Because I care deeply about inclusion, I have decided to change our name. When I founded Brainbabe, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization 4 years ago, “boothbabe” was a term and a service that was used at cybersecurity industry trade shows. Hired models at events being paid to look sexy and bring men to vendor booths were creating an environment that was very uncomfortable to women who were there to learn and network. When RSA Conference brought up the topic of boothbabes in 2015 I was focused on our talent shortage. My brain instantly said, “we need to train these women not ban them from our working our events”. Brainbabe was then founded and you can read the full story here.
During the last four years, we have learned and accomplished many great things:
- Co-created Day of Shecurity events in SF and Boston. These are free, one-day training conferences led by women with an average of over 250 women in attendance.
- Organized Day of Shecurity Presents, an evening meet-up series that has been active for over a year in San Francisco
- Supported and created partnerships with many wonderful NFP Organizations and chapters all over the US such as ISC(2), OWASP, ICMCP, ISACA, ISSA, CSA, WoSec, OWASP WIA, WIT, WiCys, Cyberjitsu, Annie Cannons, and B-Sides, all over the US.
- Public speaking about creating a diverse and inclusive work culture at least twice a month at industry events and educational institutes.
- Launched the STEAM-Conference Connect, which connected students of all genders with an interest in cybersecurity to work booths at cybersecurity events.
- Provided DEFCON attendance scholarship packages to 5 women
- Co-Organized the first TiaraCon (now Diana Initiative) and co-founders of the Hacking Diversity Conference
I am very proud of our team that made these accomplishments happen and I am super proud to be a part of a community that has such wonderful people who volunteer their time to better the community.
As we move forward and expand our organization’s efforts, it’s important to us that everyone in the community participates. Together we are stronger and inclusion truly matters. We have big challenges to solve and we need everyone to solve them. We have learned over the years that a significant part of our community dislikes our name greatly. While there is an argument to be made for keeping the name, we prefer inclusion and that means everyone must like the name. We have eliminated companies hiring models to work events and we have established a strong brand, we will spend the time and money to change our name so that everyone feels comfortable participating. It is my commitment to be inclusive and this is why I have decided to change the Brainbabe name to Secure Diversity.
Diversity is about inclusion. We can’t be diverse if we aren’t being inclusive and I am happy to lead by example 🙂
So with this, I say to all of our community, we care about you and we want you involved.
Happy New Year Love,
Deidre and the Secure Diversity Team