The socio-economic impact of Women in Tech
In our industry there is a lack of women and diversity in the technical fields within the cyber security sector and STEM careers as a whole. This lack of diversity creates a ripple effect throughout the development of technologies, systems and services where the voice of women isn't heard and therefore new systems and technologies are not geared with these in mind. In this talk, I will discuss the impacts of what happens when women do not go into technical careers. How this then impacts all women from a sociological and financial perspective and why you (as a woman) should pivot to tech and why (as a man) you should know the unconscious bias so that you can be a voice for women until women can be a voice for themselves. In this research-based talk, I will present statistics and eye opening studies on how everyday things haven’t factored in women and in most cases because they weren’t there to fight the cause or put through their unique perspectives. I will talk about the unconscious gender biases that women apply to other women, how society starts from an early age to move women away from technology into more female oriented careers, how throughout history women have been pioneers in technology innovation and should be held up as role models to aspire to. I will discuss some of the technologies that have been built that inadvertently mean poorer outcomes for women and how having less female representation within STEM and technology careers adversely affects all women in society. I will discuss the pay scales of non technical cyber security careers versus technical careers and how this directly affects career options, career paths and career longevity.
I will then provide the how. How to move into a more technical cyber security career path, how to overcome bias and be an advocate for yourself, for other women and how to overcome the negative talk (whether it is negative self talk or haters) to be able to pivot to a more technical career and why the time is now with options that are low code, no code, cloud based, self paced learning that enable technology at a much easier to ingest rate. I will share where to start for beginners, where to start for career pivoters and what to consider if you want to make the leap from technical to technical leadership and why being a techie can make this leap easier than a traditional pathway to executive leadership. My ultimate goal is to drive a change to have more women in technical cyber security and technical leadership for the greater good of all.
I am a cyber security professional. This is my 26th year in security and I lead the IBM Security Services practice.