register at this time. Members should begin routing a TDY worksheet through their chain. Use form CG-2070 (06/13). For additional clarification and guidance, email LCDR Kristen R. Jaekel at
  • If you have any questions about registration please reach out to Julia Zamrowski

We have a room block at the govt rate at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott (address 235 E Main St, Norfolk, VA 23510) which is where the symposium will be held.  

Book Now!

Due to the limited amount of rooms and the number of military members traveling these rooms will go quickly.  The deadline to book a reservation in the room block is August 10, 2020.

Find out more at

About JWLS

  • The Joint Women's Leadership Symposium (JWLS) is open to Active, Reserve and Retired Military service members from all service branches, DoD Civilians, the National Guard, NOAA and our international allies.
  • The Symposium is planned and executed by the Sea Services Leadership Association (SSLA).
  • The Symposium is the largest gathering of military women in the nation and has been recognized as the premier professional and personal development conference for women in the military.

JWLS Impact

In 2018, over 83 percent of the participants agreed that JWLS impacted their attitudes towards continuing their military service.

"Before attending JWLS I was struggling with my place within my organization and if I wanted to continue my service.  After attending and hearing what some of these powerful, successful women had to say, it reminded me of my purpose and why I joined in the first place." - JWLS 2018 Attendee

Highlights from JWLS 2019

To view all 300+ photos from the event visit our 2019 JWLS flickr page

Links & Downloads



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