Veteran pushes for women empowerment in career networking

brooke iraq 2010 Veteran pushes for women empowerment in career networking

U.S. Army veteran Brooke Jones-Chinetti in Iraq in 2010. (Photo courtesy of Brooke Jones-Chinetti)

By Caitlin M. Kenney

When Brooke Jones-Chinetti left the U.S. Army in 2015, finding a network of women for mentorship and career advice was tough.

The U.S. Military Academy graduate had a successful career as a human resources officer, including participating in the pilot program for women in combat arms. But when it came to her own human resources journey, she realized how difficult it was for veterans to change to careers.

“It was pretty scary. I would say for veterans who are so adventurous and risk taking in terms of our careers, pretty risk adverse when it comes to career decisions,” Jones-Chinetti said.

“I’ve seen it through my own personal experience and then now, kind of what I do in my career, like really able to see the struggle that veterans have.”

brooke reenlisting soldier 2014 Veteran pushes for women empowerment in career networking

U.S. Army veteran Brooke Jones-Chinetti re-enlisting of one of her soldiers in 2014. (Photo courtesy of Brooke Jones-Chinetti)

Jones-Chinetti is the Director of Operations for the Office of Military and Veterans Affairs at JP Morgan Chase & Co. Previously, she was the CEO for a non-profit called VetTechTrek (now a for-profit company called Shift) that helped veterans transition into corporate America.

During her time there, she saw the entrepreneurial spirit in veterans.

When Jones-Chinetti ran the non-profit’s inaugural female veteran summit, taking women to tour several companies in New York including Birchbox and Facebook, she “watched light bulbs go off in these women’s heads.”

Jones-Chinetti realized “we have to connect women to more women.”

She founded Your Sequel in 2016, which focuses on transitioning women veterans and providing them with information, mentorship and networking with women in corporate America.

The mentors and network that Jones-Chinetti had when she was applying to civilian jobs were all career military men who could not help her with questions unique to a transitioning woman veteran, such as salary negotiations or being asked whether she is planning for children.

Jones-Chinetti now has her own network of females that she said she found through introductions, meeting the right people, and even luck.

“But it shouldn’t be luck,” she said. “This is why we’re making Your Sequel, so that we can provide women, really a network. Because women empowering other women, I swear to God, it’s going to change the world.”

In partnership with the Service Women’s Action Network, we are featuring an inspiring woman veteran each month. Check out last month’s featured woman veteran: Janiece Marquez.

Connect: @CaitlinMKenney | Caitlin@ConnectingVets.com

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