In an effort to lift up the opportunities available for women in the agricultural field, USDA shares stories of women who are leading the industry and helping other women succeed along the way. In this post, USDA Deputy Chief Information Officer for Policy and Planning Joyce Hunter shares her perspective as a woman in the technology field and how she puts her unique experience and skills to work at USDA.
Ms. Hunter oversees the Department’s strategic technology planning initiatives, establishes policy framework, and lays the track for the future. With over 30 years’ experience in the information technology industry, Ms. Hunter has a strong ability to build and sustain relationships with public/private stakeholders and lead innovative projects and inter-agency initiatives. Earlier this year, she was selected by the editors of FedScoop as one of "D.C.’s Top 50 Women in Technology.”
How did you get to USDA?
I was nominated, interviewed and selected as a political appointee in April 2013 to the position of Deputy CIO for Policy and Planning.
How do you start your day?
I am an early riser, so I start my day with meditation and prayer and then get to the gym by 4am (yes 4am!)
What do you think is missing from the conversation when we don’t have women at the table in fields like agriculture and tech?
A gender-diverse team is more likely to produce results that meet the needs of men AND women. When women are underrepresented, many decisions are based on the experiences, opinions, and judgments of only men, which can result in thoughts, ideas and solutions that meet the needs of only men. In addition, gender-diverse teams are more productive, more creative, and more able to stay on schedule and within budget, compared to homogenous teams.
What has been your most memorable experience at USDA?
I can only choose one? There are so many – developing the first USDA Open Data STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Agriculture and Math) Summer Camp for DC Public School middle and high school students, delivering the FITARA (Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act) as the first and only agency to have our Common Baseline Plan approved by the Office of Management and Budget in August 2015, standing up the IT Workforce Planning team that includes AgLearn and developing competencies to prepare a 21st Century IT Workforce for USDA.
What do you wish you knew when you were first getting started in your career?
The power of negotiation. By not negotiating a first salary, an individual stands to lose more than $500,000 by age 60—and men are more than four times as likely as women to negotiate a first salary. Women will pay as much as $1,353 to avoid negotiating the price of a car, which may help explain why 63 percent of Saturn car buyers are women. Women are typically taught to “play nice” and negotiating is seen as being contrary. Learning how to negotiate is an important life lesson that all women should know.
In seven words or less, what is some advice you would offer your fellow women in agriculture and tech?
(Taking) risk is part of a successful career.
Write a Response
Keep up the good work Ms. Hunter we are watching and keeping you in our morning prayer. Peace sister!
Hello Joyce Hunter. You are doing a great Job, Amen!!
I am a farmer, with not resources. For the last 20 years I have been Researching Contraband Food Supply Secrets they learn from Native Americans. I have just Identified the Green Tomato they grew in 2014. I have collected many heirloom fruits and vegetable seeds. My online Seeds Store is called Angel Field Heirloom Farms Organic Seeds. I suffered from the flooding in October 1,2,3,4,. I lost my Green House and Arbor that hold a 1867 Muscadine Grape Vine the Contraband slaves used as medications growing on Shepard Mallory Property I farm on. With no help from our HomeOwners Insurance and Flood Insurance I am in need of outside help. A a Woman Farmer How can I get USDA t help me? I really need to save the Muscadine Grape Vine, Amen!!! I suffer from dyslexia so please try to understand me.
Farmer, Joyce Beggs
My website is angelfieldfarms.com