Note: This is the second in a series of interviews that were conducted in celebration of Women’s History Month
Name and profession:
Maj. Katie Rivera, WSMR McAfee Health Clinic Deputy Commander for Nursing. Rivera has served in the Army for 15 years.
What is it like to be a female in your profession?
“For the nursing profession it’s a little bit different. The majority of the workforce is female, it’s normal. I’m an ICU nurse. The ICU’s and EDU’s are the most balanced in gender versus the other units. Throughout my career I have had both female and male supervisors and they have both been positive experiences.”
Have you faced any challenges as a female in your profession?
“Personally, I haven’t faced any challenges. I attribute it to being in the medical field. This may be different from what other females experience in their professions because nursing is predominantly a female profession.”
Do you think it’s easier to be a woman now in the 21st Century than in years past?
“I’m sure it is. Our current Army Surgeon General is the first female serving in that capacity and she’s doing a great job. Our commander at McAfee is a female and the previous WSMR Commanding General was a female. These women in the past who were successful in their career really paved the way for the rest of us. “
What advice do you have for young females who are just starting off?
“Working hard, treating everyone with respect and being competent at your job earn the respect of others.”
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
“The best advice I’ve ever received is from my father when I was commissioned into the Army. He told me, ‘don’t ask anyone to do something you wouldn’t do yourself.’ He was enlisted in the Navy and wanted to make sure that I as an officer treated everyone with respect.”
How do you balance being a mother and having a professional career?
“I’m fortunate now in my career that I work mostly Monday through Friday and am home every night. It’s easier for me than for some nurses and Soldiers who are doing shift work. When I’m at home I have a 15-year-old step son who keeps me busy with sports and I have an 18-month-old son who keeps us busy with his own activities.”
What has it been like to be a female in the military?
“It’s been a privilege. I’ve very much enjoyed my military career so far. I’ve had great opportunities and I’m honored to serve my country.”