Women in government IT: Profiles in persistence

“The women in this book are part of a tradition that goes against the grain of Western culture.”

So wrote Maureen Bunyan, longtime local TV news anchor in Washington, in her prologue to “No One Path,” a collection of affectionate, but no less affecting, profiles of technology professionals who happen to be women.

Profiles in persistence

Janice Cuny, National Science Foundation's Broadening Participation in Computing Program

Karyn Hayes-Ryan, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency's Engineering Enterprise

Susan Keen, Navy's Enterprise Resource Planning Program

Deborah Loudon, Defense Department's National Reconnaissance Office

The 48 women profiled in the book, to be published next week by the Washington-area networking association Women in Technology, reflect the many ways women have demonstrated leadership in science and technology — fields that, more than most, have long been the domain of men. Those profiled are past winners of WIT’s Leadership Awards.

The excerpts of the four profiles at right focus on women with backgrounds in government technology. Each has a story about grabbing opportunities and overcoming challenges, not least of which were the cultural perceptions that still dominate the industry.

In the 15 years since its founding, the 1,000-member association has become a test bed of leadership skills and the still-untapped potential of up-and-coming generations. “Today,” Bunyan wrote, “women still struggle against prejudice that keeps them from getting the best education in science and technology.”

“Our hope is that this book will inspire women and girls to pursue their goals in science, technology, engineering and math,” the book’s editors wrote.

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