Highest ranked civilian at SMDC details how far women have risen in the workforce

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – There are a lot of important people on Redstone Arsenal.  This week Julie Schumacher, the Deputy to the Commander of the Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC), Army Forces Strategic Command stopped by WHNT News 19 to give her perspective on what it is like for women in the workplace there, and how far they have come over the past few decades.

Schumacher is the first woman to hold the highest position with the SMDC that a civilian can hold.  She is the equivalent of a three-star general, were she to be in the military.  Twenty years ago, a woman holding this position would have been much less likely.

“I think back to my mother’s experience,” said Schumacher. “She was a charter member of the Army Ballistic Missile Defense organization and the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, and I talked to her about it.  Could she envision back in her early career, a female having this type of position, or a woman being the deputy center director at Marshall? Which we have now. Could she even fathom that, and she said ‘Absolutely not!’  It just wasn’t in the cards for women back then.  So I think we’ve come a long way in the last few decades.”

View portions of our interview with Julie Schumacher here: