179 AW Airman Promotes Diversity Through Personal Experiences
By Story by Airman 1st Class Alexis Wade, 179th Airlift Wing
/ Published February 02, 2020
MANSFIELD LAHM AIRPORT, Ohio --
For Master Sergeant Natalie McGhee, member of the Equal Opportunity Office, 179th Airlift Wing, Mansfield, Ohio, she recognizes the importance of diversity within organizations and has seen the correlation between diversity and the success of programs and hopes to spread the word to continue to making the Air Force a more diverse organization to continue striving towards excellence.
Diversity means having a different thought process as well as different backgrounds and experiences, its more focused on the different thought processes verses different skin color, said McGhee.
“Diversity is important because we have to recruit and retain the best talent to reach our optimal potential.”
Throughout her 14 years of service in the Air National Guard, McGhee says she believes the Air Force is moving in the right direction, and hopes to continue seeing an improvement. McGhee does what she can to be proactive about fostering a conducive environment for diversity to grow.
“I remember being the only black girl in my section, it was uncomfortable,” said McGhee. “I didn’t have anyone to talk to but thankfully I found a mentor and stayed in the Guard. 14 years later it is definitely it’s easier and for me, and I try to mentor the young black girls here that are wanting to get out of the military, I do my best to help them find a fit here.”
As a member of EO, we go out and get to know people, we make sure everyone is comfortable and included. We are getting these diverse groups of people, but if they don’t feel included they’re not going to want to stay. So when we talk about diversity, we need to talk about inclusion as they go hand in hand.
To be diverse, we need to make sure we go out into different areas of the state to recruit some of the best people. We want our base to mirror our communities. We want a group of innovators so that we have the best people sitting at the table making the decisions for our base.
Moving forward, in order to continue to make the Air Force more diverse and inclusive, McGhee believes we need to focus our thought process on what individuals bring to the table.
“It’s not always about the color of someone’s skin, its more so about who can new bring in to make our total force better,” said McGhee. “We’re looking for the best and the brightest, if that person happens to be Asian or Latino, whatever the case may be, then we need them at our table to make the air force better”