Our Women's Integrated Networking Group (WINGS) and Technical Network (TECHNET) programs form an important step towards empowering women within Air Force and enabling them to build support and mentoring networks.
Women's Integrated Networking Groups (WINGS)
Most of the Air Force workforce can easily maintain regular networking and mentoring opportunities through everyday workplace interactions such as the crew room, brew room or office fireside chats with others in similar situations. However, members in underrepresented groups find it hard to build these support networks as they are normally the only one, or one of very few, in a similar situation.
One example is women in non-traditional roles, such as technical, engineering and aircrew. They may not get everyday opportunities in training and the workplace to meet other women and share their experiences.
The Women's Integrated Networking Group (WINGs) program brings women of all employment groups and ranks together to:
provide mutual support and advice for having a lasting career in the Air Force
hear from guest speakers within Defence and external organisations about issues affecting women and their careers, and
create valuable networks (and hopefully friendships) with Air Force women from diverse geographical locations.
WINGs is a locally delivered program for Air Force women, and includes formal and information events. The sessions are generally held over the lunch period, to minimise impact on units and workloads.
“The WINGS program forms an important step towards empowering women within Air Force and enabling them to build the support and mentoring networks required to sustain a long term career with Air Force. It also provides us with a direct feed into the workforce to test and evaluate initiatives and workforce issues, with a direct flow to senior Air Force leadership”
AIRCDRE Bob Rodgers
Women's Technical Network (TECHNET)
TECHNET is a mentoring and networking group for airwomen in non-traditional roles. It offers an open environment for technical women to seek guidance, support and mentoring on a variety of topics for personal and professional development. TECHNET provides access to other technical and like minded women with a range of experience through rank, groups and life experiences.
It was formed in August 2012 due to the growing need for female technicians to stand together and break the glass ceiling instead of going it alone. The group meets approximately every 6-8 weeks for an hour. The success of TECHNET has been measured by the members feeling more empowered and included within their workplaces with knowledge of support by numbers behind them.
TECHNET also produces a newsletter with the latest thinking points and contacts for Units and greater Defence. Positive feedback has been received from far and wide with constant requests for distribution. The newsletter is sent to over 200 individuals and forwarded to many more.