Chuck Leaver – Why Has It Taken The Girl Scouts To Raise The Profile Of Females In Cybersecurity?

Written By Kim Foster And Presented By Chuck Leaver


It’s clear that cybersecurity is receiving more global attention than before, and enterprises are rightfully worried if they are training adequate security experts to meet growing security dangers. While this concern is felt throughout the business world, lots of people did not anticipate Girl Scouts to hear the call.

Beginning this fall, countless Girl Scouts across the country have the opportunity to earn cybersecurity badges. Girl Scouts of the United States coordinated with Security Company (and Ziften tech partner) Palo Alto Networks to develop a curriculum that informs girls about the basics of computer security. According to Sylvia Acevedo, CEO of GSUSA, they created the program based upon need from the girls themselves to safeguard themselves, their computer systems, and their family networks.

The timing is good, considering that in accordance with a research study released in 2017 by (ISC), 1.8 million cybersecurity positions will be unfilled by 2022. Factor in increased demand for security pros with stagnant development for females – just 11 percent for the past several years – our cybersecurity staffing problems are poised to intensify without considerable effort on behalf of the industry for better inclusion.

Obviously, we can’t count on the Girl Scouts to do all the heavy lifting. Broader instructional efforts are a given: according to the Computing Technology Industry Association, 69% of U.S. ladies who do not have a profession in infotech mentioned not being aware exactly what opportunities were offered to them as the reason they did not pursue one. One of the fantastic untapped opportunities of our industry is the recruitment of more diverse professionals. Targeted educational programs and increased awareness needs to be high concern. Raytheon’s Female Cyber Security Scholarship is a good example.

To gain the benefits of having actually females supported shaping the future of technology, it is necessary to dispel the exclusionary perception of “the boys’ club” and keep in mind the groundbreaking contributions made by ladies of the past. Many know that the first computer system programmer was a woman – Ada Lovelace. Then there is the work of other well-known leaders such as Grace Hopper, Hedy Lamarr, or Ida Rhodes, all who might stimulate some vague recollection amongst those in our industry. Female mathematicians created programs for one of the world’s very first totally electronic general-purpose computer systems: Kay McNulty, Jean Jennings Bartik, Betty Snyder, Marlyn Meltzer, Fran Bilas, and Ruth Lichterman were simply a few of the very first developers of the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (much better known as ENIAC), though their essential work was not extensively recognized for over 50 years. In fact, when historians initially discovered photos of the ladies in the mid-1980s, they misinterpreted them for “Refrigerator Ladies” – models posing in front of the machines.

It deserves keeping in mind that numerous folk believe the exact same “boys’ club” mentality that neglected the achievements of females in history has actually resulted in minimal leadership positions and lower wages for modern ladies in cybersecurity, in addition to straight-out exclusion of female stars from speaking chances at market conferences. As trends go, excluding intense people with appropriate knowledge from influencing the cybersecurity market is an unsustainable one if we intend to stay up to date with the cybercriminals.

Whether or not we collectively take action to promote more inclusive offices – like informing, recruiting, and promoting ladies in larger numbers – it is heartening to see an organization associated with charity event cookies effectively alert an entire market to the fact that ladies are truly interested in the field. As the Girls Scouts these days are given the tools to pursue a career in information security, we ought to expect that they will become the very women who eventually reprogram our expectations of what a cybersecurity professional looks like.