Tips for Building a Career in Cybersecurity from Women Who've Been There

Tips for Building a Career in Cybersecurity from Women Who've Been There

On March 8, 2021, in celebration of International Women’s Day, five accomplished female security professionals met for a wide-ranging and spirited panel discussion on how to encourage more women to join the cybersecurity field, and provided highlights from their own journeys in the profession.


The panel was moderated by Sharon Smith, CISSP, cybersecurity strategy and advisory consultant, and included the following security industry leaders:


Clar Rosso, CEO, (ISC)²
Aanchal Gupta, CISSP, vice president of Azure Security, Microsoft
Lori Ross O’Neil, CISSP, senior ICS cyber security researcher & project manager, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, vice chairperson, (ISC)² Board of Directors
Megan Hargrove, CISSP, cyber security incident response manager, Tech Data

Today, roughly 25% of cybersecurity professionals globally are women, and on average, women make $15,500 less than their male counterparts globally, according to the 2020 (ISC)² Cybersecurity Workforce Study. While it’s worth listening to the entire discussion, we wanted to highlight some of the practical advice that was shared and strategies women can employ today to continue to make strides in cybersecurity.


You already have the skills and the talent to try to tackle cybersecurity


While the panelists took different paths to their careers, all of them highlighted the need to “demystify” the field when they were asked how to get started in cybersecurity. Smith encouraged women to look beyond job titles, notin ..