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CHIPS Articles: Building a Strong Network: Women in IT and Cyber Conference

Building a Strong Network: Women in IT and Cyber Conference
By CHIPS Magazine - September 1, 2020
Over the summer, the Chief Information Officer (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 are aimed to inspire and motivate more women to embark on careers in IT, spur conversation regarding women in IT roles, and to build a diverse federal workforce and federal IT community.

Although the event was held virtually this year, the CIO team led a series of 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.

More than 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 (who retired July 31); and closing with David Shive, GSA Chief Information Officer and CIO Council Vice Chair, moderating a panel discussion.

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 professional disciplines, different agencies, with a variety of backgrounds and skills to your network.

-- Add value to your network by educating and providing opportunities members. It is everyone’s responsibility to bring in others and be an active contributor.

-- Pay it forward by mentoring and encouraging those starting a career in IT. By volunteering or mentoring the next generation, the Federal Government can ensure there is a strong pipeline of new ideas.

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. More information is forthcoming.

The videos, resources, and recorded sessions are now available at the MAX.GOV event page. The CIO Council encourages you to please spread the word by inviting your colleagues and professional networks to visit the event page.

Please note a CAC or PIV is required for login. Federal government employees and contractors with a federal government email account may also self-register to access MAX.GOV content. Federal employees/contractors with a nongovernment email account, as well as non-Federal employees performing federal government work, should contact MAXSupport@max.gov or phone 202-395-6860.

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