Women in Defense


WOMEN IN DEFENSE, A NATIONAL SECURITY ORGANIZATION

Cultivating and supporting the advancement and recognition of women in all aspects of national security is the mission of Women In Defense, A National Security Organization (WID). The association was established to provide women a formal environment for professional growth through networking, education and career development. Members of this professional organization, including men and women, have careers related to the defense of the United States and national security.

Women In Defense became a full affiliate of the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) in 2004. The organization's beginnings date to 1979. In 2020, WID will celebrate its 25th anniversary since being established formally as an organization.

WID members automatically become members of NDIA. Members represent three main categories: large and small defense companies and other businesses; all branches of the armed forces, plus federal government agencies; and academia, associations, and professional services. More than 1,700 professionals belong.

Members receive:

* a forum for expanding professional networks and for mentoring

* educational and professional development opportunities, including information from National Defense magazine

* entree to distinguished government and industry officials in open discussions

* a source for scholarships.

A board of directors elected by the membership governs this organization. Appointed committees help carry out the association's mission.

In the past year, nearly 4,000 professionals have attended WID events for professional development and networking throughout the nation. These have ranged from the National Fall Conference in Arlington, Va., to dozens of programs developed and conducted by chapters.

Encouraging interest in careers in science, technology, engineering and math is among the priorities of the national organization and its chapters.

Chapters located throughout the nation give members access to defense and national security professionals on a local level. As of summer 2009, WlD has 13 chapters. Chapters represent a local means of serving members and the defense community and fulfilling the association's mission. Chapters host programs in cooperation with local military installations, provide professional development for members through leadership opportunities, and support communitybased charitable endeavors.

To learn about starting a WID chapter, visit http://wid.ndia.org/chapters.

Some chapters have developed around military installations. The oldest chapter in the current form, the Iowa/Illinois Chapter, is centered at Rock Island Arsenal, Ill., while one of the newest chapters, the Belvoir Chapter, focuses on Fort Belvoir in Northern Virginia. Two chapters in New Jersey attract many government employees, the Picatinny Chapter and the Monmouth Chapter. The majority of members in these chapters are military or government employees. In southern Maryland, industry representatives make up the majority of the Chesapeake Bay Chapter, which draws participants from the Naval Air Station Patuxent River and supporting defense industry.

In the Tennessee Valley Chapter, where many members represent industry, activities center around Huntsville, Ala. Members in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area belong to the Capital Chapter, and Southern California members participate in the San Diego Chapter. The Rocky Mountain Chapter is home to WID members in the Colorado Springs, CO area. The Greater Frederick Chapter serves members in the Frederick, MD area and beyond, including other parts of Maryland, parts of Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

Professionals from defense industry make up the majority of the members in the Michigan Chapter, centered around Detroit, the Upstate New York Chapter, centered around Syracuse, N. …

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