Women in AFCEA Commemorates Its Fifth Anniversary
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.
The group marked its fifth anniversary in February at West in San Diego by honoring past speakers, sponsors and award winners. The event included a stirring keynote speech on women in the workforce by Rear Adm. Danelle Barrett, USN, Navy Cyber Security Division director, and ended with the presentation of the Women’s Appreciation Awards.
Women in AFCEA panels have grown in attendance each year and now take place at the Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium and TechNet Augusta and TechNet Asia-Pacific events. These panels are followed by a “meet the panelists” reception sponsored by Walker and Associates and Ciena Corp.
Women in AFCEA continues to raise the visibility of women in STEM fields and encourages more women to join the association. SIGNAL Magazine won an APEX Award for its 2016 series of interviews on high-ranking women in STEM, including Vice Adm. Nancy Norton, USN, and Gen. Ellen M. Pawlikowski, USAF. Visit http://women.afcea.org to read the articles—you’ll be fascinated by their personal stories.
“A long career with many AFCEA touch points has created wonderful opportunities to learn, grow and give back—professional colleagues, international policy perspectives, shared challenges and solutions and developing the cadre of future contributors—what’s not to like?” asks Lucinda T. Spaney, director, The MITRE Corp. National Security Engineering Center. “I encourage women to engage. It’s a rewarding experience.”
At the chapter level, a strong network of women’s outreach leaders is working hard to fulfill Women in AFCEA’s mission. This year they will be focusing on STEM and ensuring that girls and women apply for chapter scholarships and grants by connecting them with organizations such as Girls Who Code. Many of them also are organizing women-centered events for their chapters.
Additionally, Women in AFCEA is leading the charge to inspire more women to apply for committee slots at AFCEA International, including the executive committee and the board of directors.
“Women in AFCEA has encouraged my entrepreneurial spirit that enabled me to effect change by recognizing more women, providing more women with leadership roles and impacting the association’s future strategy,” says Ashley Becker, chair of Women in AFCEA and manager, financial services, EY.
As always, the group wants to recognize those who support women. If you know someone who has actively supported female professionals by facilitating introductions, mentoring, advocating for promotions or supporting and promoting STEM scholarships, be sure to nominate that person for a Women’s Appreciation Award. Men and women are eligible for the award.
If you are interested in engaging with Women in AFCEA, join the LinkedIn group at http://tinyurl.com/l7z3at2 and look for updates on upcoming events as well as coverage in this magazine.