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.
Ning Wang, CEO, Offensive Security:
How has the women workforce in cybersecurity evolved over recent years? Where is it heading?
With the increased amount of data breaches and cyber attacks, CEOs and boards are paying much more attention to cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is becoming more and more a regular topic discussed in board meetings. There is also increased attention paid to having women board members. This has led to more cybersecurity experts and CISOs being added to the board. I am seeing more women CISOs and women in other security related senior roles joining boards of public and private companies. With more women role models, I think we will see more women pursuing their careers in cybersecurity. I don’t expect the change to be fast, but I think the direction is good.
What advice would you give to young women looking to enter into cybersecurity?
There is no question that cybersecurity is a male dominated field, and it will remain that way for some time. As a young woman thinking about what career to pursue, if you are interested in cybersecurity, don’t let the lack of women deter you. There are enough women in cybersecurity, enough peers and role models that can support you throughout your career. Know what you want, seek out mentors, men or women, and cultivate and participate in a supportive peer group. To reach the top of any career is hard for everyone. Know your dream, go for it, don’t let anyone stop you. You can have everything you want, it just may not be all at the same time.