International Women in Cyber Day

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Lisa Kearney
Lisa Kearney signed this petition

Problem

The cybersecurity workforce needs more skilled workers to adequately defend nations against cyber attacks and fill the demand of growing unfilled job rates globally. They are the guardians of your national and economic security.

A video message from Hon. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6512838580900106240

Executive Order on America's Cybersecurity Workforce from US President Donald Trump

https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-americas-cybersecurity-workforce/

Women are underrepresented and are not receiving the support they need to retrain and retain more in the cybersecurity industry.   

I am a woman like many others with years of experience in the cybersecurity workforce. Throughout my career, like many others, I've experienced discrimination, harassment, bullying, sexism and more.  We've lost economic opportunities such as service contracts due to bullying and left jobs because we refused to participate and collude in unethical or illegal activities. We've been excluded from meetings because we're told "it's technical", or attend in "listen-only mode". Women have been assaulted at conferences which now drives mandatory 'Codes of Conduct' and resulted in some conferences shutting down altogether. 

These are not easy topics to discuss but it's the difficult subjects we must address.  The above complaints are what women in cybersecurity experience daily.  Women exit the industry and lose out on financial stability and economic opportunities for themselves and their families.  This widens the skills gap which results in existing workers being understaffed and opens the way for cyber-criminals to operate without detection. Some estimate more than 10 million jobs globally will go unfilled by 2025.

The puts our nations and economies at risk!

Facts

  • In Canada, women make up only 10% of the cybersecurity workforce;
  • Enrollment for women in cybersecurity-related programs in Canada is low at 11%;
  • Research has shown women need a 30% ratio in the industry to feel supported;
  • Research has shown there is a 50% drop out rate for women in information technology within the first four years;
  • Women experience pay inequity and receive about 20-30% less than men;
  • Women have to work twice as hard to get half the recognition;
  • By 2021, an estimated 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs globally will remain vacant due to the skills gap in the workforce;
  • Cyber attacks cost the economy trillions of  dollars each year;
  • It is estimated the world will lose $6 trillion due to cyber attacks by 2020;
  • Cyber attacks are increasing in sophistication and frequency;
  • Data breaches are a daily occurrence and privacy seems to be disappearing;
  • Misinformation and fake news are being used to manipulate the masses and control and influence political outcomes. This is an attack on democracy;
  • Research has shown, diversity of thought leads to better problem-solving and resolution;
  • Research has shown increased diversity leads to increased revenue and profit;


Solution

An International Women in Cyber Day, September 1st, 2019 is a day to celebrate and recognize the achievements of women in this industry. 

It will demonstrate that women are supported and valued for their contributions.  It will also encourage more women to consider cybersecurity as a career.  This results in narrowing the large gender gap as well as the growing skills gap

I call upon industry players such as government, educators, policymakers, technology and service providers and those in the workforce to support this global campaign.  We each play a part in supporting the cybersecurity industry!

  • Industry and government can create policies for increased diversity and inclusion;
  • The government can create regulation to enforce equal pay for equal work.  Iceland did it!;
  • Government to create policies for equal representation on boards and positions of authority;
  • Industry to create and enforce policies for equal representation on industry and conference events;
  • Industry to create policies for equal pay for equal work;
  • Industry to create policies for hiring women equally as men;
  • Industry to create programs to bring awareness of these issues and stand against harassment and discrimination;
  • Government to provide funding for programs and services to support women in this industry;
  • Industry to provide programs and services to support women in the industry.  Retain and retain!;
  • Provide grants and scholarships for technical cybersecurity skills training. 

Thank you for reading and please show your support by signing our petition.  

National Day Petition, Government of Canada

The Women CyberSecurity Society et al