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 an affiliate of the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) in 2004. The organization's beginnings date to 1979. In 2010, 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 2,500 professionals belong.
* a framework 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.
The National 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 Alexandria, 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 2010, WID has 16 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 community-based 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.
In northern New Jersey, the Picatinny Chapter attracts many government employees, as does the Mid-Atlantic Chapter, which focuses on Fort Monmouth, N.J. and Aberdeen Proving Ground...