WIA Chair Report
Rebecca Keiser, Ph.D
Chair, Women in Aerospace
Dear WIA Members,
This has been a year unlike any other for all of us. As 2020 comes to a close, I wanted to take a moment to reflect and highlight the accomplishments and opportunities that WIA offered over the last 12 months. When faced with the difficulties this year has brought us, we have demonstrated our tenacity and creativity as we continued with robust WIA programming. However, we also realize the past year has been stressful and challenging. I hope that our events have provided support, connectivity, and interesting content to help during this difficult time.
Many of us may not even remember what it is like to attend an in-person event, but we are incredibly grateful that we were able to hold two in-person programs early in the year, WIA’s Breakfast Club with Professional Staffers and WIA’s Book Signing Series with The Honorable Deborah Lee Jones, before having to move to an 100% virtual environment. Regardless of the new territory that came with the virtual space though, WIA was able to provide many opportunities within our Professional Development Program. This year, we were able to enhance our webinar series to a total of 7 offered, with some that attracted audiences of over 200 participants. We also had the chance to have some very special virtual programs with Shannon Hines and, most recently, Brig. Gen. Heather L. Pringle, the latter being someone we may not have heard from had we not been in this virtual space. I hope those who attended these programs and professional development webinars were able to come away feeling more equipped in navigating their way through their personal and professional lives.
Despite the current environment, WIA has had a significant amount of corporate member engagement and support throughout the year – and we are so incredibly grateful. We want to acknowledge and thank three new Platinum-level members: KBR, Noblis, Inc., and The Boeing Company, as well as acknowledge a number of new and returning corporate members of ours – all of whom are listed via our website. We have also grown our global networks with the addition of WIA Costa Rica.
I would also like to mention the record number of award nominations for this year. We received well over 100 nominations and are thrilled tothave spent the last couple of weeks highlighting each awardee through our various platforms. We are so pleased that so many of you took the time to nominate those who deserve to be recognized within our industry. Our 2020 Awardees will be honored during WIA’s 2021 Annual Awards Dinner & Ceremony, scheduled for October 14, 2021 at the Ritz Carlton-Pentagon City Hotel in Arlington, VA.
Lastly, I wanted to take a moment to thank you each of you for your continued support during such a tumultuous time, especially in our efforts to transition what would normally be in-person events to virtual. A bonus of this new virtual space is still having the opportunity to bring all of us together, and these virtual events provide opportunities to participate for members who are outside of the DC area. We all look forward to the opportunity to return to in-person events and are looking at ways to enhance them by including a virtual participation option.
Please be on the lookout for our 2021 program calendar that will be published in the New Year. We have a very exciting lineup in the works that will hopefully appeal to every one of you.
Thank you all again. Please have a safe and enjoyable holiday season, and I wish you the best as you close out the rest of the year.