The Day of Shecurity summit began five years ago with 25 female engineers gathered around a table at the Lookout headquarters. Last week, we held a 12-hour interactive event with over 1,700 registrants from over 50 countries. The 2021 women-focused conference held on March 23 attracted many of the most prominent players in tech. Our goal was simple – encourage more women to participate so our industry becomes more effective.
I’m really proud of the work everyone has put into these events. The exponential growth in success illustrates the fact that the tech industry is determined to reverse the diversity trend and encourage more women to join the field.
This year, more than 50 organizations signed up to support our first virtual Day of Shecurity. Some notable companies include Atlassian, Amazon Web Services, Google, Lyft, Netflix, Pinterest, Raytheon, Tinder, Salesforce and Sequoia Capital. We had 75 and shared over 100 cybersecurity job openings.
Diversity is the key to cybersecurity’s talent shortage
It’s no secret that women are vastly underrepresented in technology roles. On the flip side, there are critical needs for specialized cyber talent and skills. Even just looking from a pragmatic standpoint, you need diversity to ensure essential jobs are filled. While the numbers are improving, (ISC)² reports that women still hold only 24% of cybersecurity roles, and ISACA reports 86% of cybersecurity teams are comprised of all or mostly men.
In 2017, Secure Diversity, the Lookout Foundation Diversity Steering Committee and a Core Team established the Shecurity initiative. The idea was to provide every participant a clear understanding of the cybersecurity industry.
Day of Shecurity became the vehicle to educate women interested in the field about the skills, resources and discipline needed to make the transition. The event focused on increasing the number of trained cybersecurity professionals across all levels and categories.
About the sessions at 2021 Day of Shecurity
Over 1,700 women, hailing from all walks of the cybersecurity journey registered for the 2021 Day of Security. The virtual event featured a series of keynote presentations, workshops, mentoring and skills assessment.
Thought-provoking sessions include "How Hackers Can Help Stop Human Exploitation and Trafficking" and "Negotiating an Offer - What Corporate Recruiters Don't Tell You.” Certified information security professionals shared their personal stories about breaking into cybersecurity, why the industry needs more diversity and inclusion, and why mentors and role models are critical to advancing tech.
Rooms were abuzz despite the virtual nature of this year’s conference: 7,8-- chat messages were exchanged in personal development workshops, certifications, compliances and technical skills training. Lookout was well represented: had speakers from security intelligence, research, compliance, design, product, engineering and HR leading discussions on a wide range of topics.
Another year, another leap towards diversity and inclusion
There has never been a more critical time to increase diversity within the global workforce, especially within the cybersecurity industry. By getting more women involved, Day of Shecurity is paving the way for a better and more effective field.
We’re already looking towards our next gathering. I look forward to gathering more powerful women to discuss the most pressing dilemmas in cyber and how we can collectively empower the next generation.
Big thank you to the Lookout Foundation for making Day of Shecurity happen. Special shoutout to the amazing ladies of Lookout who participated. YOU are making change happen!
I’d also like to acknowledge Deidre Diamond, Founder and CEO of CyberSN and Founder of Secure Diversity. This event wouldn’t have happened without the support from her team. Day of Shecurity has been a collaborative effort from day one, and I’m proud to see that tradition continue.
The Lookout Team for Day of Shecurity 2021
- Amy Chiang, Senior Product Designer
- Apurva Kumar, Staff Security Intelligence Engineer
- Arezou Hosseinzad Amirkhiz, Security Intelligence Research Manager
Brenley Brotman, Senior Director, Global Recruiting
- Jan D'Alessandro, Lookout Foundation Executive Advisor
- Kelly Peterson, Security Intelligence Engineer
- Kimberly Snow, Senior Director, Compliance
- Kristin Del Rosso, Senior Security Intelligence Researcher
- Kristina Balaam, Senior Security Intelligence Researcher
- Menka Hariani, Senior Product Manager
- Sara Tashakorinia, Senior Product Innovation Manager
- Sharmin Bock, Assistant District Attorney, Alameda County
- Sheila Coleman, Principal Software Engineer
- Siobhan Carrera, Enterprise Account Manager
- Sneha Sachidananda, Principal Product Manager
- Victoria Mosby, Federal Sales Engineer
If you’d like a dive into why we need more women in cybersecurity, we have a podcast and a blog featuring Kristina Balaam, Senior Security Intelligence Engineer and Victoria Mosby, Federal Sales Engineer.