What is it like to be a woman, Latin American, and an expert in Cybersecurity?

Women are increasingly seeking greater recognition in the sector.

The number of women in the information technology industry is small. Of all of them, only 11% focus on Cybersecurity. The figure is even lower in Latin America, where they represent only 8% of the sector. Only 1% have an executive position in the company.

Currently, these women are increasingly seeking greater recognition in the sector and more significant opportunities to stand out. In the region, several initiatives aim to achieve this objective.

CISLatinas: a community of women in Cybersecurity

In Latin America, women have a community for leaders specialized in Cybersecurity: CISLatinas. This initiative currently has more than 160 members belonging to major companies in Latin America, and last month it was one year old.

The purpose and inspiration of the community are to make Latin America a safer place with a focus on security in cyber environments.

A group of women leaders in the areas of Information Security and Technology founded this organization in August 2018. Since then, they have promoted activities that promote greater awareness of Cybersecurity and its importance in technology and the role of women in the field.

Among the main objectives of the group, the following stand out:

  1. expand knowledge and technical skills in security, 
  2. arouse the interest of young women in cybersecurity issues and 
  3. Insert the security chip beyond the workplace and IT.

“CISLatinas seeks to create a culture of Cybersecurity at all levels. For this reason, we consider it important to raise public awareness about the use of technology and online dangers, especially vulnerable populations such as children and women, ”said Ivette Morales, co-founder of the community.

CISLatinas has organized several open talks in favor of the community on issues such as the participation of women in Cybersecurity in companies, how to create a culture of safety from childhood and online security. Currently, it has the participation of more than 160 members of various organizations such as Microsoft, Sura, Centria, BCP, Excellia, Interbank, Rimac, Sunat, Entel, Scotiabank, ESAN, Universidad de Lima and Universidad San Martín, among others. 

Úrsula Salazar of Microsoft explained how the company has a culture of inclusion and innovation that is reflected in the fact that 28% of the total employees in the company are women when, according to Equality Gender, only 17% of women graduate in careers ICT related. In this way, Microsoft actively encourages women to enter the world of work.

Over the next few months, CISLatinas will continue to work on particular activities and initiatives and to grow its network of collaborators to continue to have a positive impact on the industry and civil society. Those interested in being part of CISLatinas can contact through their profile on LinkedIn.

An award for women in Cybersecurity

The Chilean Cybersecurity Alliance opened the possibility of nominating “Women Influence in Cybersecurity,” intending to value the presence and participation of women in this area. The objective is to be incorporated into the different instances and events of this Thematic that are carried out throughout our country.

Karin Quiroga, director of the Alliance, points out that “the participation of women in technology areas is meager, borders 15% and in Cybersecurity is no exception. We want to highlight the professionals that are promoting this industry so that they are recognized and invited to participate in the different activities carried out in this sector. We still see events where female participation is meager, and even, in some cases, their presence does not exist. However, we know that there are excellent specialists that we can include in various instances. In our role to raise awareness about the importance of Cybersecurity, we want to relieve these outstanding professionals. ”

The nomination is made through a simple form that will be open until Thursday, October 10, on the website https://lnkd.in/eqb7VNm and those professionals who work in all areas of Cybersecurity can participate, as Be it technical, legal, education, public policies, communications, etc. Once the process is finished, all the nominees who participated in this important initiative will be announced.