This is part of a running series for #IWD2021. We sat down with women leaders across the industry for a Q&A to get their insights on the state of women in cybersecurity. Recognize Women Leaders in the 2021 Tech Ascension Awards.
Rosa Lear, Vice President, Marketing at Theta Lake:
How has the women workforce in cybersecurity evolved over recent years?
Women have always been part of the cybersecurity workforce, but we’re definitely seeing a growth in both the number of women in the segment and the level of influence associated with that growth versus 15 years ago. The capability, understanding, and knowledge to be part of this market segment has always existed, but the opportunities were fewer, and the number of women interested in the field was lower. When I began marketing to this segment in the beginning of my career, the majority of our target audience were men, whether it be a practioner or an executive.
Where is it heading?
I am thrilled to say that this dynamic is shifting and will continue to shift as women choose to seek success in this market segment. Like other industries, women in cybersecurity are blazing trails, lifting other women up to join them, and shattering glass ceilings. As I interact with my customers and colleagues, across companies and industries, women have a seat at the table and are influencing real action and results, as it should be. For me, the goal should not be to increase the number of women in a given field to fill a given quota, but to offer the support and opportunity to those that choose to pursue it. This is a gender-neutral pursuit.
What advice would you give to young women looking to enter into cybersecurity?
My advice to the younger generation of women looking to enter into cybersecurity is to never be too proud to learn from those that have paved the way before you, to be bold and confident in your abilities, and to support others around you to be the best they can be regardless of gender. We really are better together and there is enough glory to go around. The glass ceiling may be shattered in many ways, but there’s plenty of distance between us and the stars. Reach for those.