From education to employment

Award-winning Cyber expert, Christina Stevenson says ‘opportunities for diverse groups have increased’ ahead of International Women’s Day

As the Director – Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC) of Cybersecurity experts, CyberCX, Christina Stevenson has been at the forefront of encouraging and helping women thrive in the cyber and tech industry. 

Christina’s hard work and innovation were recognised at the Women in Governance Risk and Compliance Awards by winning the 2021 GRC Ambassador of the year.

The 2022 International Women’s Day takes place on March 8th, it focuses on ‘breaking the bias’ and working towards a world free of stereotypes and discrimination that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. 

Christina explains why gender diversity in tech/cyber is so important:

“Cyber and Technology industries that fail to attract and retain a diverse range of employees are posing a much larger and unnecessary risk to themselves and their customers. The difference in ideas, questions, and challenges raised is vastly increased with a diverse workforce is astounding.

We are seeing a shift even in core functions such as business procurement processes to include organisations social values as part of their overall scoring.”

Christina Stevenson urges businesses to prioritise diversity through “Nurturing and maturing meaningful relationships to retain these diverse genders through pledges, commitments, and code of conducts to share an aligned vision, as well as reviewing the brand image that the organisation is creating through their business language and ensure that it targets the gender diversity that the organisation is seeking. For example, images of a diverse team on websites and promotional material.”

Having worked in the cyber and tech industry for over 10 years, Christina has definitely noticed an improvement in gender inclusion from a decade ago. 

“The difference in the industry from when I first entered it over 10 years ago to now is enormous. The opportunities that are presented to diverse groups have significantly increased.

The stereotype of tech/cyber industries is women are pre-judged to be a great risk or business communicators but not so strong on technical elements. This perception has greatly shifted and the level of opportunity for inclusion into technical boardrooms, discussions, and operations are vastly increasing.”

The support provided by CyberCX to attract women into the technology and cyber security industries starts at the educational level, through college level women in tech forums., which Christina says is an effective way to introduce young women to the workforce. She states that it is imperative to show women the current landscape of the careers available and the open vacancies to strive for.

The technology and cyber security industries have a long way to go when it comes to equality and diversity, but it is companies like CyberCX that set an example, pioneering the topic and recognising its vitality for business growth.

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