At baseline, technology is constantly growing and rapidly evolving. Historically, the industry has been a male-dominated one, with the cybersecurity sector being a top offender. Among the innumerable and significant technological advances and updates over the last 10 years, there has also been a shift in the work environment. More and more women have joined the cybersecurity field and have found a seat at the table. Where in the past, men have largely outnumbered women on security teams, the industry is now beginning to see more balance. With this change, the focus has shifted from being one of a strictly “male-dominated field” to a more inclusive attitude towards women in technology. The inclusion of women in STEM, and more specifically in cybersecurity, is now viewed as beneficial and imperative in order to solve complicated problems with varying degrees of perspectives. It’s incredibly important to acknowledge the organizations that have moved to become more inclusive, and to note the successes they have achieved because of it.
Cybereason is a cybersecurity company that provides security solutions, namely Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) and Managed Detection and Response (MDR), to its customers. With the help of the Cybereason EDR product, our teams work to reverse the adversary advantage and empower its customers with the tools to prevent and end cyber-attacks. At Cybereason, “front-line” security professionals are faced with the challenge of a rapidly evolving threat landscape. The mission is to protect all customers and ensure they are safe while navigating the cyber world. Our core values support and enhance the goals we set out to accomplish. One of the values, known as “UbU”, encourages individuals to be their true self. Cybereason strongly believes that everyone operates at peak performance when they are comfortable in themselves and their work. We are after the same common goal, solving the same common problem, and the value that different perspectives bring to the table is what makes us successful in our venture.
Breaking gender roles and pushing the boundaries of traditional gender norms has never made me shy away from a challenge. Growing up playing ice hockey, a male-dominated sport, and sometimes being the only girl on the team, does not differ from working in cybersecurity. I always felt that, aside from performing at a high level to succeed, I also had to prove myself as a hockey player to my male teammates and even those in the stands. There was an unspoken pressure to show that I was as talented as my teammates (if not more), while also making sure not to be viewed as the “weakest link” on my team. It was never an easy task. I faced many critics, including coaches, parents and opposing teams, but I knew this would be a learning experience that would push me to be my best, while also preparing me, with the right frame of mind, to take on any challenge and be successful in future endeavors.
During my time with Cybereason, I have witnessed the balance of men and women at the table firsthand. I have been extremely fortunate to work with a team of incredibly brilliant people, who genuinely support one another. The men on my team, as well as in other business units, are very supportive and encouraging to all the female team members and vice versa; all working towards the same goals and successes. Each sees and understands the value of having a diverse team, and frequently expresses that. Teams view each other as teammates; the weak links are not denoted by gender, but by skill set and the passion that drives them. In addition, I’ve witnessed the leaders within my team include several strong women, who are not only technical experts, but have displayed the qualities of powerful leadership that are admired and respected by others.
While the shift in the work environment is significant progress, it is equally important to continue this growth and supportive atmosphere within the cybersecurity industry. The successes that we have achieved today are due to the hard work and perseverance that women have proven throughout history. We should continue to push gender boundaries in order to pave the way for younger generations of girls, so they are not discouraged from pursuing their goals within this fascinating field. I hope that one day all women can have the same positive work environment that I have experienced.