Women in Cyber

Women in Cyber

  «To really have an impact in research and development,
it is necessary to think big, diverse, and inclusive.»

Today, we have unquestionable evidence that gender diversity brings benefits. Men and women complement each other in their skills, attitude towards risk and collaboration, bringing different perspectives to the workplace. The cybersecurity field, like others, can only take advances from a diverse and inclusive workspace.
But we are missing this opportunity.

According to the 2019 Women in Cybersecurity report from (ISC)², currently, women represent only 24% of the overall workforce in Cybersecurity. An improvement from the 11% made up in 2017, but still far from reflecting a balanced representation of both genders. This data is even more alarming considering the forecasting of 3.5 million cybersecurity job openings by 2021. If this trend doesn’t change only a quarter of this large workspace will be filled in by women, in the detriment of both the industry and the society.

These data call for immediate actions, and CONCORDIA is here!

In CONCORDIA, diversity and inclusion are considered drivers for success. This is reflected in its work plan where a dedicated task is devoted to incentivising women to join the field of Cybersecurity. Indeed, compared to other STEM fields, Cybersecurity demands a tailored gender-gap strategy. We have to face the widespread perception of the Cybersecurity as a male-dominated and highly specialised IT field, thus, not an appropriate area for women to enter into.

As a first concrete step in this direction, in collaboration with ECSO Women4Cyber, we have organised the workshop “Women in Cyber- a Manifesto for TODAY”, collocated at 6th ACM Celebration of Women in Computing: womENcourage 2019 conference, 17th September in Rome. The workshop gave us a unique opportunity to engage with relevant stakeholders from different domains. About 40 representatives of the cybersecurity industry, education, research, entrepreneurship and investment areas joined the workshop and brought their contribution to the discussion with real cases and innovative ideas that could incentivise, especially, young professionals to join the domain of Cybersecurity.

Thanks to the workshop, we are now developing a shared vision to support women in Cybersecurity, and are better coordinating the work across diverse communities. The outcome of the workshop is contained in a Manifesto, whose preliminary version is available here and that will be officially launched during the CONCORDIA Open Door Event 2019.

The success of the workshop is due to fantastic attendances that moderate and participate in the discussion, among which:

Madalina Baltatu and  Luciana Costa (Telecom Italia), Sara Colnago (Swascan), Felicia Cutas (EIT Digital), Gabriella Carrozza (Accenture), Gabi Dreo (CODE, CONCORDIA coordinator), Elena Ferrari (University of Insubria),  Elda Gualazzi (Eni), Nina Hashratyan (ECSO Women4Cyber), Regina LLopis (Women Angels 4 STEAM),  Stefanatou (Arthur’s Legal), Tatjana Welzer Družovec (University of Maribor).

This is just the beginning!

Stay tuned at https://www.concordia-h2020.eu/workshops/women-in-cyber/

(by Barbara Carminati, Università degli studi dell’Insubria)