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Thanks for a Great Inaugural Virtual Day of Shecurity!

alt text: cursive writing of thank you

Have you ever gone to or been a part of an event where you said, “Wow, that was incredible, and we have to do it again!”? That was the March 2021 Day of Shecurity for me. Our team hustled hard to make it happen, and speakers, sponsors, and attendees showed up. It was an honor to lead the planning team and coordinate everyone. And since it was so impactful, we knew we needed another event.

We’re so excited to announce the next one! Join us on October 28th & 29th on the Hopin Platform for our next event. Early Bird registration opens August 15, 2021, and calls for sponsors, programs, and volunteers open July 15, 2021. 

gif of a woman saying wait, really?
alt text: gif of a woman saying wait, really?

When I joined the Day of Shecurity team as the Program Manager, I had no idea how the next event would look. The pandemic forced all events to move to an online option, and I knew that Day of Shecurity Conferences in the past had to be kept small due to security procedures at the host locations. When the Day of Shecurity Steering Committee started planning the next conference in January 2021, our reach goal was 1,000 attendees. Little did we know that our event would grow so much bigger than that!

Women, transgender people, and non-binary people are consistently underrepresented in tech and vulnerable to abuse and harassment. While women comprise 49% of the workforce, our best estimate is that they are only 25% of the security community. The lack of racial diversity is an even bigger issue as it’s estimated that Black/African Americans fill only 8% of tech roles and 7% by Hispanic/Latino people (CompTIA “Cyber States”). Pre-pandemic, things were moving slowly in the right direction when it came to workplace gender equality. Still, unfortunately, women left the workforce at a rate of four times that of their male counterparts during the pandemic (865,000 women vs. 216,000 men reported in Sept. 2020). Women also carry a more significant load when it comes to their domestic responsibilities in heterosexual households, especially childcare, which are still disproportionately distributed at home. American Progress also reported that even as small a shift as 1 percent of mothers leaving the workforce would result in an estimated $8.7 billion economic hit to working families. This is why our work is so important and why we are doubling down for 2021 by holding a second virtual conference! 
Planning, sharing, and hosting a conference within ten weeks was no easy feat, but we did it.

  • 47 sponsors,
  • 85 different talks,
  • 117 speakers
  • 1700+ registrants
  • Session replays availble on our YouTube channel 

As the program manager, I processed all of the recordings from the event, which means I have now watched every single one of the Day of Shecurity 2021 presentations. They were fantastic, and here were my takeaways: 

  • You don’t have to be an engineer to understand technical content. You may have done related work without realizing it.
  • There are so many incredible women doing this work, and even though we may see many of the same faces, you will expand your professional network if you go to these smaller events.
  • Ask for help. So many of the presenters encouraged participants to reach out. Take advantage of that offer!
  • Certifications and bootcamps can be helpful, but they are not the only way into cybersecurity. Don’t take on debt that’s not needed before seeing what your employer may sponsor for you. If you are job searching, ask about Tuition Reimbursement or a training budget and advocate for your own continued education (**If you want to be an engineer, you will need to know how to code. However, there are multiple methods for learning and bootcamps are just one of them).
    • I’m fairly confident in my work abilities, and I like to think that I know what I know and have an awareness of what I don’t know. But, I had a conversation with a friend and said, “I don’t think I know that.” He said, “really? explain XYZ to me.”  And I did. 
    • Do you really not know something, or do you just not know the right language to use? Watch the YouTube videos! They’ll help you understand what cybersecurity language you already know and what you have left to learn. I worked in university administration for a decade. Know what I frequently did? Risk management & compliance work. Know where that falls? GRC (governance, risk, & compliance). Had I realized that, I could have considered various career paths I wasn’t even aware of! Having the right words to understand what you want is crucial. 

The Day of Shecurity Virtual Conference – March 2021 edition was incredible. I can’t wait until our next one on October 28 and 29, 2021!

For the first time, Day of Shecurity is moving to a two-day event to relieve some of the conference-goer burnout that occurs around mid-day. Come and spend your morning with us, learning amazing, free, cybersecurity content, and then go get your spooky on! Our theme is “Don’t Get Spooked By Security,” and our event will take place on the Hopin platform. Follow our website and social media for updates on when you can register, submit a program proposal, volunteer, or have your company sponsor Day of Shecurity (*update – our sponsor drive is now LIVE).

alt text: image of Day of Shecurity logo over See You In October in Teal with the Secure Diversity logo on the bottom

Please help us keep this important and free cybersecurity event for women going in whatever way you can!

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