Last November, one of the DefCamp speakers came to me after her talk and we shared our enthusiasm about a key improvement in the community dynamic:
“I can’t believe there are so many women attending!”, she said.
Truth be told, we were also delighted to notice that.
Last year we had more women than ever at DefCamp which is a great sign that our mission to cultivate diversity and inclusion is working. However, we know this is not our exclusive merit. Many factors came into play and we still have a long way to go.
The DefCamp community turns 10 this year and we’re taking a moment to renew our commitment to empowering people from all backgrounds, no matter their gender, to build and enjoy a career in the cybersecurity industry.
To celebrate, we’re getting together a bunch of generous, highly skilled people to share their best knowledge, and experiences.
The best part? You don’t have to wait until November because it’s happening next month!
Whoa, tell me more!
During the last decade, we learned how important diversity is for the infosec industry.
We observed how people sharing the same passion come together naturally to form teams and strive for top performance. What’s more, anyone’s who’s been in the field for a couple of years can tell you that you need a varied set of skills and knowledge and a mindset that spans over technical and non-technical disciplines (psychology, sociology, etc.) to thrive in cybersecurity.
The data shows it too: reports highlight that gender-balanced teams lead to greater innovation, better returns, higher profitability, and a more stable and rewarding internal culture.
So what about the event?
Precisely because we seek to expand how we nurture and support the community, this year we’re inviting more people with diverse roles and backgrounds to teach what they know.
Next month, we choose to put infosec female specialists in the spotlight in a brand-new event: Ladies in CyberSecurity!
When? Where? I need to know more!
Here’s everything you need to know about the event.
On March 21 we’re getting together at Impact Hub Bucharest for a full day to focus on improving our expertise, sharpening our skills, and building relationships with new people in the industry and beyond.
Now you may be wondering: is this for me (even if I’m not a woman)?
The short answer is: YES!
What’s different about this one-day conference is that it features an exclusively female speaker line-up.
What stays the same is that everyone can learn valuable lessons to build their career in cybersecurity from our experienced guests.
You can expect to participate in no-bullshit, high-value conversations that focus on giving you practical advice on how to further your career.
These are some of the topics we’ll dive into, guided by our awesome guests:
- Why and how to enter the field of cybersecurity
- How to develop in-demand infosec skills
- What lessons the speakers learned from their successes and failures
- Which innovations in IT security are making a difference and are worth following
- Which cybersecurity threats are doing real damage and what infosec pros are doing to curb them.
It gets even more exciting that you can get some hands-on experience during the workshops and one on one sessions!
Two awesome guests have already confirmed with more to be announced shortly!
Our keynote speaker is Christina Kubecka whose career spans over 20 years. Her expertise extends over roles, continents, and industries.
Christina has led teams and companies from the US to South Korea, training them in both defensive and offensive infosec tactics. Get to know her better: listen to her latest interview on the Darknet Diaries podcast.
You may already know Jelena Milosevic who joined us last year at DefCamp #9. She is a nurse, speaker, and an independent infosecurity researcher who’s set on improving how the healthcare system handles security and data privacy.
It was her who rejoiced that more and more women are starting to attend DefCamp and we’re really excited to have her back in Bucharest!
We hope the news about Ladies in Cybersecurity reaches as far as possible because our call for papers is also open! This conference is all about giving female infosec pros a chance to shine, so we’d love it for you to apply with your paper here or send this link to someone who might be a good fit.
Why it matters to get more women into infosec
No matter if you’re working in cybersecurity or following the action from the sidelines, you most likely know that demand for skilled people in the industry far outweighs what the labor force can offer.
“In 2015, Frost & Sullivan forecasted a 1.5 million worker shortage by 2020. In light of recent events and shifting industry dynamics, that forecast has been revised to a 1.8 million worker shortage by 2022.”
Source: 2017 Global Information Security Workforce Study
This is a vulnerability in the system and a big one! Not being able to effectively fill in these roles leads to a decline in the ability to protect digital infrastructure.
Automation helps but has its limits. Significant progress is often achieved when humans are able to help other humans change their behaviors and processes for the better.
No wonder there aren’t enough specialists because we’re missing half of the world’s workforce in this industry.
According to the 2017 Global Information Security Workforce Study: Women in Cybersecurity, women make up for only 11% of the infosec workforce worldwide.
Even though women reported higher levels of education than men and in spite of 52% of women under the age of 29 having a computer science undergraduate degree, another report shows “the proportion of women in cybersecurity is stagnant”.
One of the most common issues is that many organizations have long-established cultures with a homogenous leadership team. As a result, they tend to hire people like themselves, which feels comfortable.
Another issue is that “white men are actually promoted based on potential […] whereas women and people of color are promoted based on what they’ve achieved.”, as Sallie Krawcheck points out.
A third issue is something I’ve seen women in infosec deal with frequently: discrimination. A whopping 51% of women working in cybersecurity have experienced it (in North America and Latin America), compared to 15% of men.
Discrimination comes in many shapes and sizes and can deter women from either entering the infosec workforce or leave the industry for a more accommodating culture.
In this context, the only way to make a real difference and make cybersecurity appealing and welcoming to women is to proactively focus on it and to foster diverse viewpoints and perspectives.
Our mission has always been to be as inclusive as possible and create opportunities for anyone who’s committed to study and practice infosec.
We hope Ladies in Cybersecurity is another way to amplify this message and help it reach as many smart, driven people as possible, both female and male.
Where can I get my ticket?
We’re expecting 150+ members of the community to join us in this cozy event packed with quality networking opportunities.
If you’re ready to join us, you can already get your ticket on the website. For 20 EUR, you get to fuel up on great knowledge and meet like-minded people who share your values and interests.
We can’t think of a better way to spend a sunny Thursday on March, 21st, at Impact Hub Bucharest, can you?
- Yes, we’re doing a new event called Ladies in Cybersecurity this March, on the 21st.
- Yes, it will feature an all-female speaker lineup from the infosec industry.
- No, it’s not just for women – everyone is welcome to join our community, as always!
- Yes, the tickets are already available at 20 EUR + VAT and you can get yours on the website.
- Yes, you’ll definitely hear more news from us very, very soon!
Are you as excited as we are for this year?
More DefCamp experiences are on the way, so keep an eye on this blog. We’ll be back soon!