Female Vets Have Tougher Time Finding Work - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Female Vets Have Tougher Time Finding Work


Female veterans have a tougher time getting a job than their male counterparts.

That's according to a new jobs report.

Donzella Johnson of Smyrna left the National Guard in 2009 after serving for 30 years.

"With all the education and training I had I thought there would be no problem for me to find a job," said Johnson.

That soon changed.

"It took only six months for me to lose my home in Middletown, my car, everything that we owned. I ended up walking everywhere to put in job applications and getting on a bus and spending the entire day just going to places," said Johnson.

Without any job opportunities, Johnson soon became homeless.

"I questioned God. I've been in the military this long. Why am I homeless? Why am I here struggling so bad?" Johnson asked.

She soon realized that wasn't alone. 

Women outside the military have a harder time getting a job.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. unemployment rate for female vets dropped 6.6 percent in July. That's down from 7.3 percent a year ago. That's below the national jobless rate of 7.4 percent, but above the 6.4 percent rate for male veterans.

"There's so much you have to consider with the female population as far as being out here in the workforce.

Johnson says female vets who have a lack of transportation, underlying illness or children are hindered from getting hired.

"It's not as if they are not as talented as their male counterparts. Often times, most of the males veterans that are unemployed don't have the additional worries," said Johnson.

Johnson later found the National Guard armory in Smyrna.

"They had a big job fair so I caught the bus here in Smyrna. It took me three hours to get here," said Johnson.

Johnson says she got someone to help her work on her resume and she was surprised at what she heard.

"I put that I had over 20 years of experience in certain areas. They said that's the wrong thing to put on a resume. They said when an employer is looking to hire someone, yes they want someone with experience, but at the same time they want to know how long are you willing to work," said Johnson.

She said often times veterans are hired for an entry level position.

"Employers want to know how long are you willing to work for a company if you're like me, 55 years old, and you're a veteran and you could be getting a retirement at the age of 60," said Johnson.

She later she got hired at the Delaware Health and Social Services office in Smyrna.

Now, she says she finds solace in giving back to the National guard, homeless veterans and other organizations.

"If I can help someone in the same situation as me I've done my job. I went through that for a reason and I think the reason was to give my own testimonial and give other veterans hope like I have," said Johnson.

During the time that Johnson was unemployed, she says she stored all of her belongings in a storage unit.

She couldn't afford to pay the fee, so the owner auctioned off everything inside, including her medals and pictures of her in uniform.

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