Cybersecurity needs female role models
Schools and parents hold the key to breaking down preconceived ideas about the roles available to women in the cybersecurity space, a panel of experts told an audience in Bermuda.
Moreover, panellists said, relatable female role models from the cybersecurity industry could exert powerful influence on shaping young women's interest and aspirations within the field.
They were speaking at an event organised by Bermuda's 100 Women in Finance network.
The session “Bridging the employment gap for women in cybersecurity”, hosted by Deloitte, featured an all-female panel rich in experience and well-versed on the subject of underrepresentation in the field of cybersecurity and technology.
Speakers were Vicki Coelho, chief executive officer of AAC-Premier Tickets, Marisa Stones, from the Department of ICT Policy and Innovation, and Coral Wells, CEO and founder of Connectech. The panel was moderated by Lorraine Mashiri, IT advisory senior manager at Deloitte.
Their focus was the issue of gender parity in the cybersecurity space. Organisers said cybersecurity has become one of the hottest and fastest-growing fields in technology across the globe, but women professionals are underrepresented in the cybersecurity workforce, as in other areas of technology.
That is true, panellists said, despite the availability of a broad range of roles in the sector, from systems architecture, programme management, platform and data management through to service delivery and operations.
Alison Morrison, managing director and founder of Bermuda Compliance Consultants and chairwoman of the 100 Women in Finance committee in Bermuda, thanked the panellists for sharing their journeys to becoming role models in their field for all women in Bermuda.
Ms Morrison added: “Hearing about the many opportunities that exist for girls to get involved in this field at an early age through the recent launch of a Bermuda chapter of Girls in Tech by Coral Wells was particularly encouraging.”
Ms Mashiri said: “At Deloitte, we believe diversity is one of our greatest strengths. This event allowed women to explore how their skills can be used to help bridge the current employment gap and marks the start of something much bigger.”
She added: “We hope events such as these will benefit our young women in the future as we bring awareness to some of the misconceptions that exist in the cybersecurity and technology space.”
The next Bermuda 100WF education event takes place tomorrow at Orbis House, 25 Front Street.
Sponsored by Orbis Investments, “Create your legacy: learn how to give effectively” will explore the importance of generosity.
Speakers will include Robin Mayor, lawyer, insolvency expert, philanthropist; Pauline Richards, accountant, board member, philanthropist; and Myra Virgil, social policy analyst, grant-making professional, philanthropist; along with moderator Amanda Outerbridge, communications professional, journalist, volunteer.
The organisation asks members to RSVP. Registration is at 4.45pm for the event's 5.15pm start.
For more information about the organisation, including the benefits of membership, see the website at https://100women.org/membership/