The conference brings leaders and future leaders together

We talk a lot about gender diversity in the workplace as we believe that it leads the way for all diversity. Gender diversity is much needed in cyber security and it’s a hot topic right now. According to an (ISC) ² report, entitled The 2017 Global Information Security Workforce Study: Women in Cybersecurity that surveyed 19,641 respondents from 170 countries; the industry has a severe shortage of women. Only 11% are female globally and each year it’s decreasing. Furthermore, there remains a gender disparity within senior leadership and management – a trend that other industries have witnessed and are actively addressing.

Gender diversity has attracted much attention due to the fact that economically it is recognised as being good for business. When gender parity improves there are many positive implications for the global economy. In fact, full gender equality, according to a report by McKinsey & Co. would add 26%, or $28 trillion, to global gross domestic product (GGDP) in 2025.

Within the cyber security industry, there has historically been a skills shortage that continues to worsen, and a lack of qualified security professionals is seriously holding back the industry. Women make up about half of the workforce worldwide and 47% of the workforce in the UK.

Until now, we’ve failed to harness almost half of the workforce; namely women, this problem should hardly come as a surprise. This event, therefore, directly tackles the issues of how we can attract and retain more women to work in the sector.

Recognising this, some governments have taken an active role to ensure gender diversity occurs throughout the organisation. Approaching this top-down they have enforced targets for an organisation’s Board of Directors and imposed severe penalties if they have not been met. Women have to be present, and as a result, progressive improvements have been made.

Having a wide range of perspectives and thought leadership throughout the whole cyber security industry, not merely token representation from women, is critical to effective risk assessment and cyber security management. Cyber security is not a job just for men. Clearly, the industry has much to benefit from when this is addressed and the gender gap is closed.

The conference’s objective is to inspire, empower and develop leaders

Whilst this conference is about increasing the numbers of women in cyber security, it’s also about opening up the conversation to diversity as a whole. It’s about inclusion, as this is key to reversing all diversity gaps, including gender, in cyber security, and increasing performance. Everyone wants to be part of this conversation, take an active role in bringing more great people into the industry, and we all want and need this to happen if we’re going to beat our adversaries. For the first time ever, technologists, entrepreneurs, industry, academia and government will be brought together at an event focused on this and everyone will have the opportunity to benefit from the diversity of knowledge, perspective and experience in the room.

The conference will attract 120 leaders and future leaders as attendees. The audience will range from students to CISOs and is designed to boost leadership potential. The day will bring together future leaders from a mix of backgrounds and roles within security, enabling learning and career development. Attendees will gain an insight into the expectations of future leaders across multiple industry verticals. Furthermore, they’ll have an opportunity to access a learning and development programme that’s been specifically tailored to their needs.