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  1. Blog
  2. Partners in Diversity
  3. March 20, 2023

One Woman Veteran on Having a Voice at Her Company & Finding Belonging

“I have watched the company morph into a space where women veterans are not invisible”

Woman veteran finding belonging
Photo courtesy of Edgar Colomba

This article is part of InHerSight's Partners in Diversity series. Discover companies partnering with InHerSight to better support women in the workplace.

The Pew Research Center predicts women will make up 18 percent of veterans by 2045—a little over a decade away. Yet support for veterans, let alone women veterans, often remains on the sidelines of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts, even though serving in the military is a life-altering experience that can impact identity, disability status, education, and work experience. 

Alisha Hall, an integrated transformer management specialist, is a veteran. She joined Hitachi Energy, a sustainable energy manufacturer, almost six years ago, after serving in the Air Force for 11 years. While the transition to civilian life is challenging for many who’ve served in the armed forces, Hall says Hitachi Energy has allowed her to tap into her military skills and grow her career, while also providing a place to connect with people with paths like hers.

We reached out to Hall to learn more about the inclusive culture Hitachi Energy has created and the ways in which other companies can support women veterans. This is how one sustainable energy company is making the future—and careers—brighter for all. 

Alisha Hall

Integrated Transformer Management Specialist for North American Marketing and Sales Team

What do you do for Hitachi Energy? 

As an integrated transformer management specialist for the North American marketing and sales team, I currently assist in driving continuous improvement using the fundamentals of our lean management system, ITM. Some of my main focuses involve: driving our “learn-go-do” approach, improving our culture, and focusing on waste elimination. I assist in leading activities in the marketing and sales function to drive ITM maturity and develop standard work practices. The ITM team is instrumental in working cross-functionally to support training, coaching, and employee engagement throughout our facilities, and I am assisting in providing commercial and technical training for the marketing and sales team.

You’re a veteran. How has the transition to civilian life been for you, and how has your career evolved?

Joining the civilian workplace has probably one of my biggest challenges. I found there were very few places that treated women veterans as equals, even within military communities. 

Women veterans at events were often pushed off to the auxiliary rooms or seated with the wives, not their “brothers.” Women veterans, in particular, often do not share their struggles upon returning to civilian life, and most of the time, people cannot identify that the women sitting next to them in the office served in the military. It often felt like once people knew I was a veteran, it overshadowed the rest of my skills and personality.  

I have not experienced this since I joined the Hitachi Energy group in 2018 as a customer success representative. In 2020, I advanced to a special project, due to familiarity with military processes and government requirements. My extensive experience in training and documentation from previous roles, and from serving in the Air Force, was instrumental in catapulting me into my current position in March 2022

Hitachi Energy

Sustainability champion Hitachi Energy earns top scores for Ability to Telecommute, Learning Opportunities, and The People You Work With, all perfect or near perfect ratings. One very satisfied rater says: “Hitachi Energy continues to put DE&I at the front of everything we do. I am proud to work for a company that supports the unique backgrounds of their employees and allows you to bring your full self to work.” Explore employee ratings, company benefits, and open opportunities at Hitachi Energy now! 

Learn more ›

Tell us more about Hitachi Energy’s support of women veterans. Why is that so remarkable?

In my five-plus years of employment at Hitachi Energy, I have watched the company morph into a space where women veterans are not invisible, giving us a voice in places like the Military and Allies Resource Group. As of today, there are approximately two million women veterans in the civilian workforce, and that number is estimated to rise by 18,000 per year for the next decade. This means companies across the globe are going to need to create spaces in the private sector where roles and goals are clear. Hitachi Energy’s commitment to strategic development planning has been instrumental in setting us apart from other companies. By acknowledging veterans and their contributions in our company, Hitachi Energy has created a support system and become a catalyst for change.

In terms of support, what would be most impactful for women veterans moving forward?

In the Institute for Veterans and Military Families' November 2022 report, more than 40 percent of women veterans said, “finding a mentor was a part of their top three challenges.” Although most manufacturing facilities are male-dominated, I have been privileged to have several different women mentors assist me in tackling challenges both personally and professionally. These resources have been instrumental in my career growth and show Hitachi Energy is leading the way hiring women talent across all career opportunities. 

I take a lot of pride in being a veteran, and since having joined the civilian world, I have had one main objective. I want to transform how women veterans are treated when they arrive home, both in the workplace and by the general public. I believe part of my mission now is supporting veterans by being a mentor within Hitachi Energy.

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