Celebrating Women in Cybersecurity  

Today is a special day in our industry, as we celebrate International Women in Cybersecurity Day (IWCD). IWCD’s purpose is to recognize women’s immeasurable accomplishments and address the challenges women face in the industry. It’s a day we can look back at women’s growth and make plans for a brighter future that’s more inclusive of women in cybersecurity.  

So, we wanted to take the opportunity to highlight some of our own who are making waves in our industry and how we can all inspire the next generation of women in cybersecurity.  

Major Challenges Women Face in Cybersecurity  

Movements like IWCD bring awareness to common issues women in cyber face that may not be obvious. Overall, women make up a very small percentage of the cybersecurity workforce. Specifically, only around 11% of cybersecurity jobs are held by women globally. In senior cybersecurity leadership roles, that percentage drops dramatically. The industry’s lack of diversity for women can bring more roadblocks and gender bias, which leads to a lower retention rate for women in cybersecurity.  

The good news is that our industry is moving forward to be more inclusive of women and to increase recruitment and retention rates of women in these roles. Additionally, there’s a lot to celebrate with women’s impact in the cybersecurity workforce today and a bright future ahead.  

Critical Start’s Women in Cybersecurity Making Waves  

We can’t leave IWCD without celebrating the amazing women at Critical Start who are making an impact on our customers and beyond. Critical Start is honored to have women in roles that are vital to our growth and to facilitating positive outcomes for our customers. One powerful group of women at Critical Start are ones that are part of our Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI) team. Today, we wanted to take the opportunity to highlight a few of them and the impact they have!  

Callie Guenther – Sr. Manager, Cyber Threat Research  

Callie leads the Cyber Threat Research team and plays a key role in the application of threat intelligence in the cybersecurity space. Her commentary on real-time threats has been featured in numerous industry publications as she continues to rise as an expert in the industry. Callie’s previous cybersecurity experience includes helping government agencies, nonprofit organizations, healthcare organizations and the private sector prepare against cyberattacks.  

Sarah Jones – Cyber Threat Intelligence Research Analyst   

Sarah is an important contributor to the Cyber Threat Research team as she plays a pivotal role in identifying, assessing, and mitigating potential cyber threats and risks that an organization may face. She conducts extensive research and provides updates on the latest developments in the cyber threat landscape, emerging attack vectors, and threat actor tactics. Sarah began her career in the United States Air Force where she gained extensive cyber intelligence experience.  

Deborah (Deb) Shoemaker – Senior Cyber Threat Intelligence Analyst  

Deb is an integral part of the Cyber Threat Intelligence team with her role of sourcing information from diverse channels and identifying emerging trends, attack patterns, and potential security risks affecting organizations. Deb’s expertise extends to investigating and attributing cyber threats to specific actors, creating detailed profiles, and conducting risk assessments. Deb spent three years at the Pentagon working for the Joint Chief’s of Staff Intelligence Director and spent time working in military and international intelligence roles.  

Inspiring the Next Generation of Women   

Women bring diverse perspective and expertise into the cybersecurity workforce that’s essential to the industry’s growth. The cyber threat landscape is constantly evolving, so the skillset and experience women bring to cybersecurity is critical to stay ahead of the constant threats. So, how do we inspire women now and the next generation to join this industry?  

It starts with industry organizations, cybersecurity companies, and the education sector working together to further the mission of more women in cyber. There should be an intentional effort to actively recruit women into cybersecurity roles. Many women are unaware of available job roles in the industry, so promoting these opportunities can encourage women to pursue this career field. Opportunities for mentorship, internships, and continuing education also help empower women with the skills and confidence to grow in their roles.  

For our generation of young women, education is key to encouraging a career in cybersecurity. Encouraging schools to offer STEM activities and cybersecurity education helps inform students about the cybersecurity industry and gives them the confidence to pursue this career field.  

Critical Start is committed to leading the way in celebrating women in cybersecurity and paving a way for more women to join and grow in this industry. Women have come a long way in cybersecurity, but there is still work to do. Join us as we help take out the roadblocks women face in the cyber workforce and encourage a more inclusive and diverse industry.   

Learn more about Critical Start and join the Critical Crew!  


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