Women make up less than one-quarter of the cybersecurity workforce, which can lead to less innovation, inferior design, seriously underutilized human potential, and needlessly unfilled jobs in a growing field. In short, this lack of gender diversity means poorer security. Existing efforts to address the issue have begun to create networks among women in the field, but other solutions, particularly those intended to create systemic change in order to help women permeate cybersecurity fields at all levels, have had limited success.
This project convened a diverse group of experts from corporate, academic, nonprofit, and government backgrounds to consider new ideas and implementable strategies to bring women into and up through cybersecurity careers. The participants identified three major opportunities to create scalable change: 1) Empower coordinators to build connectivity among existing efforts and cultivate additional resources, 2) Engage and collaborate with businesses to develop new programs and systems to improve recruitment and retention of women, and 3) Use marketing, entertainment, and media platforms to change the narrative and raise awareness of women in cybersecurity careers.