Bridging the Gender Gap: Insights from RSA Conference 2024

Bridging the Gender Gap: Insights from RSA Conference 2024


For over two decades, attending the RSA Conference has been a cornerstone of my professional life. Sacrificing personal milestones for the sake of representation in the tech world has been a norm rather than an exception. However, a recent decision to prioritize family over the conference marked a significant shift in my mindset.

As my team returned from RSA and shared their experiences, one glaring issue dominated my reflections: the persistent gender gap in cybersecurity. Despite strides made, the statistics remain concerning. Out of 686 speakers, only 224 were women, and men dominated the keynote stage with 46 out of 76 presentations.

While some may view these numbers as progress, they underscore a systemic issue within the industry. Having walked a similar career path as many speakers, I’ve encountered barriers and biases that hindered my progression. Despite comparable qualifications, my journey to executive leadership has been fraught with challenges my male counterparts didn’t face.

The gender gap in cybersecurity goes beyond mere representation; it reflects ingrained biases and barriers. Subtle stereotypes, unconscious biases, and a lack of female role models contribute to this disparity. Despite these challenges, women in cybersecurity exhibit resilience and determination, refusing to be confined by societal norms.

The rise of platforms supporting women in technology has provided avenues for sharing experiences and overcoming challenges. However, progress requires collective action. Organizations, policymakers, and industry leaders must foster inclusive cultures, implement equitable practices, and provide mentorship to aspiring female professionals.

While the road ahead may be daunting, I remain optimistic. By working together, we can bridge the gender gap and create a more inclusive future for cybersecurity. As Margaret Mead aptly said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.” Let’s be that change in cybersecurity.