Women in Cybersecurity: A Vital Subset of the Women in Tech Movement

Katie Stevens, Associate Director Technology Consulting – Security and Privacy

At Protiviti, we are enthusiastically committed to a culture of diversity and inclusion. This commitment is an important priority for us, especially when we see the progress needed to advance women in technical fields such as cybersecurity. Women in tech has been a hot topic for companies, and lack of diversity is now considered a business risk, as our technology industry leader, Gordon Tucker, recently pointed out.

The movie Hidden Figures illustrated how women overcame formidable obstacles in a male-dominated field to invent the math and apply the technology that made several NASA space operations possible. These obstacles cannot and must not exist today, and yet gender imbalance is a growing concern in the STEM fields.

Two weeks ago, in Chicago, I attended the Women in Cybersecurity conference, an event co-sponsored by Protiviti and attended by several of my female colleagues in Protiviti’s Security and Privacy practice. During this event, I met experienced female leaders in cybersecurity who provided valuable insights in the field, as well as career and leadership advice to young professionals such as our own cybersecurity consultant, Veronica Colegrove. Veronica’s passion for cybersecurity is contagious, and her view on cybersecurity should be of great interest to security professionals of all levels, which is why I recommend you read them in her own words on the Protiviti careers blog.

The key takeaway for me is this: Cybersecurity requires innovative and out-of-the box thinking, anticipating and strategizing as much as, if not more than, other aspects of the business environment. Women have played and continue to play a remarkable role as inventors, programmers, problem-solvers and strategy-setters, and it would be a disservice to any organization or business to deprive itself of access to their expertise. Companies need to create an environment that offers more women a role in the cybersecurity space. I recommend our January issue of PreView for some eye-opening statistics on women in the STEM fields – science, technology, engineering and mathematics. In the workplace, we need to see the meter moved on this issue.

If you are a woman in cybersecurity or another technical field, leave us a comment on our blogs and share your thoughts.

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