Resources and Organizations Working to Bridge the Gender Gap in Security Leadership

In our last blog post, we discussed the diversity gap within Security leadership positions. Though this is a hot topic in our industry, the question of how we, as a community, solve this problem is unclear.

If we work to help balance the scales, we will see improved and innovative problem-solving, greater empathy, stronger emotional intelligence, and better-managed organizations across the board. We need everyone’s help to promote, recruit, drive, and support more women into Security leadership positions.

Below, we have put together a list of pioneering organizations and groups who are enabling a movement of change in the Security leadership space. We support their messages and applaud their efforts. We apologize for any unintentional exclusions from this list.

Our Security Advocates (OURSA)

The OURSA conference was born in 2018 after an uproar regarding the April 2018 RSA Conference. The RSA organizers received backlash after scheduling only one woman on their speaker panel out of 21 scheduled speakers and moderators. OURSA is a “unique security conference” where 26 of its 29 speakers are women. OURSA was started by Facebook’s Chief Security Officer, Alex Stamos, and Google’s “Security Princess” and, more recently, Engineering Director, Parisa Tabriz. We hope to see the OURSA conference return in 2019!

You can stay connected with the group via Twitter @OURSAConference.

Women in CyberSecurity (WiCyS)

The WiCyS initiative was launched in 2013 with support from a National Science Foundation grant. Their mission is to raise awareness about the importance and nature of cybersecurity career. WiCyS focuses on recruiting, retaining, and advancing women in cybersecurity. They bring together women (students/faculty/researchers/professionals) in cybersecurity from academia, research and industry to share knowledge/experience, network and mentor.

You can join one of their online communities and inquire about the WiCyS conference on March 29-30, 2019 at the Wyndham Grand in Downtown Pittsburgh, PA.  

Women in Security and Privacy (WISP)

WISP is a national nonprofit organization founded in 2014 that promotes the development, advancement, and inclusion of women in Security and Privacy. They have a strong and defined set of objectives from education, to fostering community, supporting career advancement, creating thought leadership opportunities, and conducting research for recruitment, retention, and advancement.  

You can join their online community of over 1,500 members and attend an upcoming event.

Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu (WSC)

WSC is a fantastic national organization that was founded in 2012 as a Northern Virginia-based 501(c)3 non-profit organization. WSC’s mission is to advance women in cybersecurity careers by providing programs and partnerships that promote networking, education, training, mentoring, resource-sharing and other professional opportunities. They also have a strong and defined set of objectives including workshops, training, networking events, mentorship, board and volunteer opportunities.

You can get involved and become a member or check out their upcoming events calendar to see where they will be next.

Technology Diversified

Technology Diversified is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to providing education and resources that promote employment, peer-support, diversity, and inclusion in technology. I wanted to give a big shout out to their Hacking Diversity event in Las Vegas this past week.  Admittedly, I did not attend but the value and mission are right on message. Congratulations on a great event!

You can get involved by following them on LinkedIn or Twitter @T3chDiversified.

Beyond Salons

Beyond Salons is the brainchild of our friend Jodi Jefferson at Riviera Partners. While not focused specifically in the Security space yet, this unique and fantastic group is about accelerating and connecting female executive leaders in Engineering and Product Management. Women leaders are encouraged to share ideas and stories and pass along advice and best practices between multiple generations of women in tech. Their principles and messaging is spot on.

You can get involved and join an event in the New York area by filling out their “join us” form on their website.

We need your help! Are you aware of other groups, organizations, regular meetups, and get-togethers, or forum doing this work on a national or regional level that we have missed? We want to recognize them! Send an email to Michael Piacente (michael.piacente@hitchpartners.com) to give them a shout out!