History

WAN was originally conceived in 1984 (and established in 1985) by three ambitious women who felt the need for a network of professionals in the marine and aquatic sector to help support and advance opportunities for women. In that decade, there were still far fewer women in leadership roles in the growing field.  While professional networking wasn’t a new concept, it was clear that women with a mutual field of interest could benefit from targeted opportunities to meet periodically and share their experiences.  The idea was to pave the way for professional advancement and integration between various Washington-DC based sectors that dealt with ocean and aquatic issues.

Since then, we can proudly say that the marine and aquatic sectors have benefited from many talented and professional women now engaged at every level, including the helm (how maritimy!) in numerous leadership roles across America. Thus, the purpose of WAN has evolved from a networking tool for women, to serve as a formal (and fun!) facilitation mechanism for professional women AND men to network across shared interest areas.

We welcome the participation of young professionals.  WAN is a great place to network, learn, find a mentor, or simply enjoy the social camaraderie!