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CAMP CASEY, South Korea — Inequities for women still exist in the workplace despite recent progress, panel members said Thursday at the Women’s History Month panel discussion at the Gateway Club.

The seven-member panel of women in Area I leadership roles answered questions regarding women’s roles and what they see as future challenges.

Lt. Col. Bridget Rourke said she knew that when she joined the Army, she never was going to be a division commander.

“When I look up at that next level, it’s predominantly men,” said Rourke, Special Troops Battalion commander.

Part of the difficulty in climbing over that barrier is that married women don’t always forge the informal relationships they need with men to reach those higher posts, she said.

Rourke advised women to concentrate on what they can control, judge themselves against their own goals and avoid discouragement from unsavory or incompetent individuals.

“Just say to yourself … ‘I’m glad I’m not that guy, thank you, lord,’” she said.

Not long ago, society thought something was wrong with women who pursued professions other than teaching and nursing, said Command Sgt. Maj. Diane Foster of the 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade.

Eliminating the “glass ceiling” and getting leaders to recognize skill over gender must continue to be a top priority, panelists said.

“It’s much better than it was 15 to 20 years ago but it still exists,” said Lt. Col. Elizabeth Bierden, 2nd Infantry Division.

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