For women interested in military service and the national security business industry, it can feel as if there’s little support available. (After all, the majority of people in the field are men.) But there are multiple resources out there to help women learn more about and succeed in national security industry, from networking and mentorship groups to online forums and supportive councils. Here are 10 resources you might want to check out if you’re a woman interested in national security.
Women in Security Forum. A part of the Security Industry Association, the Women in Security Forum is a group for women—and men, too—offering programs, professional development, and networking events to support more women getting involved in the security industry, according to the forum’s website. The forum’s mission “is to engage security professionals to promote, recruit and cultivate the leadership of women for a more inclusive and diversified industry,” it explains.
Women in Security Council. ASIS International has a Women in Security Council, a member-based group whose members work to raise public awareness about the most pressing issues that face women in national security, and inspire women to take part in the national security industry.
Women in Cybersecurity. Women in Cybersecurity, or WiCyS, is a non-profit membership-based organization that brings together women from academia, research, and business to “share knowledge, experience, networking and mentoring,” according to its website. But WiCyS does more than that: “WiCyS helps build a strong cybersecurity workforce with gender equality by facilitating recruitment, retention and advancement for women in the field” through various partnerships with others, including academic, government, and industry agencies, it explains.
#NatSecGirlSquad. A membership-based organization, #NatSecGirlSquad “engages with more than 25,000 people each month from across the national security apparatus,” its website says. It hosts events, classes, workshops, and seminars worldwide for its members and the community.
Women in Defense. A National Defense Industrial Association affiliate, Women in Defense is committed to engaging with and advancing women in national security. The affiliate “provides members a business environment for professional growth through strategic networking, education, and career development,” its website says, adding that its alliance is made up of men and women from industry and defense organizations in the government, academia, and more.
Women in National Security. Women in National Security is a project of the Center for a New American Security. The project brought “discussions of gender and inclusivity to national security audiences that do not typically embrace them,” its website says, via podcasts, surveys, events, and interviews—which have been archived and are available to read or listen to online.
The Leadership Council for Women in National Security. The Leadership Council for Women in National Security is a member-based council of senior women in national security who come together to “provide the public leadership and specific benchmarks to improve gender diversity and fight unconscious bias in our field, regardless of political party,” according to its website. New members can join, receive important updates, or donate to the council’s cause.
Girl Security. A non-partisan, non-profit organization, Girl Security increases the representation of women in national security “by building a pipeline for girls … through learning, training, and mentoring support,” according to its website. Programs focus on middle school and high school girls and young women. But those 18 and older can also be mentored by women in Girl Security.
The Diana Initiative. The Diana Initiative is a non-profit supporting women who want to pursue a career in information security. It does this through an annual conference that features speakers, networking events, and workshops that help interested women break into and excel in the field.
Executive Women’s Forum. The Executive Women’s Forum provides education, mentorship and leadership development programs for women at every career level. It also hosts an annual conference that leaders and new security workers alike can attend to explore and network.