"If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.” - Margaret Thatcher
Today we celebrate #IWD2021 International Women’s Day, a global day celebrating women’s social, economic, cultural, and political achievements. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. This year’s International Women’s Day campaign has chosen the theme #ChooseToChallenge, with the idea that a challenged world is an alert world, and individually, we are all responsible for our thoughts and actions. According to the campaign, we can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality.
If Thatcher's above quote was expressed differently, the British politician and stateswoman meant that women are the real architects of society. Women like our very own CEO and Founder, Rosa Caputo, who rose to the challenge of starting her own business in cybersecurity over 15 years ago. A passionate cybersecurity executive, Rosa enjoys mentoring and sharing her experiences with other women in the industry and her accomplishments didn't go unnoticed over the years, since she was recognized in 2020 as ITWC's Top Women in Cyber Security Celebration: Honouree roundup.
Just like this year’s theme, KeyData continues celebrating women’s contributions and achievements. We are raising awareness against bias and acting for equality in the cybersecurity space.
Our company does not need any convincing about hiring more women into security. We are profoundly convinced that diversity breeds better ideas. Women technologists at every organization’s level foster business growth and create a hospitable environment for other women. Our CEO is a pioneer in the identity and access management (IAM) space. As a strong supporter of women empowerment and equality, CEO recently announced two new female execs that recently joined the company; Julie Vi, Senior Director, Branding & Marketing and Suzan Kerekian, Director of People and Culture.
It's No Denying It, We Need More Women in Cybersecurity
Amid all the data on gender parity in the technical workforce, including cybersecurity, the representation of women technologists still declines by 50 percent from entry to mid to senior and executive levels, according to the AnitaB.Org Institute for Women and Technology, a nonprofit organization that seeks to help women advance in technology. Data indicates that women enter the technology field and then leave mid-career, at a high cost to themselves, the business, and society. They are three times less likely than technical men to be in senior roles, as 56 percent leave companies mid-level. Other than that, women leave tech companies at a rate two times faster than men. Such a trend should be unacceptable.
AnitaB.org published a paper called Advancing Women Technologists into Positions of Leadership detailing the significant differences women make in the workforce, especially in leadership or senior roles. According to the research, women’s technical roles’ benefits include improved operational and financial performance, increased innovation, better problem solving and group performance, and enhanced company reputation.
A complex and dynamic field like cybersecurity needs a range of ideas and approaches from diverse groups to improve problem-solving. That said, organizations should include underrepresented groups like women in security to enhance the potential of tackling real-world security challenges.
Tips for Women Who May Be Interested in a Career in Cybersecurity
It’s time to talk about increasing opportunities and creating equality in cybersecurity. What are some of the tips for women starting their security careers?
Find Educational Opportunities
Women should explore cybersecurity education and training opportunities. With increased access to devices and the internet, individuals can gain significant technology exposure at a very young age. Meanwhile, the cybersecurity landscape is evolving, expanding the potential to get a job in the sector. Seeking top-notch cyber education courses sets women’s security careers on the right path.
Never underestimate the power of networking. This statement is not unique. Over the years, I have spoken with many professionals who always consider success in their area as directly proportional to the size of their network. Today, many educational organizations host networking events for infosec professionals, allowing you to meet with people who provide essential insights on what it’s like to work in the industry.
Pick an Area of Focus
Cybersecurity is a broad field, making it essential for women professionals to identify an area they want to focus on. Specializing appeals to employers who well know that you cannot be a jack of all trades. Additionally, specializing in infosec helps professionals set long-term and short-term goals and narrow in on the jobs that they are most interested in.
Even as you job hunt or work in the security field, invest in honing your skills and acquiring certifications. Look at the skills required in the job and learn them to improve your resume. Overall, the outlook for security professionals is outstanding. However, the catch is you must be well trained and accomplished for employers to find you attractive for the positions. However, never hold yourself back. Too often, we take ourselves out of the race due to a belief that somehow, we lack experience or are not a perfect fit for the role. Leaders like our CEO have taught me that objectively we may be the best candidates to solve problems at hand. In this inspiring video, our CEO talks about how she launched and followed her career in cybersecurity. “The young women who are out there today considering their future career not to be afraid to enter into the STEM space,” states Caputo. “There are a lot of opportunities for women in technology, whether you’re in the entrepreneurial area or just working for a company within IT.”
Also, it is vital to realize that the security career is not easy peasy, learn from your mistakes. Resilience is how fast you can recover from setbacks and push forward. Learning from mistakes makes you stronger.
Master Interpersonal Skills
Developing a technical aptitude in cybersecurity and mastering soft and interpersonal skills like communicating effectively with peers is essential for growth as a security professional. You need skills for problem-solving, collaborating, and resolving conflict. As you invest in security education, also develop your interpersonal skills to open more opportunities.
KeyData Associates, a recognized leader in cybersecurity services specializing in identity and access management (IAM), customer identity and access management (CIAM), and privileged access management (PAM), remains committed to gender parity from the top. We are accountable for results, and we stand our ground in putting more women in executive roles for improved company performance.
Connect with one of our female managers or executives today, if you would like mentorship on how to get into a career in cyber.