On October 20, 2022, MindPoint Group was pleased to sponsor the annual Women in Cybersecurity Reception at the International Spy Musuem in Washington, DC. Hosted by Cyberwire, the reception brought together almost 300 people to highlight and celebrate the value and successes of women in the cybersecurity industry.
MindPoint Group’s HR Director, Davida Gray, took part in an industry-led panel discussion. “The Hidden Impact of Cybersecurity’s Talent Gap on the Cyber-Enabled Community” was moderated by Simone Petrella of CyberVista and included Jennifer Walsmith of Northrop Grumman, Kyla Guru of Bits N’ Bytes, and Amy Mushahwar from Alston & Bird.
As the panelists discussed the systemic ways in which skills gaps affect women in cybersecurity, Mrs. Gray offered the valuable human resources perspective. “Consider education, like cyber degrees. There are so many opportunities where having that degree is nice, but it’s not necessarily a need. There are other ways to get there. There are non-traditional pathways in.” She continued, “As women, we should become more familiar with what those alternatives look like.... You have to become a little more creative and connect with others to say ‘Here’s what I have. Here’s what I bring to the table. Help me understand how I can use that in a cyber role.’”
Mrs. Gray continued to explain how MindPoint Group’s internal mentorship program sets women up for success regardless of skill or experience level. “We encourage them to connect with someone of their choice so that you have the opportunity to have transparent conversations. Women can ask ‘How do I do this job? How do I build my career path?’ but also ‘How do I do that knowing that I'm going to be perceived a certain way as a woman in cybersecurity?’”
Overall, the panelists encouraged attendees to seek out role models, get out of their professional comfort zones, and be transparent about their needs. “In cybersecurity, there’s an array of opportunities and different types of roles,” said Mrs. Gray. “And women can fit any and all of those roles.”