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Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Blog topics:  Archive

By Chetrice Mosley-Romero

Being an adult is hard. Being in cyber is harder. Being a woman is the hardest.

As far as I can remember in my career with the industries of taxes, workforce development, labor, utilities, and now cyber, I have always been in the minority. Whether it was at the beginning of my career when everyone in the room was at least 20 years older than me or for the entirety of my career since I was from Venus (aka woman). In fact, all the industries I have worked most closely with have been made up of at least 75-80 percent of men.

And it is not lost on me that many times in my career I had to deal with the reality that for every great idea, I had to always work twice as hard to prove that my idea was the best in the room, whether it was because of my age or because I was a woman.

I’ve been lucky enough, however, to work with several state leaders and some amazing male allies who are working to empower women in the workplace, especially at the State of Indiana. This includes supporting advocate groups, such as the Government Women in Technology. Founded in 2020, this group is a supportive ecosystem, helping advocate for empowerment, enablement, and elevation, all while mentoring and motivating women to take risks and navigate an impactful career in technology. I’m lucky to be a part of this group and help where I can.

We still have a long way to go in creating equal opportunities for women AND treating them fairly in the workplace, but there are a lot of people and companies who are trying to close the gap with increasing education, creating more opportunities, having the hard conversations, changing the culture, and recognizing those whose work has made Indiana a better place to work and live in.

And statistically, it is getting better. In 2013, Frost & Sullivan observed that women made up 11 percent of the global cybersecurity workforce, and eight years later, that number more than doubled to 24 percent, according to 2021 Research from the Aspen Institute.

As we continue to climb the mountain of bringing more diversity to the workplace and our society, I hear the words of Malala Yousafzai who was an inspiring Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Peace Prize recipient: "I raise up my voice - not so I can shout but so that those without a voice can be heard...we cannot succeed when half of us are held back."