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Scott AFB officer helped develop Air Force policy changes for women

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Solomon Cook, 375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs Office

Leading from the front is nothing new for Capt. Sarah Berheide, a 375th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron operations support flight commander. As part of the Air Force’s 2019 Women’s Initiative Team, she helped develop policy changes for women, and is being featured during this week's virtual Women’s Air and Space Power Symposium, March 8-10.

“I joined the team under the Women’s Specialized Healthcare line of effort where we tackled several policy barriers such as the lactation room policy, female hair policy, permissive TDY for infertility treatments and reimbursement for breast milk transport,” Berheide said. “Most of the barriers topics we tackled came from highly motivated Airmen who reached out to our team ready to solve a problem that was affecting them or one of their fellow Airmen.”

Bherheide’s team gathered information for each policy and then advocated for the various changes.

“We did of research and surveys to figure out the root cause of the problem and how many Airmen were being affected by it. We went on a senior leader roadshow advertising our policy proposal, and gathered support … and constructive feedback on our ideas.”

She said they’ve had a pretty good success rate of getting their initial proposals fully implemented into policy.

“On the ones we didn’t get approved fully, we plan to keep going after it. I take the most pride in being a part of a team that is just absolutely relentless. Being told ‘no’ just adds fuel to our fire.” The symposium is being held under the Secretary of the Air Force’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion umbrella and is focused on improving force readiness and building knowledge among the Airman, Guardians, and leaders who attend.

Topics include learning about women, peace and security initiatives, leading change, fostering inclusion, military families, bystander empowerment, resilience, mental health and other relevant and timely topics.

Registration for the symposium can be found here.