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Industry Observations

NTT Application Security #breaksthebias on International Women’s Day 2022!

The observation of International Women’s Day has gone on since the early 1900s. Since its beginnings, the world has experienced a significant change in women’s equality – though it’s still a major issue in today’s society.

 

This year’s International Women’s Day theme is to #breakthebias and continues working towards a world of gender equality. NTT Application Security’s “Women in AppSec” group joined together to share their thoughts & experiences for International Women’s Day 2022.

Collectively, many women have experienced gender bias during their careers. From commonly used comments describing them as quiet, meek, or bossy, to them being too busy because they are balancing full-time work with family life – few of which would ever be directed at male counterparts. Common experiences also span situations where male colleagues were surprised at their involvement in a high-level review/discussion to situations where a woman was used as the “pretty face” representation of an otherwise only male group.

So, in a world where we are constantly trying to #breakthebias, what can women continue to do to support the cause – to create a better environment for the next generation? Here are some thoughts from a few members of our “Women in AppSec” group:

Cassandra Morton, SVP Customer Success & Service Delivery

Be an ally to your peers and speak up if you see bias or experience it yourself. It is not necessary to have a loud or visible reaction in order to speak up. It can be as simple as “Stop, please. I expect that behavior to change because it invalidates me.” Your allies do not have to be other women.

Lauren Johnson, Sr. Marketing & Events Program Manager

We should use our strengths to support each other and build a community with open communication and respect. This can include amplifying the voices of other women who are not comfortable speaking up, as well as acknowledging others who cannot get a word in and creating a space for their voice to be heard.

Let’s not forget that while individual changes do add up, there are larger scale changes that corporations and industries as a whole should be focusing on to foster a more equal and inclusive atmosphere.

Cassandra Morton, SVP Customer Success & Service Delivery

Cybersecurity companies can and should recognize when “the old way of doing things, naming things, or saying things” needs to be turned on its head or corrected to be more inclusive. For example, why are we still saying “Mr. Customer” when we practice a sales pitch?

Lauren Johnson, Sr. Marketing & Events Program Manager

One major way that corporations need to shift is in the thought that work must be done in a 9-5 manner, 5 days a week. We saw some of that change due to the pandemic, but with “return to the office” on the horizon, it must be recognized that lives have shifted. More specifically, employees have adapted to working in ways that allow them to be the most efficient, rather than strictly adhering to the “old ways” that may be less productive.

NTT Application Security is proud to celebrate and honor our women employees. As a sponsor at the Women Techmakers Belfast conference in April, our team would love the opportunity to connect with you!