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IWD breaching the barriers panel: What does the future hold?

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IWD breaching the barriers panel: What does the future hold?

International Women’s Day may be over, but we want to continue celebrating and sharing the experiences of our global colleagues. This week, we’re bringing you the final article in our panel series.

In case you’ve missed the others, we spoke with Katy Winterborn, principal security consultant, Dana Hehl, senior VP of operations, Helen-Rose Whitehead, head of customer success and Jennifer Fernick, head of research in the US.

We asked them a range of questions, including what it’s really like to be a woman in this industry, what needs to change, and to share the best piece of advice they’ve received in their careers.

To round up the panel, we asked our panelists what they think the industry can do as a whole to improve gender equality. Below are just some of the things they believe the industry can do to make positive steps forward.

Dana Hehl believes there should be more equality in higher level positions:  “Place more women in C-level and board positions across the industry. Get involved in community outreach programs to connect with underrepresented groups. Talk with people about the opportunities and training programs available. Lastly, acknowledge that everyone has different experiences, and be aware that they might have different commitments than you. If we can find time to listen to each other’s stories, I think we’ll find opportunities to work together towards making change.”

Helen-Rose Whitehead: “Everyone needs to take responsibility – not just women. It needs to come from the top down, and from men as well who are really passionate about what they can do to change things. Diversity and inclusion helps everyone.

“It’s great to have women in a business who are so passionate about equality, but wouldn’t it be great if there are just as many men in the business that are passionate as well? I think you’d see real change in culture, hiring and succession planning and more women in the business.”

Jennifer Fernick: “I’m really interested in the question of how we make sure that less women leave tech, and how we make sure that we’re not having attrition of women who love and have come into this field based upon gender-based or structural challenges that they’re facing.

“I think we should ensure that the higher education system has more checks and balances against abuse of power because this is often where gatekeepers stand that may prevent talented people and women from joining our field. We have an opportunity to use our power responsibly, and to allow people to lift many talented women up, particularly for people who might not be as obvious of future shining stars of this industry.”

We’d like to thank all of our panellists for talking so openly about their experiences and hope that this conversation stimulates discussions within your own business and with your colleagues.

Listen to the full webinar here.



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