This is part of a running series for #IWD2021. We sat down with women leaders across the industry for a Q&A to get their insights on the state of women in cybersecurity. Recognize your organization’s Women Leaders in the 2021 Tech Ascension Awards.
How has the women workforce in cybersecurity evolved over recent years? Where is it heading?
The cybersecurity industry switched gears last March when the working world went remote. The transition to remote work forced companies to initiate a distributed workforce model. For some women, this has caused increased hardship as they juggle childcare commitments and maintaining work performance. For some women it has become too much and has forced women to put their careers on hold.
For others, this new online format is giving women a seat at the table and an opportunity to participate in meetings they may not have been included in before. This creates opportunities for women to assert themselves and for more opportunities to advance their career. With the expected continuation of a remote work, it’s also a great time to identify the skills you need for advancement and take classes or volunteer so that you can gain them.
What advice would you give to young women looking to enter into cybersecurity?
For young women looking to enter the cybersecurity industry, take time for self-reflection and ask yourself why you want to enter the industry and then tackle the question of how to do it. Breaking into the industry comes down to strategic planning and preparation: acing Zoom interviews, capitalizing on virtual networking opportunities and honing your skills whenever possible to become an appealing candidate. To truly be successful long term, you must also maintain strong mental health, which can be incredibly difficult when there is minimal separation between home and work life. Evaluating if the cybersecurity industry fits your lifestyle, personal commitments and schedule is crucial in determining if it’s the right fit for you.