International Women’s Day provided a rare opportunity to openly and honestly probe some of the challenges and opportunities for women of diverse background and cultures to build a career in cyber security.
Emi Palmor, Israeli lawyer and senior civil servant – who, among her many other contributions, served as Director General of the Ministry of Justice – led a panel discussion on the topic of “Men and Women as Allies” with the participation of CyberProof’s CEO Tony Velleca, President Yuval Wollman, and Director of Global Service Delivery Angela Schoeman.
The conversation explored some of what’s unique to cyber security and how these aspects have an impact on women working in the industry. We discussed how many cyber professionals move into the private sector from the military – and touched on the advantages of the fact that you don’t need an academic degree in the sciences to succeed in cyber. Both issues have an impact in terms of the participation of women in the field.
CyberProof’s staff participated in the virtual event and asked questions throughout the discussion which were answered in turn by Emi, Tony, Yuval, and Angela. Topics covered included the desire of CyberProof’s leadership to provide opportunities for all CyberProof’s employees regardless of gender, and their interest in working to ensure that our corporate environment and policies support the professional development of women in cyber.
We look forward to leveraging this event as a springboard for exploring new ways of advancing women’s careers and further examining questions of gender in the workplace.
Some interesting points raised in the discussion…
- Tony Velleca, CEO at CyberProof, said, “I’ve always been a believer that women are a strength in terms of what we’re trying to do here at CyberProof. One of the unique aspects of CyberProof is that we want to be a company that works closely with our clients, we want that high-touch engagement, and we want to build relationships based on empathy – and I see women as having strength in terms of those skills.”
- Yuval Wollman, President at CyberProof, stated that, “The number of women in tech is connected to what people study in university: Fewer women study mathematics and computer science, and this impacts their career paths in cyber. But you don’t need to study the sciences to work as cyber security professionals – here in Israel, it is regularly based on experience in the military. This is an opportunity for women, and I see this reflected in the company. More globally speaking, to correct the imbalance in tech, I believe high school is important, and CyberProof is interested in working with the youth to make an impact in terms of gender.”
- Angela Schoeman, Director of Global Service Delivery, shared with us that, “To me, I’ve never seen ‘gender’ when it comes to working. Rather, I think our customers want the best customer service and that means working as a team. Individuals on their own, regardless of their gender, aren’t perfect people; we all have strengths and weaknesses. I think it’s about teamwork, the collaboration, meeting customers’ needs, maximizing our strengths and closing the gaps in terms of our weaknesses.”
- Emi Palmor pointed out that “What brought me eventually to be the Director General of the Ministry of Justice and to be one of only two female Director Generals in a government of thirty ministries was the understanding I had from a very early age that I am responsible for my own dreams and my own fate. I always say that we’ve watched too many Cinderella movies. We’ve been accustomed to wait for a Prince Charming who will come and save us.”
Solving the talent shortage with more women in cyber
Yuval concluded the panel by saying, “I’d like to recruit more women globally. Cyber security talent is in scarcity; we need more talent. It’s hard to recruit.”
Yuval continued, “The more women join us, the more diverse we will be, and the more possible it will be to accommodate and build some of the models we discussed – to internalize some of the concerns raised by women employees during this discussion, and to meet those concerns.”
Interested in pursuing a career in cyber? We’d love to hear from you! Check out the career opportunities here at CyberProof.