Women face numerous obstacles in the path towards a career in STEM and cybersecurity. They are cast in predetermined roles as girls, at times poorly guided in school, and go on to face inequities in the workplace. Efforts have been made to remove these obstacles and in certain areas they have met with some success. The pay gap is slowly narrowing, and more women are being promoted to the C-suite, However, it seems that little is being done to dispel the ongoing image of women in the helper home role. That role is ingrained in children when as girls with their doll houses and kitchen sets their role is instilled. In school girls are too often ignored or pushed aside to make room for the more aggressive boys. And, as women, no matter their level of success, they are still expected to tend to the mundane tasks around the home. Cook, clean up, laundry, errands, dust, vacuum, tend to the children – does this sound a tad familiar – like a young girl in her formative years…playing with the above mentioned toys and make believe?
C-suite increasingly focused on cybersecurity
No matter the level of success that women reach, if they continue to be placed in that role, allow themselves to be placed into that role, accept those duties, then the roles will perpetuate from generation to generation and nothing will change as – Einstein postulates. It has been said that much will change once the current generation moves out of the work place, but that is wishful thinking if the roles continue as they have been doing because the modern woman will still find herself filling the same role as her mother and grandmother did.
Right now women make up 50% of the workforce, but less than 26% in technology/STEM and less that 13% in cybersecurity. We want to see those numbers increase and see more women move into the STEM and cybersecurity arena. So how do we change things and move towards gender equity? We begin by getting parents to put aside their gender bias, teachers to start leveling the playing field in their classrooms, and women learning to break the molds that have bound them into traditional roles generation after generation. To do less and expect the role of women to change is indeed insanity.
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