Adarma Backs New Initiative to Empower Women to Lead in Cybersecurity
At Adarma, we believe our difference as an organisation comes from having a clear purpose, to be a force for good in the world.
A key aim of our purpose is to proactively nurture a fairer, more diverse and inclusive digital landscape, which will help future-proof and drive sustainability within the cybersecurity sector.
We know that the best cybersecurity teams need to be diverse in order to match the varied nature of the growing number of cyber threat actors out there. Balanced teams that are more representative benefit from a wider range of perspectives and are therefore better equipped to understand, anticipate and mitigate threats.
With women making up only 15% of the cybersecurity workforce, and only 23% accounting for leadership roles, it’s clear more needs to be done to address the gender imbalance within our sector to build a safer digital environment.
Industry has a key role to play in resolving the issue, which is why we are committed to supporting the development of a collaborative and powerful community of potential and emerging female leaders in cybersecurity and information governance roles.
Ensuring careers in cybersecurity are accessible for all
Adarma has joined forces with a number of organisations including Morgan Stanley, Lloyds Banking Group, and NCC Group to back a new initiative to champion gender diversity and support more women to transition into cybersecurity leadership roles.
As sponsors of the first “Empowering Women to Lead Cyber Security” programme, we were immensely proud to see three of our own female leaders graduate as part of the programme’s national graduation ceremony. Adarma’s own Alison Brogan, Lindsay Casey, and Ashleigh Ross were among the programme’s first cohort.
Joanne Gilhooley, Chief Marketing Officer at Adarma said: “As an industry significantly under-represented by women, we know that we can and must do better to ensure that a career in IT and cybersecurity is accessible to all. At Adarma one of our core values is to enrich our workforce with an inclusive and diverse set of skills.
“We are just starting on that journey and are committed to accelerating our efforts and partnering with this programme is one of the steps that we plan to take. We are delighted to be a part of this initiative and look forward to learning from these women as they progress their careers in cyber security.”
Designed as a cross-sector programme to improve levels of gender diversity in tech leadership across Scotland, the initiative’s 3-month programmes share the long-term goal of building a community of empowered and empowering female leaders in digital and cybersecurity roles across all industry sectors, to address the historic lack of women in senior tech leadership roles.
Sparking connections and encouraging dialogue
Speaking about her experience, Ashleigh said: “The programme gave me the chance to meet other emerging woman leaders in cybersecurity, which I had never had the opportunity to do before. The programme also focuses on leadership styles and helps you understand and develop your own personal and authentic style. For me, I have learned to understand that everyone’s journeys will be different, but it is about learning how to lead and how to engage more effectively.”
Alison said: “What most excited me about this programme was that it wasn’t just a generic training course, it is very much tailored to each individual with self-assessment at its core. I’ve really appreciated the time it has given me to focus on myself, my leadership style and to really think about what I want to do in the future. It has been lovely getting to know all the participants.”
Lindsay added: “The programme was a really fantastic networking experience that allowed me to connect with lots of like-minded women in cyber roles in Scotland. Part of the programme involved informal presentations from very successful female leaders from Scottish cyber organisations and hearing the journey of these women was really inspiring and left me feeling excited about my career in cyber.”
Held at Our Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh, the ceremony, which also marked the initiative’s first year in existence, brought together all 48 participants, along with alumni from earlier cohorts and a broader audience of senior representatives from across the tech community in both government and the private sector.
At the event, the graduating cohort had the opportunity to present outputs from their “Challenge” projects, which they undertook throughout the programme. The teams were tasked with finding ways technology can be applied to tackle a range of societal issues.
Alison, Ashleigh and Lindsay’s challenge was on the issue of how to address the widening digital skills gap in cybersecurity.
Commenting on the challenge Alison said: “The whole process has reignited my desire to use my skills to help make a positive difference within society, whether that is through the work we have started here or related upcoming initiatives within Adarma.”
Ashleigh added: “I really enjoyed this part of the programme and loved collaborating with my team on the cyber community challenge. I am keen to join, or start, initiatives in Adarma to help with this issue.”
We are excited to continue our support of this initiative and look forward to seeing this new community of female leaders take on challenging subjects and initiatives within their own organisations and broader society.
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