“It was an incredible honour to show the progress of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) as the two most senior (Officer and Non-Commissioned Member) deployed women within the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) at the time. We were making change – globally – just by being who we are.”
Chief Petty Officer 1st Class (CPO1) Alena Mondelli completed the greatest experience of her career thus far in August 2019, when she concluded her rotation as a member of Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Toronto deployed on Operation REASSURANCE.
“As a Senior Officer and Senior non-commissioned member, we spoke as a ‘leadership team’ about our experiences not only as RCN leaders, but how gender integration has assisted in transforming and leading the way to an inclusive and diverse CAF and RCN.”
The experience really drove the point home for CPO1 Mondelli that sailors, especially female sailors, need to see, talk with and learn from their female role models in the armed forces.
“It took a long time, and with some stern assertion from one of my mentors, for me to acknowledge that I needed to say I was a ‘female sailor’ and not just ‘a sailor’.”
For the majority of her 28 year career, especially in the early years, Mondelli made an effort to not associate her gender with what she did to avoid…