I am so pleased to announce that nominations are now open for the 9th annual Women in IT Security program, recognizing information security professionals that demonstrate through their expertise and leadership the advantage of workforce diversity.
We kick off this program, among my favorites of the year, with a sense of optimism. I see more women in leadership roles – in public and private sector. I get a sense that more women – and men – feel empowered to speak about the need for diversity and to call out both successes and failures. And I see efforts from companies to support women within their own organizations with programs that go beyond lip service.
Do I have statistics that prove this to be? Not exactly. Could this reflect a bandwagon mentality among professionals or efforts to grab good PR by companies? Probably a bit – but maybe that doesn’t matter. If individuals and companies both see gender diversity, or diversity in general, as something they need to do to stay current and relevant, then I call that progress.
So on to details about the program. We again will recognize honorees in five categories:
- Cybersecurity veterans, who have delivered consistent performance and innovation over long careers;
- Power Players, who through market engagement and commitment have risen to positions of influence;
- Advocates, who have advanced cybersecurity awareness and served as beacons for expansion and diversity in the field; and
- Women to Watch, who are commanding attention as drivers of the industry’s next wave of growth and innovation.
Women from all segments of the cybersecurity market qualify: vendors, practitioners, educators, researchers. And we encourage individuals to nominate their colleagues and peers, and for individuals to be their own best advocate and nominate themselves. We want to hear about how women advocate for other women of all races and background, and we want to know how women of all races and backgrounds contribute to the knowledge base to benefit all.
Let me state that latter point another way, because it is an important one: This is a program that recognizes infosec leaders that happen to be women. This is not a program that recognizes women who happen to be infosec leaders. As such, this is a program intended to spotlight the advantage of broadening the aperture to recognize talent and power where it exists – not just where societal norms have historically led us to look.
To submit nominations, please enter all information into the entry form. Entries will close June 24, at which time the editorial team and members of the SC Media advisory board will begin the difficult task of reviewing all nominations and selecting honorees to be unveiled in September.
And in the meantime, be sure to also check out last year’s honorees and all of our coverage on the inspiring work being done by women across the infosec community. We have a great deal to celebrate.