It’s no secret that the gender gap in technology is still an issue today. According to a study by PwC, only 15 percent of employees working in STEM roles are women. Additionally, only 5 percent of leadership positions in the technology industry are held by women.
So, why is this happening? There is a variety of factors and societal pressures at play that prevent women from pursuing a career in technology. Many experts have pointed to gender inequality, gender bias and a lack of female mentorship as three prominent factors responsible, among many others.
There is still much work to be done for women in technology, and to address diversity in technology. Our company recently held a Women of WhiteHat Security Women’s Day event, which aimed to empower women in their technology careers, plus provide a community of support and mentorship.
Several of the women of WhiteHat Security that attended the event have reflected on their experiences and their future ambitions. Here are a few of the top takeaways and valuable lessons learned.
Ellen Harbour, director of global training and development, WhiteHat Security:
“You are stronger than you think you are – this statement really spoke to me. I think, as women, we sometimes take the weight of the world on our shoulders, until we are exhausted (mentally and physically) from the burden. This mindset can reduce our effectiveness and cause us to act from emotion. Analyzing the facts of a situation is a great way to release the emotional drama and focus on achieving a positive outcome.”
Krista Delucchi, engineering program manager, WhiteHat Security:
“A mentorship is a fantastic opportunity to learn from those with experience. Mentoring can help with confidence in oneself and knowledge, and it’s easy to connect with younger people who are just entering the workforce. We all have something to offer. We don’t need to be at the top of our career arcs to be a successful mentor.”
Samantha Jones, supervisor, DAST configuration, WhiteHat Security:
“Know your values! Frequently check-in with yourself regarding those values and have confidence that you are living/working according to your values. Also set goals! If you don’t have goals, you won’t be able to plan your future, and you might struggle to give yourself credit for what you’ve accomplished.”
Manjula Kumar, front-end developer, WhiteHat Security:
“The Women’s Day event provided me an opportunity to connect and share experience with other women in the same and different IT fields and also from different companies. My high-level takeaways from the event were:
- Don’t confuse yourself with where you are in the journey.
- Be gentle to yourself, and learn to correct and move on.
- Engage men as allies for women’s advancement.”
For more ideas, read our blog on “How to Take the Next Step as a Woman in Cybersecurity” here.