Elevating Women in Cyber Security to the Highest Positions of Impact

Erin Joe
Mar 30, 2022
4 min read
|   Last updated: Aug 10, 2023

Mandiant Cyber Defense Summit (CDS) 2019 in Washington, D.C. was a fantastic event, but like so many other cyber security events, only a small percentage of registrants were women.

Noticing that, the women at Mandiant became excited about doing something for these guests. Moreover, Mandiant allies expressed interest and demonstrated it by getting involved as well. Mandiant quickly organized two impromptu luncheon panels. One focused on top women leaders from Mandiant and other organizations. The other was open to all career levels and featured 30 midshipmen from the U.S. Naval Academy, five Women in Security and Privacy scholars, and students/academics attending CDS.

From these roots Mandiant’s Elevate™ was born, a program that brings together women leaders to learn, inspire and educate in support of a common mission: elevating women to the highest positions of impact in cyber security leadership.

The Mission Continues

While significant progress has been made toward improving gender diversity in the workplace, today only a quarter of cyber security professionals are women, according to the 2021 Global Information Security Workforce Study. With a staggering 2.7 million unfilled positions in cyber security overall according to the study, the opportunity and need for women to move into higher-level information security posts has never been greater.

Our women leaders and allies in Elevate eagerly foster the community to support, encourage and inspire women to disrupt the status quo and rise to the highest-ranking leadership positions. We are thrilled to have other industry leaders join Mandiant in a shared focus to champion women leadership and break bias.

Learn From the Best

To further celebrate our women leaders and continue important conversations, I will be cohosting a webinar on May 3, 2022, with Coco Brown, Founder and CEO of Athena Alliance. The session, Elevate Your Cyber Awareness: Question Your Assumptions, features a panel of extraordinary women executives from companies committed to elevating women in cyber security: Sandra Joyce, EVP, Mandiant Intelligence, Mandiant; Vasu Jakkal, CVP for Security, Compliance, Identity and Privacy, Microsoft; and Jennifer Bisceglie, CEO, Interos. Through this discussion, attendees will have the opportunity to hear accomplished women leaders candidly share their personal and professional experiences, as well as their unique perspectives as cyber security experts.

Register today and tune in live to hear Coco and me guide a lively discussion around the following:

  • Steps they have taken to break biases. 
  • How they want to inspire and help elevate the next generation of women executives. 
  • Using their unique perspectives and talents to inspire change.  
  • Sharing professional insights about cyber threats and the state of security today. 
  • Stories about leadership and authenticity as women in the current environment.  

Join the Movement

Back in 2019 when I joined Elevate, I was working for the FBI. I didn’t even know at the time that it was newly formed. I had been inspired by several women leaders, especially in law enforcement and cyber security, and was honored and energized to be a part of the Elevate community.

The female leaders at Elevate (many in male-dominated fields) know what it feels like to have to blaze trails and carve paths—all while hoping to help others along the way. We have an appreciation for what it takes and want to share our experiences with other women to help them on their own journeys. We see the spirit of the people in the Elevate program and understand that we are there truly to support each other.

When I joined Mandiant in 2021, I knew I wanted to have a bigger involvement in Elevate. Early on, the team told me the Elevate origin story and my eyes lit up in excitement. Being able to spread that same excitement when we share the story with others is truly special.

That is what Elevate is all about. Our beginnings were about what we could give, not get, and that certainly hasn’t changed. There is a selfless, giving, generous spirit in the people of Elevate, and as we expand and grow the program, we never intend to lose our grassroots feel.

Head over to our Elevate page to learn all about the program and how to join. While you are there, be sure to register for our webinar and tune in on May 3, 2022, to hear from our outstanding panel.