Session: Life in the “Second Closet” – Diversity Challenges in Classified Environments
The Defense & Intelligence community is charged with some of the most important and sensitive missions on the planet, including the protection of the United States and allied nations around the globe. While this community is comprised of amazing missions, people, and technology, there are always opportunities for improvement – and one area is especially in need of change: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the defense industry.
Working in a classified environment is truly a different experience, and there can be a lack of support for People of Color, Women, and LGBTQ+ individuals. The defense sector is occasionally criticized and stereotyped for being stuck in more dated mindsets. We must take this opportunity to drive improvement and support for all people who work in defense as the next generation of talented future technologists start entering the industry.
This talk will include examples of lived experiences that I have faced as a non-binary individual working in classified areas, and it will explore opportunities for change as we define the future defense & intelligence workplace, together.
- Diversity, Equity, and inclusion in secured spaces
- Working in a classified/Secured environment
- How can the defense industry become a part of the DE&I wave?
- The Challenges of working in a classified environment
Tenay "10A" Barker is a Site Reliability Engineer for Microsoft and a champion of diversity, equity, and inclusion across the Technology and Defense sectors. Tenay is a part of the GEAR-CAP team at Microsoft that works with the Federal government to support and monitor Microsoft applications and data in classified environments. Prior to joining Microsoft, Tenay worked for Raytheon Intelligence & Space, where they held roles inside and outside technical engineering and worked as a Software Engineer on the infrastructure team for a legacy program.
Tenay is an out-and-proud non-Binary lesbian and an active volunteer, voice, and leader in the LGBTQ+ community. Tenay has served as a Board Member for two LGBTQ-related non-profits in Dallas, Texas, and held the Regional Vice President position for the Raytheon LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group. Tenay is a frequent public speaker, with recent engagements including Out at Work and the Society of Women Engineers. Tenay is a vocal and unfailingly supportive "hype-person” who is passionate about helping others find confidence as their true and authentic selves. As well as being a role model for future technologists.