SPOTLIGHT: Women in Cybersecurity | McAfee Blogs


There are new and expanding opportunities for women’s participation in cybersecurity globally as women are present in greater numbers in leadership. In recent years, the international community has recognized the important contributions of women to cybersecurity, however, equal representation of women is nowhere near a reality, especially at senior levels.

The RSA Conference USA 2019 held in San Francisco — which is the world’s largest cybersecurity event with more than 40,000 people and 740 speakers — is a decent measuring stick for representation of women in this field. “At this year’s Conference 46 percent of all keynote speakers were women,” according to Sandra Toms, VP and curator, RSA Conference, in a blog she posted on the last day of this year’s event. “While RSAC keynotes saw near gender parity this year, women made up 32 percent of our overall speakers,” noted Toms.

Forrester also predicts that the number of women CISOs at Fortune 500 companies will rise to 20 percent in 2019, compared with 13 percent in 2017. This is consistent with new research from Boardroom Insiders which states that 20 percent of Fortune 500 global chief information officers (CIOs) are now women — the largest percentage ever.

Research from Cybersecurity Ventures, which first appeared in the media early last year, predicts that women will represent more than 20 percent of the global cybersecurity workforce by the end of 2019. This is based on in-depth discussions with numerous industry experts in cybersecurity and analyzing and synthesizing third-party reports, surveys, and media sources.

Either way, the 20 percent figure is still way too low, and our industry needs to continue pushing for more women in cyber. Heightened awareness on the topic — led by numerous women in cyber forums and initiatives — has helped move the needle in a positive direction.

Please join McAfee, AWS, and our customers to discuss the impact women are having on information security in the cloud.  These remarkable women represent multiple roles in cloud and security, from technical leadership through executive management. Can’t make it? This same panel will reconvene later in the year during the AWS re:Invent.

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