Women In AFCEA

AFCEA offers resources to help women advance their careers through leadership development, education, events and networking. Women who participate in AFCEA activities and events gain new skills, engage with mentors and make lasting connections that help them excel in cyber, defense, intelligence and homeland security disciplines and related technical areas. AFCEA actively works to increase the number of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professions through its Women in AFCEA initiatives and panel discussions that occur throughout the year. 

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Ongoing Events


Women's Appreciation Event

AFCEA International's annual Women's Appreciation Event is held in conjunction with AFCEA/USNI WEST in San Diego.  WEST attendees enjoy networking with senior leaders in their community; followed by a keynote speaker or fireside chat; and concluding with the honoring of several women receiving their women's appreciation awards. At WEST 2022, RDML Carola List, USCG, Assistant Commandant for Engineering & Logistics gave an insightful keynote highlighting the history and role of Women in the Coast Guard. 


Women in Cyber Leadership Panels

Women in Cyber Leadership Panels are popular sessions at the TechNet Cyber symposium in Baltimore, Maryland, at TechNet Augusta in Augusta, Georgia, and at TechNet Asia Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii. Each panel is followed by a Women in AFCEA reception, sponsored by Walker powered by USTC and Ciena Corporation. Panels in 2020 were held as virtual forums.


Virtual Engagement Series

These events are free to attend and open to all women AFCEA members. The next set of events will start in Fall 2022.


Past Events

Many of our past events have been recorded and can be viewed on the Women in AFCEA YouTube Channel.

Women in the Workforce: A Journey in STEM

September 1, 2021 - An Onsite Event


The second event in this series was held at the Hyatt Regency Tysons Corner Center in Northern Virginia. Speakers and panelists discussed challenges experienced throughout grade school, the college years, and entry into the workforce. This on-site event included networking with speakers and attendees in the AFCEA community during its onsite reception.

Read about the keynote and panel content at https://www.afcea.org/content/journeys-bridge-gender-divides-stem.


Virtual Engagement Series

August 3, 2021  5:00-6:30 pm EDT: Women in AFCEA Virtual Summer Speed Networking Event

This high-energy successful event maximized opportunities to network one-on-one with several other attendees, and will definitely return. 

May 25, 2021 at 5:00 pm EDT: Women in AFCEA Annual Mentorship Night

This inaugural annual premier women’s event focused on an interactive exchange between four senior-level woman STEM professionals representing government, military, industry and academia, moderated by Ms. Linh Nguyen of our AFCEA Central Maryland Chapter.

  • Lt Gen Mary O’Brien, Air Force’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Cyber Effects Operations
  • Ms. Jenna Seidel, SES, NSA/CSS Representative to USINDOPACOM
  • Ms. Anne Wagner, Vice President, Novetta
  • Ms. Ashlee Magosin, Chief Financial Officer, Air Force Academy Athletic Corporation

April 27, 2021 at 5:00 pm EDT: Women in AFCEA Quarterly Mentorship Night

Cheryl Waldrup, Chief Growth Officer at Strongbridge, LLC,   Ms. Waldrup holds over 25 years of IT and federal contracting experience, supports several organizational boards, holds numerous awards and recognitions and is an accomplished author. The session discussed her career journey, advice on mentoring and other topics, and concluded with an interactive Q&A exchange.  It was moderated by Lauren Beward, Business Development/Proposal Manager at Bravura Information Technology Systems, Inc.

March 16, 2021 - Women's History Month Social

Rear Admiral Margaret Kibben, USN (Ret) spoke with Women in AFCEA about her journey as the first woman Chaplain of the U.S. Marine Corps, first woman Chief Chaplain of the U.S. Navy, and in her current position as first woman Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives. Her fascinating story is shared here: 


Women in the Workforce: A Journey in STEM

September 2, 2020 - A Virtual Forum

The event highlighted senior career women sharing their personal journeys and offering advice to both men and women about how they can encourage young professionals in the workplace. These discussions were invaluable for women in their early- to mid-career and informative about why many girls distance themselves from the path that can lead to successful careers in STEM fields. The event concluded with interactive small group sessions and opportunities to network with speakers and other attendees in AFCEA’s professional community. Rear Adm. Danelle Barrett, USN (Ret.), during her keynote speech, shared her story about overcoming barriers: https://www.afcea.org/content/hidden-biases-and-artificial-barriers-didnt-stop-navy-officer.


Women in STEM Series

SIGNAL Media, the official media of AFCEA, has an online series on successful women in STEM, which was awarded an APEX writing excellence award, and SIGNAL continues to report on and cover topics that support this intiative. 


Women's Appreciation Awards

Several women each year are honored with the Women's Appreciation Awards for what they have done to elevate women in their network/workplace/professional community. The awards are presented at the Women's Appreciation Event each year during WEST in San Diego.


Women roles in AFCEA

Find your role in AFCEA from the examples of our current women leaders shown below:


The Women in AFCEA program offers special networking opportunities throughout the year, including the Women in AFCEA appreciation event each winter in San Diego. (MORE...)

Build the Next Generation

Be part of the solution and choose to help mentor future women leaders in academia, government, military and industry. (MORE...)


Life-long learning is crucial to staying on top in technical fields and to improve leadership capabilities. AFCEA encourages women educators to join our efforts in mentoring and offering internship opportunities to  talented women who are majoring in a STEM-related field. We also offer discounts on educational programs and offer continuing education credits at many of our events. (MORE...)

Make a Difference

Join the discussion with AFCEA regarding why more females are not entering the workforce in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. (MORE...)

Leadership Development

To broaden your career horizons, you must expand your personal and professional connections. Women In AFCEA helps you build and maintain business relationships with government and industry leaders. (MORE...)

Encouraging Women in STEM

How can AFCEA help to encourage women to study STEM subjects in school, pick a career in a STEM field, and stay in that career? AFCEA International President and CEO Lt. Gen. Robert M. Shea, USMC (Ret.): “It is imperative that the entire AFCEA community be proactive in providing incentives and support for women pursuing opportunities in the science technology, engineering and math fields. We are dedicated to promoting the importance of women in STEM through our events, our chapters and across our strong volunteer base.”  (MORE...)

Career Opportunities

AFCEA provides opportunities for women at various stages of their career. AFCEA members learn, mentor and support those in the global security community during chapter and international meetings and conferences. Women in AFCEA Testimonials  (MORE...)


Surveys indicate that STEM-related majors and careers continue to be male dominant. Women in AFCEA offers several leadership and mentoring activities to support and encourage women to delve into the science, technology, engineering and math fields to change the demographic landscape for future generations. If you are a Women in AFCEA, we encourage you to share lessons learned, accomplishments and words of wisdom throughout the organization.  Fill out a Women in AFCEA speaker form to be a contributor, keynote or panel member at AFCEA conferences and events held worldwide.   (MORE...)


For those women not educated in STEM fields, employers need to offer retraining options in order to entice those with the proper aptitudes to switch careers.   AFCEA members also enjoy benefits on Continuing Education credits. (MORE...)

Busting Stereotypes

Unintentional stereotyping can have a huge impact starting as early as the lower grade school levels and continuing on throughout a women's career.  “A teacher’s power to influence can extinguish a girl’s elementary school dream of becoming a rocket scientist or help it to flourish,” according to the National Education Association, citing a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research. (MORE...)


Women in AFCEA is a sub-category in the AFCEA International awards program. Winners are honored and celebrated at an AFCEA International conference and highlighted in SIGNAL magazine.  (MORE...)

 Find Out What AFCEA Can Do For You    

Contact us  to learn more about Women in AFCEA



August 3, 2021  5:00-6:30 pm EDT: Women in AFCEA Virtual Summer Speed Networking Event

Mark your calendar for this inaugural women’s event organized by Jessica Tayson and Lauren Beward of our Aberdeen Chapter! More information to follow.