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Small Changes Can Make A Big Difference In Tech Diversity
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Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
2/5/2015 | 7:11:56 PM
Re: Would you, could you, in a bar? Would that not be but bizarre?
> Do companies really do that?

Given the reports out of Silicon Valley, I'm inclined to believe pretty much anything about workplace practices in that sector these days.
Marilyn Cohodas
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Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
2/3/2015 | 8:51:17 AM
Re: Would you, could you, in a bar? Would that not be but bizarre?
I'm with you @Joe Stanganelli. A group interviews in a bar would make me order a tall one then high tail it out of the door as quickly as possible. Do companies really do that? 
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
2/2/2015 | 1:16:53 AM
Diversity is important -- and isn't.
Diversity in tech is good and important because it accounts for the fact that when it comes to important functions (such as cyber security), you have to draw deeply from the well of talent so you can get the broadest and best perspectives.

The folly of diversity, however, is that it seems to assume that women can't screw up as big as men can.  (Cases in point: Marissa Mayer, Ginni Rometty, etc.)

Hire the best, wherever the best can be found, and actively seek out the best while encouraging and mentoring those with potential and talent.

But after that, let's maybe shut up about it so we don't have to read articles about what dress Marissa Mayer wore to the earnings call.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
2/2/2015 | 1:12:41 AM
Would you, could you, in a bar? Would that not be but bizarre?
Large group interviews in a noisy bar?  Yuck!  (Speaking both as someone with hyperacusis and someone who just thinks that's tacky and dumb.)

There's a cafe I frequent in a particular office building, and there's this one sales company that commonly holds interviews in that cafe.  Like, several a day.  I feel like warning the poor interviewees to run far far away because obviously the company has extremely high turnover of its sales team.

Of course, if they have to hold their interviews in the cafe instead of in their office, that alone should signal trouble.

So too with the company that interviews in a crowded bar.  Seriously, man.  Professionalism, much?
Pragmatic_Security
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Pragmatic_Security,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/30/2015 | 12:35:26 PM
Causation...
Good article topic.  I think this points to a deeper, causative, deficiency regarding information security practice.

Anyone with experience working in an IT shop (put a pin in that one) knows that it is dominated by white guys, often fitting the stereotype of those with a penchant for online RPGs, graphic novels, and Mountain Dew.  The security analysts demanded by managers and above are often fitting of this archetype, because what do we need? Technologists... More technologists.

I know this is terribly "new school" of me, but why can't we foundationally build our information security programs with documentation, reference, and development opportunities for motivated, critical, abstract thinkers?  The talent pool is thinned because we limit ourselves to a specific, desired skill set.  Why?  Because security leadership hasn't taken the time to lay the 'unsexy' groundwork of a high-performing program: documentation and clear, defined processes.

If processes are not defined or teachable, the hiring pool becomes smaller and smaller, namely the same technologists who view collaborative communication as the arms race of who has the technical savvy to get their latest, unfunny technology joke (and if you don't get it, you're obviously not qualified to sit in the same room).

 I have a non-technical educational background (finance and economics), and I believe it's been instrumental and directly attributable to any success I've had in infosec practice.  If I can pull young talent in from diverse educational and demographic backgrounds and teach them how to apply them to the technological challenges found in information risk management, I've increased my prospective talent pool one hundred fold.

tl:dr, white guys aren't the only good security practitioners, we need to redefine our norms and structure our programs to accomodate diversity.

Now... If I only had the time to write these processes down and set up one-on-ones...
Lital Asher-Dotan
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Lital Asher-Dotan,
User Rank: Author
1/29/2015 | 10:09:52 AM
Excellent, very helpful article!
I work at Cybereason (www.cybereason.com), a cyber-security startup which as of day 1 decided to be proactive about gender diversity and actively seeks to have woman in all positions across the organization. We are very proud to have almost a half of our R&D and product development team composed of women developers. Your tips are helpful, as we strive to attract talented women. The company CEO is very proactive about gender diversity and speak freely about the need to have more women in security and in every managerial level of the organization. 


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