International Women's Day gives all organizations an opportunity to reflect on their ongoing commitment to, and alignments with, the achievement of a gender-diverse workplace. This year's theme is "Cracking the Code: Innovation for a gender equal future", and it strikes a chord particularly with those of us who work within, and adjacent to, the cybersecurity industry.
Making the decision to work for an organization placed in the cybersecurity and technology industry can be challenging for any employee that represents a minority gender. According to the UN Women Australia organization for every 10 technology workers, only two are female. Beyond the need for encouraging more gender-diverse people to pursue STEM-related fields, it's important to recognize the impact that a commitment to creating a workplace environment that is equitable, respectful, and inclusive for all employees can have on improving these statistics.
Cydarm's current team is 40% composed of gender-diverse individuals across female and non-binary employees. At our company, we recognize the benefits of having a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce. We strive to create a workplace where everyone feels respected, included, and valued for their unique perspectives and skills. We offer flexible working arrangements that allows employees to adjust their work hours to better fit their personal needs, and ensure that employees are compensated fairly, regardless of gender.
Our commitment to gender equality extends to everything we do, from employment through to partnering, supporting, and sponsoring organizations and events who hold similar commitments.
This topic has a personal importance to me, as my mum was a computer programmer. She was great with numbers and logic, but wasn't sure what career path to follow after “comptometry” was no longer viable. She heard about this new course called computer science, completed a diploma, spent many years writing Algol, Fortran, then COBOL, and eventually became a manager, first in the higher education sector, then at Hewlett Packard. Her achievements include being part of the team that oversaw the Y2K transition, and contributed to averting possible disaster as the clocks rolled over from 99 to 00.
Back when my mum was a programmer there were a lot more women in these roles. Something changed in the 1980s and workplaces became more hostile to women. When I followed my mum and studied computer science in the late 1990s, there were much fewer women in computing, and some dropped out due to feelings of isolation, including women I know today. I have heard the stories and I know this is not a unique phenomenon.
I hope at Cydarm we can do our part to reverse the regression of the 1980s and make computing a vibrant, creative, welcoming profession for people of all backgrounds. There is no reason why it shouldn't be, and I'd like to thank the team at Cydarm for being here and contributing to the great culture we are striving to build. Happy International Women’s Day!