Innovative ideas may hold the key to thwarting cyber adversaries emboldened by opportunities offered in the COVID-19 pandemic. And, the source of these innovative approaches may be diverse personnel who break the mold of conventional cybersecurity professionals.
Women in AFCEA
When Rear Adm. Danelle Barrett, USN (Ret.), joined the Navy in 1989, she couldn’t program her VCR. Now she’s proud to say she can program a router. A history major who grew up in Buffalo, New York, and graduated from Boston University, she hoped to escape the cold weather when she joined the Navy.
“I want to live somewhere warm, I don’t even care what the job is,” Adm. Barrett admitted during the Women in the Workforce: A Journey in STEM virtual event. “So it was serendipity that somebody looked out for me and gave me a great job in communications on my first tour.”
From plumbing to space travel, the vast majority of future good-paying jobs will involve technology. Not only will these careers offer regularly increased salaries but also opportunities for advancement and, even more importantly, independence. These are some of Irma Becerra’s beliefs borne of personal experience, a deep passion for technology and a personal purpose in education.
Laahiri Chalasani’s passion for STEM didn’t really begin until college. Now, as senior manager of Lab Experience at the Children’s Science Center in Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax, Virginia, and co-founder of the Latina SciGirls program in Northern Virginia, she lives and breathes it. And, she wants to make sure it doesn’t take young girls until college to build their STEM confidence.
All the involved parties concerned about cybersecurity must find new ways of cooperation to meet the changing threat picture, experts say. These efforts ought to begin in elementary school, where children should be introduced to cyber and encouraged to stay out of trouble that would prevent them from pursuing a career in cybersecurity.
From humble beginnings as a subcommittee of the AFCEA International Membership Committee in 2013, Women in AFCEA has greatly expanded its offerings at both the international and chapter levels over the past five years.
The first female-centered event was hosted at AFCEA headquarters in 2014. Now, an annual Women’s Appreciation Event is held at the West Conference, and several women’s panels take place throughout the year.
I was walking our two dogs listening to a “Stuff Mom Never Told You” podcast when the women in STEM idea piqued my interest. The topic intrigued me mostly because I thought in 2016 the issue of gender in the workplace had been settled. In a way, I was right. Career options for women were no longer limited to teaching, nursing or the nunnery.
Unlike my colleague Maryann Lawlor, who was told she could be one of three things growing up–a teacher, a nurse or a nun–I was never told I could not do something because I was a girl. I never felt like I had to be quiet in class to get a good grade or let my older brother win video games to make him like me. I played soccer and swam on the swim team just like all the boys, and later was a lifeguard alongside many of them. I treated them as equals and felt respected in return. They were simply my friends.
Lt. Gen. VeraLinn “Dash” Jamieson, USAF, is thankful that her ears bleed in unpressurized aircraft cabins.
She might not otherwise have become an intelligence officer, and now the deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and the Air Force’s senior intelligence officer.
She entered the Air Force through the ROTC program at West Virginia University, and was awestruck by motivational leaders who helped her develop a yearning to become a pilot.
But her ears bled.
The energy in the room was palpable and sporadic buzzing and murmurs were heard as a panel of successful women in the cyber world on Wednesday shared tales of their challenges, opportunities, educational paths and hopes for improving the environment for future generations, seeking to make a difference.
The story of the women who helped create the first large-scale computer to run at electronic speed often goes unnoticed and unappreciated. Women in AFCEA aims to change that.
It’s not easy for some women to find their voices among the cacophonous male-dominated chatter of the technology world, much less getting it heard by others—especially leaders.
How should women handle the frustrating problem of posing a question during a staff meeting, only to have it fall on deaf ears—an issue made worse when she then slides a sticky note to a male peer who asks it, gets it acknowledged and earns praise for it?
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.
For 10 weeks, we have addressed the issue of women in STEM and why many leave the field after working so hard to earn their college degrees. For 10 weeks, we've run features on prominent women who stuck with their careers in science, technology, engineering and math, despite some hurdles. For 10 weeks, salient points have reverberated as leaders talk about the sexual harassment, the pay gap, waning student interest and the need for mentors. But we're not done talking about it. Next month, AFCEA International hosts its first Women in STEM panel at TechNet Augusta to tackle the issue. You should join us.
It is said that leaders aren’t born, they’re made—and Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski embodies the notion. Motivated early on by her strong and determined mother, and then tested in her pursuit to prevail at a male-dominated career in a male-dominated world, she inspires today’s young women seeking to become the next generation of scientists, technology experts, engineers and mathematicians. SIGNAL Media and AFCEA International’s Women in AFCEA address the issue in a multi-month project to highlight women in STEM.
The foundation to build the next generation of scientists, technology experts, engineers and mathematicians must be set in elementary school, particularly if the nation is going to include women in its pool of qualified STEM candidates. The United States trails other industrialized nations in education, particularly in math and science. One set of results ranked the United States 35th out of 64 countries in math and 27th in science. SIGNAL Media and AFCEA International’s Women in AFCEA address the issue in a multi-month project to highlight women in STEM.
If you had 60 seconds to introduce yourself, could you get your message across? When forming new connections, your seemingly simple elevator pitch becomes a Hail Mary pass—one shot to get it right—and you can’t try again if you fumble.
Understanding how to communicate your story effectively is just one important skill for women—and really anyone, regardless of gender—hoping to take risks and achieve results in the workplace, explained Shelley Smith, founder and president of Premier Rapport, during the inaugural Women in AFCEA fall event. Ask yourself, “Is the risk greater if I do or is the risk greater if I don’t?”
The Women Subcommittee of the AFCEA International Membership Committee organized the Women in AFCEA Appreciation Event at West 2014, honoring three women who mentored and inspired female AFCEA members. Recipients of the Women in AFCEA Award were Sue Hoffman, AFCEA regional vice president of the National Capital Region; Becky Nolan, previous executive vice president of AFCEA; and Capt. Danelle Barrett, USN, chief of staff, Navy Cyber Forces.