An Overview on RSA’s Conference on Diversity in Cyber!
Notes on RSA’s “Mírame: See Yourself in These Raíces Cyber Pros” conference, a talk about diversity in the cybersecurity arena.
Last week, we had the chance to participate as audience in RSA’s “Mírame: See Yourself in These Raíces Cyber Pros” conference, a talk about diversity in the cybersecurity arena.
Three amazing women were invited to the conference, including Sofia Nicholson, Melissa Ortiz, and Yvonne Rivera, who shared their experiences about being part of the US’s cybersecurity professional force, while pertaining to two different minority groups – being both women and coming from a Latino background.
Nicholson, Ortiz and Rivera talked about the obstacles they had to face when deciding to start their careers in cybersecurity and how they managed to surpass them in order to become the successful women they are now in this men-led field.
Since they all grew up in the States but tried to stay close to their Spanish heritage ,these three women managed to overcome language barriers and the notion of an “only men” industry through every step of their careers. Several times they had been cataloged by friends and colleagues as women who were supposed to act and talk a certain way, and even have a particular career path according to popular trends and an obtuse cultural point of view, but their willingness to immerse themselves in the cybersecurity arena and hard work, only proved everyone else wrong about the fact that even Latinas can become strong professionals in cybersecurity.
Education has for sure been key to try to break the paradigm surrounding diversity in cybersecurity. Sofia talked about how she has been advocating normalizing women’s role in cyber with her peers, as she had to face since day one being ostracized and pointed out by other men who worked with her while staring her career in cyber. Her biggest wish, promoted by this experience, continues to be that of showing other women around the world, who desire to become part of the cybersecurity industry, that they too can become the best talent out there if they set their minds to it.
As part of these efforts to promote women’s role in cyber, especially for Latinas, Sofia, Melissa and Yvonne also mentioned several initiatives that can help motivate women into becoming part of this growing workforce without the fear of being turned down by peers or potential employers.
· Be brave enough to put yourself out there and show others what you are made of!
· When looking for a job, search for companies that foster diversity and innovation.
· If by any means you feel threatened by your co-workers or peers due to mistreatment or any act of abuse, speak up with your superiors or consider seeking for a different and more inclusive opportunity.
· Becoming part of a community in cybersecurity, preferably those who advocate for diversity, and being an active volunteer in their diversity campaigns and programs.
· Join discourse servers to participate in chapters and events to keep up with cyber trends.
Thank you RSA for hosting this amazing conference and to Sofia, Melissa and Yvonne for their words of wisdom!
Seccuri is deeply committed to help grow the cybersecurity talent pool worldwide, and hopes to keep on fostering a diverse working environment in which everyone is welcome to join the Cyberfield!
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