Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Role Model: Imani Brown

The United States Navy is only about 16% female. To find out a little bit about what being part of that percentage is like, I talked to my good friend, Imani.



Liz: To begin, how long have you been in the Navy?
Imani
: A year in mid-December
Liz
: What influenced you to join the Navy?
Imani
: Well, I didn't really feel like I was at the point that I wanted to be in my life. I didn't want to go to the college I was at and I wanted to get out of Maine. Being that a lot of my family have been through the military I decided that it would probably be a good spring board for me. So that's why I joined The Navy.
Liz
: There are gender divisions within the Navy, do you see that affecting male-female relationships?
Imani
: Not really. It's more like high school than most people realize. Just think of a ship as being a big high school. It's just like that.
Liz
: Ha-ha. How do you view your place in the Navy in relation to you being female? Do you think that affects how you are treated at all?
Imani
: I think that any place you work being female will always play a huge role. So yes, it does affect how we're treated but I think if you bring your A-game people will look past that. There are A LOT of young women in the Navy who don't carry themselves in an appropriate manner which makes it much more difficult for the women who are doing otherwise. But, I think that if you're doing your job everything will fall into place. If it doesn't then I think it's your job to speak up because maybe that will show the other party that you mean business, if that makes any sense to you, ha-ha.
Liz
: Ha-ha, yes, definitely. So you speak up for yourself/others?
Imani
: Of course. That's your job as a woman that wants a successful career. Being complacent is something that should not even cross a woman's mind when it comes to their beliefs, career, life etc. You will only get stepped on otherwise, I think. And that's the last thing we need.
Liz
: Do you have any advice for a girl who might be interested in joining the Navy/Army/Air Force?
Imani: Well, don't join the Air Force because we have way better aircraft[s] ha-ha! But seriously, make sure you come with your game face on. Don't fall into the high school bullsh** because perception is everything (unfortunately) and once you have a reputation it WILL follow you. So make sure it's a good one. If you do your job then there will be smooth sailing (Ew, sorry for that pun).
Liz
: Hahaha, thanks, Imani!
Imani
: Oh man I wish there was more ha-ha. I love interviews

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