Ensuring Women Keep Making STEM History

July 27, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
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AFCEA hosts its first panel addressing the issue at TechNet Augusta next week.


Much attention has been focused on recent achievements by women who crack or break traditional glass ceilings. In its recent series on Women in STEM, SIGNAL has highlighted many of these achievements.

We’re keeping this momentum of women in power going—and next week in Georgia, AFCEA International will host its first Women in STEM panel at TechNet Augusta.

SIGNAL Media laid the ground work with a series of online articles that ran over 10 weeks addressing the issue of why many women leave STEM jobs or educational pursuits after working so hard to gain entry into the field. The articles featured interviews with prominent women who stuck with their careers, despite some hurdles, and provided salient points as they shared thoughts on sexual harassment, the pay gap, waning student interest and the need for mentors.

Next week at TechNet Augusta, AFCEA will host its a panel, "Why Are Women Leaving STEM?" to discuss solutions aimed at narrowing the widening gender gap.

Panelists include Brig. Gen. Maria Barrett, USA, deputy commander for the Cyber National Mission Force at the U.S. Cyber Command, where she directs and synchronizes full spectrum cyberspace operations; Evetta-DiRee McGuire, a senior program manager at ManTech International Corporation; Cindy Moran, president and managing partner with Pikes Way LLC; and Joanne Sexton, assistant professor of computer science at Augusta University, who was instrumental in establishing a new undergraduate IT degree there and was named the first director of the Augusta University Cyber Institute. 

Although women make up nearly half the U.S. work force, they constitute just 24 percent of STEM workers, the U.S. Census Bureau reports. Experts offer that this imbalance stems from several causes, ranging from the proverbial glass ceiling to antiquated and damaging stereotypes about women’s math and science abilities, issues of women feeling as if they do not belong, sexual harassment, financial concerns and lack of recognition. 

AFCEA's first women's panel takes place August 3 in the Engagement Theater at TechNet Augusta. The conversation continues during a networking reception immediately following the session courtesy of panel sponsors Walker and Associates and Ciena.

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