Women in Transition

Definition of Women in Transition

A woman in transition is a woman who is at a crossroads and in the process of moving from one phase to the next. In some cases it may be a woman going through a divorce, or a stay-at-home mom returning to the workforce now that her kids are more independent. It could be a woman facing the future after the death of a loved one for whom she was the primary caregiver. It is any woman experiencing change who needs support and assistance to determine her vision of her future and charting a course to get there.


Cycles of Women’s Lives

The cyclical nature of women’s lives means that we’ll all face periods of transition and change. The chance to begin again or follow a different path is something more and more women are embracing – or talking about doing. Change often happens when we see others accomplish what we want to do ourselves.

Women Veterans In Transition

Women Veterans in Transition – A BPW Foundation Research Project

Business and Professional Women’s (BPW) Foundation conducted a research project entitled Working women Speak Out II: Women Veterans in Transition to provide insight into the experiences of women veterans as they transition from the military into the civilian workforce.


Over 1600 women were surveyed and the results have sparked action to help create better employment transitioning programs for applicable support for women veterans.


Veteran’s Research – an Overview

The transition from the military into the civilian workforce for women veterans may be a longer and more complex process than previously thought by those working with women veterans. “One day you were in the military, the next day you are responding to entirely different responsibilities in the civilian world,” according to many women veterans.


Snapshot on Education-Related Issues

Over 80 percent of the over 1600 survey respondents had some college education at the time of their separation and this number increases to over 90 percent of respondents with some college or more at the time of their survey response. Of that number, approximately 60 percent used military benefits to attain their current level of education.


The research found that older, college-educated veterans were more likely to look for work prior to their separation and were much more likely to say they found a job with which they were happy. They were also more likely to say they understood the value of the skills developed in the military in the civilian workforce. They also reported more success in taking classes to improve job specific skills, but still less than half – 46 percent – did so. However, more than half, nearly 60 percent, who took such a course reported it as being useful, and such women veterans were more likely to be happy with the job they found.


For information on how your organization can support the Women Veterans in Transition Research Project, visit www.bpwfoundation.org – Women Veterans in Transition Research Project


The population of women veterans in the United States is projected to continue to rise reaching 1.9 million in 2020 when they will make up 10 percent of the veteran population. It is estimated that 150,000 women will transition out of the military over the next five years. This program is dedicated to veterans transitioning from the military into civilian professional life providing a number of resources including education, networking, encouragement and mentoring.

What is the Women Joining Forces (WJF) program?

Millions of America’s bravest and most exceptional women serve our country in the Armed Forces. Upon fulfillment of their patriotic duty, these women face the challenge of successfully transitioning into civilian life and the workforce. Women veterans evolve into corporate professionals, civic leaders, and pillars of our communities . It is with their needs in mind at this time of transition that Business & Professional Women (BPW) created the Women Joining Forces – Closing Ranks, Opening Doors program to express appreciation and support for our heroic women veterans.


How does the program support female veterans?
Business and Professional Women’s Foundation (BPW) and its Advisory Councils and employer partners will provide oversight, mentor training, research and analysis of Joining Forces Mentoring PlusT. As members, these women will have full access to the many benefits that BPW offers through its state and local networks including:

  • Leadership Opportunities
  • Peer Mentoring
  • Networking Events
  • Professional Development Training
  • Continuing Education Scholarships

Women Joining Forces