Over the summer, the CIO Council hosted the third annual Women in Federal IT and Cyber Conference. As in the past, this event brought together the nation’s top federal IT executives to celebrate the success of women thriving in today’s federal technology careers. These events aimed to inspire and motivate more women to embark on careers in IT, and to build a diverse federal workforce and federal IT community.
Although we could not host the event in person this year, our team led a series of virtual engagements with senior leaders in the form of videos, panel discussions, and networking sessions, built around the theme of Our Professional Network. The discussions covered “Building a Network” for those early in their careers, “Expanding your Network” for mid-career professionals, and “Mentoring the Next Generation” for senior leaders in IT and cybersecurity. Over 20 speakers participated, starting with a welcome video from former Federal Chief Information Officer Suzette Kent; including a keynote from the Department of Defense’s Principal Deputy CIO, Essye Miller; and closing with David Shive, GSA Chief Information Officer and CIO Council Vice Chair, moderating a panel discussion. For a complete list of events and information about the speakers visit the MAX.GOV event page.
What did we learn?
Some key takeaways from these events include:
- To build a strong network, go deep and wide. It is important to include influencers in your area of expertise, but also bring in other functional areas, different agencies, and a variety of backgrounds and skills to your network.
- Add value to your network by educating and providing opportunities to the members. It is everyone’s responsibility to bring others and to be an active contributor.
- Pay it forward by mentoring and encouraging those starting a career in IT. By volunteering or mentoring the next generation we can ensure there is a strong pipeline of new ideas.
What is next?
Based on the enthusiastic response to these events, the CIO Council is hosting one final Women in Federal IT and Cyber session for Veterans Day on November 10th, 2020. Stay tuned for more information.
The videos, resources, and recorded sessions are available at the MAX.GOV event page. Please spread the word by inviting your colleagues and professional networks to visit the event page.