One look at the faces and names of industry speakers, writers and influencers shows a relative dearth of female contributors. The same can be seen throughout the global technology workforce.

The reality of too few women entering technology fields and moving up the ladder to leadership positions is not a new one, but it is something that the ISACA Women’s Leadership Council is actively addressing through a new program called Connecting Women Leaders in Technology.

Connecting Women Leaders in Technology

The empowerment of women within the global technology workforce is critical to advancing female leadership and sustaining the profession. Through this program ISACA will provide a robust platform to:

  • Attract more women into the technology professions
  • Provide support tools to advance and sustain a woman’s trajectory through her career lifecycle
  • Offer educational opportunities to develop skills and increase knowledge to further enhance women’s leadership within the global technology workforce

Anecdotally, we know the need is there. At the 2015 CSX North America Conference in Washington, DC, last October, we held the first Women in Cyber program and had an overwhelming response. To build on that program, ISACA’s Women’s Leadership Council—comprised of high-level female tech executives from around the world—has conducted education programs at ISACA conferences in 2016 and will continue to explore new opportunities that will support a comprehensive program over the long term.
For example, we realize that there may be opportunities to align with other enterprises or organizations that are addressing the shortage of women in tech careers. We will pursue these opportunities and keep you updated throughout the year.

What is Causing the Decline of Women in Tech?

What is driving the decline in women entering tech-focused programs at university—and thus fewer graduating and starting tech careers? This is a complex question that likely has different answers, depending on the region and specific field. It is something we want to delve into and address.

There are many women thriving in tech careers but we believe there should be more. That is where awareness, curating and sharing women in tech success stories, and education and cultural initiatives can make a real difference.

We do know that the issue of women in tech careers affects everyone, including men. Men can and should be some of our greatest champions and allies.

I was reminded of this fact at a recent webinar I participated in on woman in tech climbing the corporate ladder. Though the webinar was aimed at young women, it was the participation and reaction of men that was most interesting. Most said they were not aware of the issues women in tech face, but they welcomed potential solutions, in part, because they have daughters, sisters and wives who likely face similar challenges. This helped us realize that the education and awareness efforts must include men as well as women.

Wherever the program leads, it is great to know that we have strong support from ISACA’s board of directors, who approved the Connecting Women Leaders in Technology program. ISACA’s board and its Women’s Leadership Council believe in the program’s ability to engage, empower and elevate women in technology.

(About the author: Jo Stewart-Rattray is director of information security annd IT assurance at BRM Holdich, and director of the ISACA Women's Leadership Council. This post originally appeared on her ISACA blog, which can be viewed here)

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