Closing the Gap: An Exciting Initiative to Drive More Gender Diversity in Tech

We all know there’s a global IT skills crisis. In cybersecurity things are even worse, with a shortfall of nearly three million roles estimated today — 500,000 of which are in North America. Today women comprise just 24% of the workforce yet half of the global population. Why is this? Women were among the world’s first programmers, mathematicians and engineers, helping to shape the modern world. It’s time we did something about the lack of gender diversity in cybersecurity and the wider technology industry.

That’s why Trend Micro is launching an ambitious initiative designed to encourage more gender-diverse talent into the industry. As we celebrate 30 years in cybersecurity, what better way to secure the future than by taking a lead on this crucial issue?

Sponsored by Amazon Web Services (AWS), the journey starts at re:Invent where Trend Micro will be sponsoring 30 women to attend what will hopefully be a career-changing event for them.

A no-brainer

Creating greater gender diversity in technology and cybersecurity should be a no-brainer by now. We live in challenging times, where cyber-attackers too often hold all the aces. Trend Micro blocked more than 20.4 billion threats in the first half of 2018 alone. Organizations desperately need access to the best talent to tackle a cybercrime problem said to cost the global economy more than $600 billion last year.

It’s not just a numbers game. Greater gender diversity and equality in the workplace can also reduce employee churn and therefore hiring costs, improve the quality of the workforce and create a richer corporate culture. It will also help organizations attract the best young talent straight out of university. Yet too often the best candidates aren’t chosen because of strict hiring policies requiring previous industry experience.

We need to change this mind set, and encourage more women and gender-diverse talent into the industry. After all, there’s zero industry unemployment and a huge range of roles on offer, enabling individuals to carve out rewarding careers in a fast-moving sector that is radically reshaping the world around us.

Changing the industry

At Trend Micro we’ve already done a lot to help promote this issue, via Capture the Flag competitions and education programs all over world. We also have a progressive hiring policy that prioritizes candidates regardless of background, gender or experience. We celebrate the role women and gender-diverse talent play in our organization and by extension the industry as a whole, all the way up to CEO Eva Chen — who helped to found the company on a diverse set of missions and goals.

But we need to go further.

That’s why we’re thrilled to be launching Close the Gap, to connect women and gender-diverse talent to networking and career development opportunities, training, investment, and programs that will propel them into fulfilling cybersecurity careers.

As a sponsor of the event AWS shares our passion for gender diversity in the industry. Trend Micro and AWS have a long history of working together and we were thrilled when Trend Micro approached us to collaborate on Close the Gap to support Girls in Tech,” explains Sandy Carter, Vice President EC2 Windows & Enterprise Workloads, Amazon Web Services, Inc. “There is an opportunity for industry leaders to have a real impact on the growing skills gap in tech and in cybersecurity. Together we are working to reach women to educate, and help develop the talent the world needs to build the technology of tomorrow.”

By working together on this initiative we’re hoping to:

  • Create an online community of knowledge and resources to help advance tech careers for women
  • Launch social donation programs to fund ongoing education to drive interest in STEM among young women
  • Create new networking and mentoring opportunities
  • Educate customers and partners on how to get involved
  • Lead the industry with a global message that we’re here to Close the Gap

At re:Invent and beyond

We’re delighted to be using the biggest stage possible to launch this initiative: AWS re:Invent in Las Vegas, where we’ll be diamond sponsor. With over 45,000 expected attendees, we’re hoping to make a major impact with the news.

As part of the launch, Trend Micro will sponsor 30 women to attend the event for the experience of a lifetime. They’ll have special opportunities to connect with some of the industry’s top tech talent. But it doesn’t end with this event. In fact, this is just the start. We hope their stories will inspire and help to build a greater community with a common mission to Close the Gap.

Cyber threats are diverse and far-reaching, and the world’s cybersecurity workforce must reflect this fact. So let’s make the most of the huge pool of latent talent out there to Close the Gap and Secure the Future together.

For more information about this initiative, please click here.

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