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Women in Defense Event Offered Growth Opportunities

Defense General

Speakers Highlighted Importance of Diversity and Allyship to Drive Innovation in the Industry 

Only 25 percent of U.S. A&D (aerospace and defense) workforce are women. Compare that with the 47 percent representation of women among all employees across the U.S. workforce. Even with 37 percent of MRIGlobal’s defense team being women, we know there is still work to be done to make our teams even more inclusive and diverse.  

In September, MRIGlobal’s Chelsey Smith, Elaine Bradford, and Nathalie Fowler attended the Women In Defense (WID) 2022 National Conference in Arlington, Va. As an affiliate of the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA), WID’s mission is to provide women with a formal environment for professional growth through strategic networking, education, and professional development. Military and civilian speakers shared their inspiring stories of working in a field in which the majority of positions, especially those with greater seniority, are held by men. Attendees also participated in event workshops on Innovation, Allyship, Networking and Negotiation.  

Speaking with attendees, their takeaways from the event were overwhelmingly positive:  

  • Elaine, Staff Scientist, Infectious Disease & Diagnostics – “The best part was the atmosphere. Every single person in attendance was driven, intelligent, and worked hard to get where they are. It was so empowering to hear their stories of success. Afterwards, I was energized and wanted to work even harder because I felt part of the common goal of strengthening our nation’s defense industry.”  
  • Nathalie, Staff Scientist, Infectious Disease & Diagnostics – “There was such positive energy from the civilian and military leaders in attendance, it was important for young and mid-career professionals to learn from their expertise. One speaker in particular encouraged us to recognize and utilize our strongest skills, but also develop new ones to innovate in an industry that is constantly changing.”  
  • Chelsey, Post-Doctoral Associate, Infectious Disease & Diagnostics – “It was so encouraging to be in a room where women were supporting other women. There was a high level of responsibility for developing the next generation to be leaders in the field, which is important because greater diversity in the workforce enables better decision-making and fosters innovation.” 

Events like these align with our long-term commitment to Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DIB). Since its establishment in June 2020, our DIB Committee has hosted a variety of activities, giveaways, and events to engage employees, broadening collective awareness and acceptance. The committee helps further improve employees’ sense of inclusivity and belonging that comes from amplifying a variety of voices and embracing our diversity.   

“It’s not inclusivity that harms readiness, it’s division.” – Lt. Gen. Leah Lauderback, deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Cyber Effects Operations, U.S. Air Force 


If you’re interested in learning more about the importance of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging at MRIGlobal, read more in this recent blog 

To learn more about the work we’ve done or how we can help you, contact us today. If you are part of an agency, business, or academic institution seeking assistance with a project, use our Project Quote Tool to get started.    


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