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Info sec industry still struggles to attract women

Maria Korolov | March 26, 2014
Even as women have made dramatic advances in medicine, law, and other fields, the proportion of women pursuing undergraduate degrees in the computer sciences has actually been dropping, from around 30 percent in 1990 to 18 percent in 2010, according to the latest data from the National Science Foundation. As a result, according to the Census Bureau, women accounted for just 27 percent of computer science professionals — down from 34 percent in 1990.

"Our own experience has taught us that security practices are best achieved through diverse teams, since diversity enables the necessary different viewpoints on the security issues," said Marisa Viveros, IBM's vice president of security services.

As a result, IBM is helping support programs like Distinguished Lectures in STEM, the IBM "Girls Go TechKnow" summer camp, and Pathways in Technology Early College High School. IBM is also sponsoring the first National Women in Cybersecurity Conference this April, along with Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Lockheed Martin, and other organizations.

"Everything we're about as a society today is tied to technology," said Symantec's Joseph. "More women need to be a part of of this industry because we're defining the future of society."

And the information security profession is protecting that future.


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