Published on March 30, 2021
We have long been committed to fostering diversity in the cybersecurity industry at Securonix. As a minority owned business founded by immigrants, we recognize the power of a diverse workforce that brings together the best minds in the world.
That’s why, as we close out this year’s Women’s History Month, we’re making a commitment to growing gender diversity in the management team. Taking it one step further, Securonix has committed to doubling the number of women in management positions by the year 2025.
In 2013 women held only 11% of jobs in the cybersecurity industry. Last year’s issue of the Women in Cybersecurity report, drafted by the security certifications organization (ISC)2, showed that women already made up nearly a quarter of the security workforce. It’s this type of progress that Securonix is committed to, and we plan to play a crucial role as the industry continues to move towards gender equality.
We’ve taken steps to grow diverse young talent with NextGen Cyber Talent, but are also turning attention to the powerful women already in our own ranks to help lift and support rising female talent within our organization. We started an EMPOWERHOUR series which will run quarterly and discuss relevant and important topics to continue empowering our workforce around the globe. EMPOWERHOUR was spearheaded by Securonix’s Chief People Officer, Dilshan Ratnayake, and emphasizes the company’s commitment to creating an inclusive culture so people can become their best.
Securonix kicked off the first EMPOWERHOUR earlier this month, gathering attendees from across the globe to celebrate International Women’s Day. Traci Mercer, SVP, Marketplace Segments at Sabre delivered a keynote address, followed by an engaging panel discussion from women in leadership from inside and outside of Securonix. The panel included Seema Dwarakish, VP, Software Engineering, Sabre; Shruti Jaisawal, Director/Head Talent Management &OD, PepsiCO; Cristina Roa, VP, Internal, Securonix; and Arezou Arefi-Afshar, General Counsel, Securonix.
In her keynote, Traci Mercer discussed one of the biggest contributing factors to the slow progression of women in corporate jobs referred to as the “Broken Rung” which today still remains one of the major barriers for women.
“It starts at the very beginning of a woman’s career when she becomes a manager, and the steps from there only continue to get more challenging -- which has a long-term impact to the talent pipeline that continues to perpetuate overtime,” explained Mercer. “Even as hiring and promotion rates for women at senior levels increase, women as a whole can never catch up unless the issue of the Broken Rung is fixed.”
The pandemic has erased almost 6 years of progress towards gender equality in the workplace, making now more than ever a crucial time to put a concerted effort towards supporting and advancing women in the workforce.
“Time has shown again and again that diversity has a positive impact on business,” Mercer explained.
Across the panel, leaders offered insight tips and actionable takeaways on how we as a society can combat these issues head on, and work towards change.
“Focus on yourself in a good way, find a coach, mentor or trusted person to get the guidance you need. Lift others as you rise. It doesn’t have to be a formal program, take some time to make a difference.” - Traci Mercer
“If you’re in a male dominated industry, think of that as an advantage—you’re different, therefore you are more memorable. Advocate for yourself. Your boss doesn’t know what you want or where you want to go—let them know. Manage your career, you can’t leave that to anyone else. It’s up to you.” - Cristina Roa
“If you always go to your best people, you’ll never help other people to get the chance to learn new things, or provide a new perspective or idea.” - Seema Dwarakish
“EMPOWERHOUR was created to enable Securonix to start a regular, thoughtful dialogue and conversation. As our organization and its culture continues to grow and evolve, creating and nurturing these important conversations is as critical for individual excellence as it is for uplifting the team as a whole,” said Ratnayake. “As an organization, Securonix is committed to working to ‘Become Our Best’ each and every day. CEO Sachin Nayyar and the entire executive leadership team are committed to fostering an empowered organization as we continue to grow.”