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Women In Security: We've Still Got A Long Way To Go, Baby
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Sara Peters
Sara Peters,
User Rank: Author
5/28/2014 | 2:47:27 PM
Re: Re : Women In Security: We've Still Got A Long Way To Go, Baby
@Kerstyn  Agreed! "if only we had all the answers and ability to fix it that would be peachy." I think really that the change is only going to happen if both men and women, boys and girls, help make it so. I just learned about a new non-profit aimed at getting more girls into STEM fields, but the group is for both girls AND BOYS. I think that's the right way to go. Instead of making boys feel excluded or girls feel separate, it's better to get them both working together so that they both feel that being different genders is no big deal.

I'll share more about them when I know more.
Kerstyn Clover
Kerstyn Clover,
User Rank: Moderator
5/28/2014 | 9:39:32 AM
Re: Re : Women In Security: We've Still Got A Long Way To Go, Baby
All this talk about guts and asking for things made me think of a spoken word piece I've seen by Lily Myers. Relevant portion: "I asked five questions in genetics class today and all of them started with the word 'sorry.'"


Sara, I think you brought up a lot of excellent points here and I appreciate that you backed them with some great references. I'll have to read through a couple I hadn't seen yet. Of course I also appreciate the shout-out; I think we've both honed in on the same issue. Now, if only we had all the answers and ability to fix it that would be peachy.
Kerstyn Clover
Kerstyn Clover,
User Rank: Moderator
5/28/2014 | 8:59:29 AM
Re: No problem
| When women don't enter IT (or other male dominated industries), they aren't always simply choosing to not enter the field.


Yes! This hits the nail on the head in my opinion. I've always based my judgment on the idea of women being interested (or not) in these fields on talking to young women, my experiences, and the environments. I feel like there are a lot of people who base their assessments of women's interests only on the idea of "if they were interested they'd work in it, if not they wouldn't, there are few women here and therefore few women are interested in the topic". I think that misses a lot of complex socioeconomic factors which can be hard to put a finger on.
User Rank: Ninja
5/27/2014 | 12:51:45 PM
Re: No problem

I very much agree with you Sara, as I said earlier no one should be detracted from a field they wish to pursue. 

What are somethings that could be done for women so that they stay in said career path?
User Rank: Apprentice
5/27/2014 | 12:47:41 PM
Re: No problem
When women don't enter IT (or other male dominated industries), they aren't always simply choosing to not enter the field. Many girls grow up showing interests in STEM fields, but are discouraged from pursuing those interests directly or indirectly. When I was in high school I was interested in computer science, but never joined the computer club because I was intimidated by the all boy group. (I did end up pursuing my interests in college.) On the other side of your argument are professions like elementary teaching and nursing. I bet there are boys who are interested in these professions, but are encouraged to pursue more typically male jobs. Why was it so hilarious in the movie 'Meet the Parents' that Greg is a nurse?

This is an old video, recently passed around on the internet via upworthy (I know, yuck), but still relevant:
Sara Peters
Sara Peters,
User Rank: Author
5/27/2014 | 10:23:55 AM
Re: FOSS and Women
@christianabryant  Thank you for the info and for being such a responsible dad to daughters! Hopefully they'll find the same supportive environment in the IT world as they get older.
Sara Peters
Sara Peters,
User Rank: Author
5/27/2014 | 10:07:30 AM
Re: Re : Women In Security: We've Still Got A Long Way To Go, Baby
@SachinEE @Marilyn   Well it might be a problem with a lack of guts. But I can tell you that the time I asked for the promotion but not the raise was because I knew the better title would help me do a better job (because people were more likely to return my phone calls), but I also knew that the company was struggling a bit financially and I didn't want to a) hurt the company, or b) have them immediately reject my request for a promotion.

So, I guess it was partly a lack of confidence and partly a willingness to sacrifice a little something for the sake of the company. I think both of those things are rather common among women.

Regardless... I should have at least asked for the raise, even if I was willing to take the promotion without the money if they said they couldn't afford it. It's silly that I didn't do it.

Sara Peters
Sara Peters,
User Rank: Author
5/27/2014 | 10:00:47 AM
Re: No problem
@RyanSepe  Well, I agree with you that aiming for a 50/50 split is pointless, but I don't think that's really what anybody's goal is. Certain fields attract more women, others attract more men, and there's nothing wrong with that. The trouble is when someone is attracted to a field that then rejects them.

What concerns me is that maybe the split would be 20:80, if half the women who left the field after a year decided to stay instead.
Marilyn Cohodas
Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
5/27/2014 | 9:57:54 AM
Re: Re : Women In Security: We've Still Got A Long Way To Go, Baby
@SachinEE Knowing Sara, I'm sure she has the guts to ask for a raise. And as the daughter of an assertive working mother and the mother of an assertive (when she wants to be) daughter I totally agree that being proactive is an important strategy for women who want to achieve pay parity and recognization in security-- along with many other fields.

While I can't speak directly about women in security, after 30-plus years in the workforce, I've seen plenty of examples of "exclusionary macho culture and a lack of executive sponsorship" as mentioned in the article. We all have to play a role in elimiinating that bias.
User Rank: Apprentice
5/26/2014 | 12:44:42 PM
Re : Women In Security: We've Still Got A Long Way To Go, Baby
In order to be taken seriously by men a woman should show she has the guts to face up to challenges brought out in a work place. Sara when you asked for a promotion, you should have just come out and said you want a pay rise too. Why did he give you the promotion if he didn't think you are not qualified to get the promotion? It just needs guts.
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