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Women's Equality Day 2021: Women in Cyber Are Stronger Together

Women's Equality Day is a reminder of not only how far women have come, but how much work still needs to be done. With a strong community that's dedicated to belonging and improvement, "women in cyber" is gaining traction as a top topic and real initiative push from companies around the world.

We heard from women all across cyber about what the industry can do to improve and tips for women in cyber looking to rise above it all.

Lodrina Cherne, Certified Instructor at SANS Institute and Principal Security Advocate, Cybereason

“There is still a tremendous amount of work that needs to be done to increase diversity, equity and inclusion in the workforce. By and large, white men continue to dominate the C-Suite and many roles in a number of fields, especially in cybersecurity. To cultivate a diverse cybersecurity workforce and help solve the talent shortage requires multi-pronged approach to beef up the talent pipeline and recruit more women. This includes an investing in education, C-suite accountability and commitment to driving equity within the organization and building a mentorship within an organization. Having diverse, positive role models in the field and allies are critical to bringing in those from underrepresented backgrounds.”

Brenda Le, Director of Marketing Programs & Digital, Cequence Security

"It’s been exciting seeing more women in cybersecurity roles like software development, data science, sales and marketing. And as the industry grows due to the increases in cyberattacks and remote work, we need to continue nurturing and developing women to help fill the demand and provide more representation. I’m proud to be a part of this change."

Lynne Doherty, EVP Global Sales and Marketing, McAfee Enterprise

“Don’t let the feeling of being outnumbered or under-estimated as a minority female hold you back. Use this fuel to put in extra effort to ensure your voice is heard, and that your work and results stand out amongst peers. At times you might feel like you’re “not ready” for the next step - which will be one of your largest obstacles to career progression. Your first instinct will be to “say no,” but take these opportunities with confidence and pursue them. Lastly, get in touch with a mentor, as they will push you when you need it most and will serve as a reminder that you’re just as qualified as anyone for advancement. Admittedly, if I didn’t have a mentor, I would’ve left the opportunity of a VP role on the table, so it’s very important! Beyond mentorships, invest in your network; connections are vital as you move up in your career.”

"A lot of the time when inequality surfaces in the workplace, individuals involved are unaware of their bias and discriminatory behavior. Women leaders need to be brave enough to point out the inequality when they either experience it or see it. This is critical in driving the change."

Jill Shapiro, Senior Director of Government Affairs, Tenable Security

"While the representation of women in cybersecurity has improved, there's still a lot of work that the industry and public sector must do to truly close the gap. Diversity of thought, background and experience are critical if we're to solve tomorrow's most pressing cybersecurity challenges. Mentoring the next-generation of women in cybersecurity and STEM is key and, on Women's Equality Day, I hope schools, higher-education institutions, vendors and government agencies prioritize mentorship opportunities across their organizations."



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