In this blog our own Chief Marketing Officer, Joanne Gilhooley, shares her thoughts on female empowerment in cybersecurity and the need for industry to step up to support more women in cybersecurity transitioning into leadership roles and shares what Adarma is doing to create a fairer more gender balanced workplace.
Today marks the 47th International Women’s Day (IWD), a global event created to celebrate women’s rights and world peace. The theme of IWD 2022, Breaking the Bias, addresses the challenge of forging a more gender equal world that’s more inclusive, diverse, and free from bias, stereotypes, and discrimination – a pretty powerful ambition.
Having worked in the technology sector for nearly two decades, I’ve borne witness to a more concerted effort by the industry to break down entrenched bias and barriers to true equality. However, with women accounting for only 17% of the tech roles in the UK, and even less in engineering and R&D roles, it’s clear there’s still a huge mountain to climb to make careers in our industry more appealing, accessible, and available if we are going to address the gender imbalance.
At Adarma, creating a more balanced and diverse workforce has become core to our purpose. We acknowledge that we haven’t got the balance right yet, but we are trying to do something about it. We see the value in having a well-balanced and representative workforce and understand that diversity of thought will help us continue to innovate, problem solve and provide even better service to our customers.
In thinking about this, it made me think of that well known witticism, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
It’s not a huge leap to draw parallels to this in our working lives and how people bring differences in their responses to problem solving, how they tackle work and the outcomes they drive. With a more diverse workforce, you have more unique perspectives, ideas, solutions, and a much wider breadth of knowledge you can utilise.
At Adarma, I’m lucky to work with many smart and collaborative people who come from a whole range of diverse backgrounds. Across race, gender, nationality, and affiliations we are all united by a shared desire to protect people from cyber threat actors and to build an open, supportive, and collaborative work environment.
Our company culture and shared core values are what make us such a strong team and is the foundation on which we plan to build a positive work environment where people can feel seen, heard, and valued as individuals –somewhere people can thrive. Our people’s openness to change, to diverse thought, and perspective is refreshing and shows some green shoots in the world of diversity in technology – specifically cybersecurity arena.
To build a more balanced and representative workforce, Adarma is backing the expansion of a new gender equality initiative into England, Empowering Women to Lead Cyber Security, that is being led by techUK and the UK Government’s Cabinet Office. This expansion follows the initiative’s initial success in Scotland last year and represents the first step towards it being offered across the UK, with new programmes serving Northern England, Northern Ireland and Wales scheduled to run in the Autumn. Alongside other leading industry partners, we will sponsor and help support the 2022 cohort of wonderful cybersecurity ladies in their journey to develop their own toolkits to accelerate their careers.
I’ve seen first-hand what a positive impact this programme can have. Adarma’s own Ashleigh Ross, who participated in the Scottish cohort, said that the programme gave her the chance to meet other emerging woman leaders in cybersecurity and the opportunity to focus on different leadership styles, which enabled her to develop her own authentic style.
As part of our commitment to fostering gender equality at Adarma, three of our own talented women will be participating in the programme’s next intake; Bukky Adetayo, Kemi Iyaniwura, and Olivia Murray. 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.
You can learn more about the ‘Empowering Women to Lead Cyber Security’ initiative here. We hope that by contributing our small part that more change will come.
If you’re interested in learning more about a career at Adarma then get in touch – either with me directly or firstname.lastname@example.org