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What Women in Cybersecurity Really Think About Their Careers
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Kelly Jackson Higgins
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Kelly Jackson Higgins,
User Rank: Strategist
8/7/2017 | 3:28:50 PM
Re: Are we equal yet?
@SchemaCzar It's likely that you haven't seen "anti-woman prejudice" because you haven't experienced it firsthand like many women in this industry do. The goal of Wong's report was to highlight how women who are in this industry feel about their jobs and their roles in the industry despite implicit biases they and minorities face on a regular basis. It's not meant to be a jab at men or "old-boy exclusiveness" as you described, but instead to be honest and open about these experiences and what can be done to foster a more inclusive environment. Awareness of biases we all have is key to opening the door for more talent in the industry.

The report had a positive spin indeed because many women are proud of the work they do and the contributions they make to the industry. That should speak for itself on how they are an important "subgroup" of the security profession. 
GonzSTL
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GonzSTL,
User Rank: Ninja
8/7/2017 | 1:53:35 PM
Re: Are we equal yet?

I was on a panel a few weeks ago in a discussion about Diversity in IT that included, besides myself, 3 women: 2 CIOs and a managing principal for an IT staffing firm. The discussion was quite eye opening, and a lot of it centered on a person's life balances as a huge factor in choosing their profession. The question was not really whether or not we are equal, but instead revolved more around the circumstances that heavily influenced decisions, and what would be a better fit in their family life. Although I readily admit that IT security (really, IT in general) has since the beginning been a male dominated discipline, I'm not sure that disparaging attitudes towards women in IT are prevalent and cause their lack of representation.

I am glad that the author touched on the pipeline problem. We must find a way to inspire girls and young women to consider a career in cybersecurity (really, IT in general). In the USA, almost 47% of the workforce are women, and if only 11% in the (cybersecurity) industry are women, then we have a serious issue because we are missing out on a very large group of people. I'm not saying that we must necessarily have 47 %, but surely something larger than 11%. Peer and societal pressures play such a heavy role on career selections, and those are the toughest to overcome. It would be good for women in cybersecurity to share their stories so that women can be inspired to pursue that career. Those stories should be heard by girls at an early age, as stereotypical images are formed at earlier ages these days.

SchemaCzar
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SchemaCzar,
User Rank: Strategist
8/7/2017 | 12:34:05 PM
Are we equal yet?
I'm really not sure why I'm still seeing articles about women as an important subgroup in this profession because of their gender.  In my entire professional life, I've seen only a handful of real anti-woman prejudice events and a ton of scrupulous even-handedness. I am glad that Wong seems to see "improvement," because sometimes  articles with such topics can seem like veiled accusations of old-boy exclusiveness.  But this article still doesn't help me at all in my security work and research.

I will say this:we need a boatload of additional security professionals whatever their demographics.


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