The title of this blog comes directly from this week’s Tech Speak, a mini episode of our Technologically Speaking podcast. While I’ll give you a brief highlight here of what’s in store in the episode, I hope you won’t just take it from me when I say that our guests are some of the finest public servants that S&T has to offer. Listening to them directly will give you a glimpse into the character (and characters) that drives what we do and who we do it for.
In honor of Women’s History Month, I’m thrilled to recognize five remarkable women in science who are making a difference across the homeland security landscape. Before we dive in though, I will tell you that as a podcast guest myself, I was particularly excited to join these five women, who represent our national labs, our technology centers and our first responder portfolio. In fact, women make up 38.9% of S&T’s federal workforce—a stat I am proud to share and committed to growing.
The five women you’ll hear from in the “And the Rest is History” episode are program managers and scientists, engineers and former military. They are also mothers and wives, technology enthusiasts and willing helpers. Above all, they are today’s history makers.
How are they making history exactly? They are combatting child exploitation, protecting our food supply, equipping our public safety bomb squads, preparing our cities and towns for radiological and nuclear disasters, and understanding how quantum computing will be key to our nation’s security in years to come. I know, that’s a lot of range in one organization. And while they stand on the shoulders of those who served before them, they are today’s role models. Pushing boundaries, like Jessica Cox. Rolling up her sleeves and asking how to help, like Patty Wolfhope. Taking an unplanned but ultimately fulfilling path, like Ann Cox. Happening upon a career, like Orly Amir. And finding innovations in unlikely places (and in a male-dominated field to boot), like Byung Hee Kim.
Unique perspectives like theirs make us the innovators and problem solvers we are and make us better for knowing them—because it goes beyond a degree (although that is certainly part of it). It’s a willingness to see things differently. For some, that was simply seeing themselves in a lab coat alongside their male counterparts. For others, it’s the belief and commitment that the technology will get there to keep pace with the bad guys.
Chances are, you know a woman like this or, even better, you are a woman like this. Join me this month in taking stock of the remarkable women who have blazed trails for those who would follow in their footsteps, and in encouraging women to continue to do so across all fields and professions. As we tell these stories, I hope you will share yours—follow us on social media @dhsscitech and tell us how you or someone you know are blazing trails in their field.
If this mini episode piques your interest, be sure to also listen to full episodes about the research and development efforts of these women—Byung Hee and Jessica in Season 1 and Patty, Ann, and Orly coming soon in Season 2 of Technologically Speaking. It’s storied careers like theirs that bring together an interesting mix of experiences and expertise that drives our mission forward.