Mixing It Up in Security

As a veteran observer of the information technology field going back 16 years I have always been well aware that this is a male-heavy business. CompTIA recently found that 77% of IT workers are male and among management that number jumps to 82% male. But in security we’re even more skewed with 85% of security workers and 90% of security management being male. This is too bad since some of the brightest security professionals I know are female…and I’m not just blowing smoke here.

Over the past several years, CSO has been pleased to play a small part in the Executive Women’s Forum. Founded in 2002 by Joyce Brocaglia, The Executive Women’s Forum is a community of the nation’s most influential female executives in the Information Security, Privacy and Risk Management industries. With an annual event each September, the Forum is focused on helping female security executives advance and succeed in their leadership roles.

I’ve had the unique pleasure to attend this program several times and it’s a real treat. I should note that I’m generally the only guy there making it even more interesting. (Now I almost know what the women feel like at other conferences when they are outnumbered nine to one.)

CSO magazine has also been fortunate to be a co-presenter with Alta Associates of the Women of Influence Awards at the Executive Women’s Forum. Each year awards are presented for outstanding contribution by women employed in the Corporate, Government/Academic, and vendor communities as well as a “One to Watch” award acknowledging an up and coming thought leader. Recipients of these awards represent the best and brightest stars in the field and are encouraged to mentor and assist EWF members throughout the year. Last years winners were Renee Guttman of Time, Inc., Maggie Mansourkia of Verizon, Jayshree Ullal of Cisco and Cheryl Peace of Defense Intelligence.

If you’d like to attend this year’s program you can visit their website at www.infosecuritywomen.com.  To nominate someone for a Woman of Influence Award, you can access the nomination papers at http://public.cxo.com/awards/WOI_2008_application.html.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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