About a year before I joined SC Media, I wrote an editorial called “Wait, where are all the women?” I was specifically referring to Defense Department leadership, but it might as well have been about information technology. The diversity challenge transcends too many markets with IT, and cybersecurity specifically, among the worst offenders.
But I fear that message alone has grown tired. Let’s start a new conversation.
Today we unveil our Women in IT Security package. We honor 20 inspiring women for their expertise, their leadership, and their commitment. Finding women to spotlight was not difficult. Harder was choosing among a lengthy list of nominees – so many of whom deserved recognition.
Also as part of this project, we showcase the distinctive – and proven successful – approach women take to leadership and to tech investing. We examined the more promising (and less so) efforts to grow the presence of women in technical positions. We consider the experiences of cybersecurity opportunities for women around the globe – how they are different and how, in many cases, they mirror those of women here at home.
What does all this tell us? That women in IT security are present and powerful. That women in IT security are transforming this market in tangible and critical ways. That women in IT security are the voices inspiring new talent to join the community. And that women in IT security demand more.
I don’t want to imply that the many challenges are gone. Our coverage also reinforces that the number of women in IT security remains far too low. And culture and a history of repression still force women who strive to achieve comparable opportunities to that of their male counterparts to work harder, to yell louder, and to wait longer. That is especially true of women of color.
But what I do hope is that this package will serve as a celebration of successes and a constructive critique of failures. And I intend this to be a conversation that continues, with ongoing recognition of the many women serving as advocates of other individuals and the market at large, as powerful leaders driving change from the top, as veterans that tout a long and established record of success, as pioneers garnering attention today as the leaders that can transform tomorrow.
I congratulate our 2020 honorees, and I also thank our advisory board, listed below, for supporting our efforts to get this right.
Let’s keep the conversation going.