Second is to have more female role models in senior positions. This is crucial and I have been pleased in recent years to see more women around the cyber security table.
There are more and more women leading the way in a variety of roles at companies like Facebook, Apple, YouTube, Airbnb and across business and government. They will become role models for the next generation of women to follow technology-based education paths.
And thirdly we need to understand the need for diverse entry paths to the profession. The reality is the entry point for women entering cyber security is as diverse as employers are willing to imagine.
We have female members of our team who joined cyber security from the worlds of marketing and communications, entrepreneurship and fashion.
At ANZ we are always trying to create new programs which tap into the skills of people from different backgrounds and talent pools. They can allow people to brush up on technical skills to set them up for success in their cyber and technology careers.
Our “Return to Work Program” has been an important element of our diversity strategy. We recognised encouraging women into the workforce or back into the workforce would be aided by education, career support and flexible working opportunities, including part time and job share roles.
The introduction of the program saw a significant influx of women into security roles and new mentoring programs have also expanded the support network available to women.
But it’s not only about gender, we also need to bring in people from other fields like psychology, media, business and academia. People come from all different walks of life and that diversity is crucial because it provides real diversity of thought.
Variety in careers
People with different training and different experiences can bring varied skills into cyber security. Cyber security is part of everything we do and so it helps to have diversity of thought represented.
For individuals there are so many different types of careers you can have in cyber security. You can start off being highly specialised and move on to doing something quite different.
Even if you're not sure what you want to do longer-term, having an understanding of technology and cyber security will set you up for whatever you want to do - although I suspect most people who do give it a go won’t want to leave once they’ve seen what it’s all about. But even if they do leave, it will set them up well for any career and life in general as cyber security is also a life skill everyone should have.
My first job in cyber security was wonderful. I had to be prised out of it. I just had so much fun. I couldn't believe how exciting and interesting it was. Today cyber is becoming even more important and increasingly interesting. It is changing all the time and it’s not going away any time soon.
Lynwen Connick is Chief Information Security Officer at ANZ