Women in Tech: National Cyber Security Organizations
After working with Women in Cyber Security (WiCyS) recently, as a sponsor of their yearly conference, I was curious about what other great organizations were making similar efforts to champion women in the information security and privacy field. As I began my search, I found that there are more organizations leading this effort than I had guessed. The organizations below are impressive, nationwide organizations (one in the UK) pushing women to hold thought leadership in the field.
Executive Women’s Forum (EWF)
The Executive Women’s Forum (EWF) was founded in 2002 by Cathy Allen of The Santa Fe Group. They have a large, online-based community of members, they host various events and meetings nationwide (US), have been involved at the Black Hat and RSA conferences, and award fellowships, among other efforts. They also work with (ISC)2 to co-author the Women in Cybersecurity study. EWF also has an impressive advisory board including cyber security experts at Carnegie Mellon University, Johnson & Johnson and Microsoft.
The Executive Women’s Forum is the largest member organization serving emerging leaders as well as the most prominent and influential female executives in the Information Security, Risk Management and Privacy industries.
Women in CyberSecurity (WiCyS)
Dr. Ambareen Siraj founded Women in CyberSecurity (WiCys) in 2013 as an organization and conference with focused efforts on giving women resources and opportunities in the cyber security field as well as engaging in research on the subject. Some of the affiliates on their organizing and steering committee are women with roles at institutions and organizations including NSA, Purdue University and IBM.
WiCyS has become a continuing effort to recruit, retain and advance women in cybersecurity. It brings together women (students/faculty/researchers/professionals) in cybersecurity from academia, research and industry for sharing of knowledge/experience, networking and mentoring.
Women in Defense (WID)
Women in Defense (WID) was informally founded in 1979, when 7 women got together to talk about women in the national defense field, after a national trade association conference. With slow beginnings, the organization now has 20 chapter programs across the United States, a robust member community, training and mentoring opportunities as well as their HORIZON scholarship. Their board includes women with prominent titles such as COO of inerTRAIN, Sr. Business Development Manager of AWS GovCloud, and CEO of Solutions DC.
Women in Security and Privacy (WISP)
Another impressive, national organization, Women in Security and Privacy (WISP) promises to help advance the thought leadership of women in the security and privacy field. They many events, across the United States each month, that combine relevant education and networking opportunities for their member. Their co-founders Kenesa Ahmad and Elena Elkina are also partners in Aleada Consulting, and their board includes members from Facebook, Uber, and Counsyl to name a few.
Women’s Security Society (WSS)
The Women’s Security Society is a premier UK security association with over 1,200 members. Memberships are free and give members access to priority event access, member contacts and mentorship. Their co-founders alone have prestigious bios including work for the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Post Office Ltd., the Royal Bank of Canada, IT Risk, I&TS, and the list goes on.
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