BEDFORD, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--RSA® Conference, the world’s leading information security conferences and expositions, today announced its new diversity and inclusion initiatives aimed at impacting and accelerating positive change both for RSA Conference (RSAC) and the cybersecurity industry where D&I are concerned.
“We are committed to impacting positive change when it comes to diversity & inclusion (D&I) in the cybersecurity arena and doing our part to lead the industry forward more quickly,” said Sandra Toms, Vice President and Curator of RSA Conference. “We feel passionately about ensuring D&I is represented through all genders, orientations, physical abilities, religions, ethnicities and experiences, in every aspect of our events around the globe.”
Diversity in its entirety remains a problem in the technology sector, and women in particular are underrepresented. Women hold about 26 percent of tech jobs according to a research report by The American Association of University Women (AAUW), and in cybersecurity that drops to 11 percent of roles globally being held by women according to the (ISC)2 2017 Global Information Security Workforce: Women in Cyber Security study. To address this head on, RSAC’s D&I initiatives for this year are focused heavily on bringing more women into the cybersecurity fold while making certain today and tomorrow’s Conference experience is one where all are included in the conversation. The D&I initiative is a formal step in that direction and will evolve as time goes on to broaden programs and partnerships that include and champion all diverse groups.
“An industry as dynamic as ours constantly needs innovation. Creative thinking leads to better solutions and better products, and you don't get that without having diversity at all levels,” said Bruce Schneier, Industry Leader, Fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University and Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. “By championing diversity in its speakers and making its events more welcoming for all participants, RSA Conference is helping ensure we can meet the security challenges of the future.”
“It’s very exciting to see RSA Conference tackling these issues head on as true diversity is vital to making our industry stronger, improving overall performance in our jobs and expanding our collective mindset,” said Shannon Lietz, Director, DevSecOps, Intuit. “The intersection of ideas and experiences is made strong by the power of diverse voices, ideas and experiences.”
The RSAC D&I initiative includes a host of new efforts under four guiding principles:
Improving Governance of RSAC on Content Direction and Important Concerns for the Community, Including D&I
Change among governance coincides with today’s announcement that RSA Conference is expanding its Advisory Board. The Advisory Board originally formed with respected members of the community to provide a voice in the industry and later evolved to provide opinions on the content at RSAC. Now, it is a committee who looks at a broader set of issues in cybersecurity, including D&I issues in the cyber sector.
Nine new respected members from diverse backgrounds across the industry are being added today. By expanding the Advisory Board, RSAC brings leaders that provide a wealth of knowledge, experience and insights from various roles across the global cyber security landscape, including content developers, analysts, entrepreneurs, educators, CISOs, CEOs, thought leaders and more.
Programming Content and Activity that Creates an Environment for Positive and Inclusive Dialogue, Bringing all Voices Together
This pillar includes increased representation from diverse voices throughout all of RSA Conference content. Initiatives include: changes in the Call for Speakers process to encourage a broader group of the cybersecurity community to speak in 2019; elimination of all-male panels on the keynote stages; promoting affinity group meet-ups, including an evening reception; Capture the Flag program in conjunction with SANS and Women’s Society in Cyberjutsu; and monthly blog series discussing talent and D&I.
Building off of the annual RSAC Women’s Networking Reception and Diversity Seminar, 2019 programming will be expanded to include a half-day talent diversity seminar, developed in conjunction with W Risk and LadyCoders, as well as a robust half-day forum, developed with Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu, Executive Women’s Forum on Information Security, Risk Management & Privacy (EWF), Women in Security and Privacy (WISP), Women in CyberSecurity (WiCyS), and The Diana Initiative.
Ensuring RSA Conference is a Welcoming, Safe and Comfortable Environment
A number of new initiatives to promote safety among attendees have been developed including: Safe Walk program; hotel room blocks for female attendees at three hotels close to Moscone to further facilitate connections and allow women to feel safer when walking back to their hotel in the evening; updating the notification and enforcement process for the Code of Conduct and Exhibitor Dress Code Guidelines; onsite child care; prayer room; mother’s room(s); and continuing with gender-neutral washrooms.
Investing in Solutions and Partnerships that Address the Roots of Bias and Exclusion
The addition of a curated diverse STEM program is in place to introduce cybersecurity to youth communities culminating in a live hacking activity. Partners include Girl Scouts and Cyberjutsu Girls Academy with additional groups are being pursued as well. RSA Conference is working with partner organizations to provide full conference passes to underserved populations.
For more information on these pillars and initiatives visit: https://www.rsaconference.com/events/us19/agenda/diversity-and-inclusion
About RSA Conference
RSA® Conference is the premier series of global events and onDemand programs where the world talks security and leadership gathers, advances and emerges. Whether attending in the U.S., the EMEA region, the Asia-Pacific region or online, RSA Conference events are where the security industry converges to discuss current and future concerns and get access to the people, content and ideas that help enable individuals and companies to win, grow and do their best. It’s about bringing all people in the cybersecurity industry together and empowering the collective “we” of the cybersecurity industry to stand against cyberthreats around the world. RSA Conference is the ultimate marketplace for the latest technologies and hands-on educational opportunities that help industry professionals discover how to make their companies more secure while showcasing the most enterprising, influential and thought-provoking thinkers and leaders in security today. For information on events, online programming and the most up-to-date news pertaining to the information security industry visit www.rsaconference.com.
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