"Recently, a young woman approached me during my daughter´s cheerleading practice. She asked me what I do for a living. She'd been thinking about her future and had overheard me talking about cybersecurity. We spent some time talking about my role and my passion. At age 17, she was already concerned that being a woman in the industry might be hard." - Daniela Alvarez de Lugo, General Manager at Kaspersky.
What would you have advised her if you were in this situation?
This year for International Women's Day, people around the world are talking about how we can improve equality, so the next generation of girls can achieve whatever they want in their life and career. So, we asked women in tech business: How can we get there faster
Be brave and follow your passion
Luckily, we do not live in the 1960s anymore, where it was very unusual and nearly impossible for a woman to work in the tech or science branches. But even back then we do find success stories, like the example of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson shows.
No doubt – the share of women working in tech is still sadly small. According to a research from Adeva, the ratio of women in computing jobs is around 25 percent and only 3 percent of female students would consider a career in technology as their first choice.
"Ten years ago, I would've warned her that in tech, she'd have to work harder than male colleagues. I would have said, 'Hide your emotions and adopt a chilled image.' But instead, I told her, 'Choose a career that makes you want to go for more every day. Your intelligence, hard work, passion and honesty will make you stand out.", says Daniela Alvarez de Lugo.
Daniela Alvarez de Lugo, General Manager at Kaspersky
Indeed, girls and young professionals should not be afraid of the numbers above, in contrary, they should encourage women to be part of the change. All they need is to hear about the career's opportunities and advantages.
"I believe gender equality will benefit all industries. Men and women have different needs, ideas and visions. Diversity is a way to improve and expand." - Vicky Piria, Racing Driver.
Vicky Piria, Racing Driver
Open up the doors in tech industry
Our society is getting more and more digital every day and we can't imagine living without technologies like our smartphone or computer. Accordingly, there are many tech companies worldwide and a lot of them are counting to the most successful organizations.
But in the cybersecurity sector, for instance, it can be hard for young professionals to enter, according to Noushin Shabab, security researcher at Kaspersky. "Many organizations recruit only experts. This leaves few opportunities for graduates and other newcomers who want to start their cyber security career. We need to create more internships and jobs for recent grads. But more important than hiring the same number of men and women is building a culture that lets women and men work and grow in a balanced, healthy and safe environment. If we love where we work, we enjoy and achieve more."
Noushin Shabab, Security Researcher at Kaspersky
Luckily, there have been organizations already, which have the mission to empower and support women with the access and community they need to succeed in tech business:
Let’s make a promise to the next generation of women
Those working in tech, and particularly cybersecurity, know the importance of anticipating what's next and getting ahead of it. It may seem like we've been trying to solve the same problem forever, but the progress is there for all to see.
The task now is to see it through. Let's all play our part to promise today's children who are starting school that when they begin their careers in a few decades, the world will be a place where there are no limits on their ambitions. Please share this article over your social media, if you want to make an impact and empower the talents of tomorrow. You may reach the girl who will stop the cyber virus, which endangers the whole world in 2030?