Opportunities to network are a huge benefit for AFCEA members, and attending events is the best way to focus on expanding your contacts list.
Our chapters also offer women-focused programs: Women in NOVA (WIN) at the Northern Virginia Chapter holds a minimum of four events a year, and the Women in Intelligence Group (WIIG) at the Central Maryland Chapter has an extremely robust program. Other AFCEA chapters partner with women-focused groups such as Women in Technology and Women in Defense to sponsor events.
Natalie Givans, Senior Vice President at Booz Allen Hamilton and past Chair of AFCEA International's Board of Directors, is a strong advocate of the importance of networking. Her advice to budding STEM job seekers, particularly the introverts, is to not make the same mistakes she had when it came to scoffing at the potential benefits of networking.
“From a technology standpoint, perhaps, the networking card is the most unique,” Givans offers. “It's one that maybe does apply more to this field than others because of the fact that women aren't seeing each other in large numbers.
“Networking is hugely important. I didn't put a lot of emphasis on it myself probably for the first 15 years of my career here. And I've been at Booz Allen for 32 years. I was always more of a merit-based thinker. I felt that if you worked hard and you know what you're talking about, you get ahead. I don't think I give a lot of credit to the notion that almost everything we do in life is actually more about the people than it is about the topic. It took me a long time to figure out that the networking actually is more important than being really good at what I do—although that's important too,” she stresses.
Join AFCEA today! Be part of the solution to bring more women into the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. AFCEA membership is extremely affordable at $50, particularly when compared to the cost of joining the other few professional organizations for women in the technology field.
Women in AFCEA offers opportunities for women to get involved at all levels of the association. Whether through events, discussions and participation at the local or AFCEA International level, see how you can make a difference!