A $100,000 Commitment to Close the Gender Diversity Gap in Cybersecurity

Today as we celebrate International Women’s Day we’re filled with both admiration for strong women who inspire and a sense of responsibility to honor diversity in an industry that has traditionally been quite uniform, especially when it comes to gender. While we celebrate the achievements of women around the world today, it’s business-as-usual on the cybercrime underground; data breaches, preventable privacy leaks, ransomware-related outages continue to dominate the news headlines. While technology plays a key part in helping to mitigate these risks, people are just as important. That’s why at the end of last year we announced our Close the Gap initiative to encourage more gender diversity in cyber security.

We’ve got an exciting update: a $100,000 fund to invest in educating, empowering and engaging women around the world.

Supporting Girls in Tech

Close the Gap was launched November 2018 to celebrate Trend Micro’s 30th anniversary and we have some ambitious goals:

  • Create an online community of knowledge and resources to help advance tech careers for women
  • Launch social donation programs to fund ongoing education to drive interest in STEM among young women
  • Create new networking and mentoring opportunities
  • Educate customers and partners on how to get involved
  • Lead the industry with a global message that we’re here to Close the Gap

As part of these ongoing efforts, Trend Micro has pledged a significant investment in two projects which we think will really help to turn our plans into action. Both come from Girls in Tech, a non-profit that we hold dear at Trend Micro. Girls in Tech is all about encouraging more women and female entrepreneurs into the technology industry. Its chapters around the world are not just open to engineers but encourage anyone with an interest in technology or start-ups to get involved.

This aligns really closely with one of our core beliefs at Trend Micro. Employers are routinely shooting themselves in the foot by relying on overly restrictive criteria for hiring based solely on previous industry experience. They need to change their mindset and break down these barriers to address the serious industry skills shortage and gender imbalance.

Driving gender diversity

So, the two projects are:

  • Support the launch and ongoing activities of a new Girls in Tech chapter in Chicago. Trend Micro has been investing in the city for some time and our local team is keen to support the initiative. Among the activities we’ll be supporting are setting up a new advisory board, introducing Girls in Tech to the city through various networking events, and local boot camps and other initiatives designed to up-skill women in the area.
  • Support for the Girls in Tech Global Classroom, an online learning platform designed to educate, empower and engage girls and young women around the world. Unfortunately, research has shown that girls tend to lose interest in STEM subjects as they hit their mid-teens. We need to change that. The goal of the Global Classroom is to target girls at an early age before the shift away from STEM typically happens, equipping them with the skills they need to prepare for a long and fulfilling career in science and technology. As part of Trend Micro’s support for the program, we’ll also be contributing courseware related to security technologies and industry career opportunities.

At Trend Micro, we certainly practice what we preach. Our progressive hiring policy ensures candidates are selected regardless of background, gender or experience. And our Capture the Flag competitions are helping to encourage more youngsters into the industry all around the world. It’s a culture driven from the top down by our CEO and co-founder Eva Chen. We’re looking forward to taking this next exciting step in the Close the Gap journey. With only 24% of the current cyber security workforce represented by women, there’s still a long way to go.

To find out more visit trendmicro.com/closethegap.

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