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Women in Cybersecurity Forum, presented by SANS Summits

  • Thursday, July 30, 2020 at 11:00 AM EDT (2020-07-30 15:00:00 UTC)
  • Tarah Wheeler, Parag Baxi, InfoSteph, Karen Jensen

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Women in Cybersecurity banner

Women in Cybersecurity: Action & Allies

Thankfully, we've come far enough that we no longer need to make a case for why gender equality in cybersecurity is important and valuable. But the fact that women still represent less than 20% of the workforce in cybersecurity positions shows we have a long way to go. How do we get there?

Achieving gender parity will require two important things:†action and allies.

Even the most well-intentioned organizations may not realize the gender bias inherent in so many aspects of the hiring process or career milestones like performance reviews.†We need a clear plan of action to bring traditional HR practices in line with the reality of recruiting, hiring, retaining, and promoting top female cybersecurity professionals.

We also need allies. We need established leaders in the industry to mentor us, advocate for us, and work on changing attitudes in their organizations at a macro level. How do we find or create allies? How can we be these allies?

Join us for this free forum to dig into these topics.


11:00 - 11:10 am: Welcome & Opening Remarks

11:10 - 11:45 am: Keynote - Building Your Career Board of Directors

Tarah Wheeler†@tarah, Author,†Women In Tech: Take Your Career to The Next Level With Practical Advice And Inspiring Stories

Whether or not you aspire to the C-suite, you're the CEO of your own life. While no one else will ever be as invested in your career as you are, you can build a strong support team. Tarah will share her wisdom on how to find senior sponsors for your career, what good allyship looks like, and how to pay your success forward to the next generation.†

11:45 am - 12:15 pm: Successful Strategies for Cybersecurity Hiring:†NICE Resources

Karen Jensen, President, Saaby Consulting; Co-Chair, Workforce Management Subgroup, National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE)

12:15 - 12:30 pm: Break

12:30 - 1:00 pm: Action Plan for Organizational Diversity:†Influence, Personal Responsibility, and Defining Success

Parag Baxi†@parag_baxi, VP-Product, NopSec

1:00 - 1:30 pm: You Are the Prize: How to Hire the Right Boss and Employer for a More Fulfilling Career


You know how job interviews go. Your palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy...and all you've got on your mind is: am I good enough? Will they pick me? Am I technical enough? So often, we go into job interviews eager to present the best version of ourselves with a goal of getting an offer, ready to list all the ways we're the best choice†and why we deserve that coveted "employed" spot. But what happens when you're on the job and you realize one month later that everything you need to be your best self is not available to you? Or you find out your boss is a living nightmare? Or you figure out that the promotion path they talked about briefly during your interview was nothing more than a pay raise and a title change? Steph's talk will walk you through why operating in a "pick me" mindset may end in tragedy and how to avoid wasting time with a company that is not a fit. Be prepared to receive the inspiration and confidence to politely, but firmly, interview your interviewer the next time you're job hunting.

Speaker Bios

Tarah Wheeler

Tarah Wheeler is Cybersecurity Policy Fellow at New America leading a new international cybersecurity capacity building project with the Hewlett Foundation’s Cyber Initiative and a US/UK Fulbright Scholar in Cyber Security for the 2020/2021 year. She is an inaugural contributing cybersecurity expert for the Washington Post and a Foreign Policy contributor on cyber warfare. She has appeared on Bloomberg Asia on US-China trade and cybersecurity. She is the author of the best-selling Women In Tech: Take Your Career to The Next Level With Practical Advice And Inspiring Stories. She is an information security researcher, political scientist in the area of international conflict, author, and poker player. She has been Head of Offensive Security & Technical Data Privacy at Splunk & Senior Director of Engineering and Principal Security Advocate at Symantec Website Security. She has led projects at Microsoft Game Studios (Halo and Lips) and architected systems at encrypted mobile communications firm Silent Circle. She has spoken on information security at the European Union, at the Malaysian Securities Commission, for Foreign Policy, the OECD and FTC, at universities such as Stanford, American, West Point, and Oxford, and multiple governmental and industry conferences. She has $3640 in lifetime cashes in the World Series of Poker. Reach her at @tarah.

Parag Baxi

Parag Baxi serves as NopSecís VP of Product Management. His primary focus is on ensuring Unified VRM remains the most effective threat and vulnerability management (TVM) product for prioritizing and communicating information security risk. Parag is an experienced leader in Product Management with over 10 years in the enterprise information security industry. He held senior product management roles at Qualys, NCC Group, Tenable, and Bugcrowd. Parag has a proven track record helping early stage cyber security technology companies accelerate growth and scale product for enterprise markets.


For her day job, InfoSteph serves as a regional information security analyst. Outside of work, however, InfoSteph has filled her life with all kinds of cool activities. She serves as a Lead for WoSEC Houston and a Lead for WISP DEFCON 2019. She has also started speaking at conferences this year. She co-hosts a "happy hour" inspired podcast called Coolest Nerds in the Room, where conversation surrounding the lives of tech people are nurtured. She attends school full time, hoping to obtain her Bachelor's by the end of the spring. She had the honor of being a delegate for Security Field Day 2 and Tech Field Day 20. She writes blog posts on her website, StephAndSec.com, which is also her side business. And she is working on a course for LinkedIn Learning on Social Engineering and Security Awareness. Stephanie recognizes those that inspired her or helped her get to where she is today and hopes that everything she does moving forward does the same for others.

Follow Steph on Twitter and LinkedIn, or visit her online at StephAndSec.com. Her podcast is also available everywhere.

Karen Jensen

Karen is a recognized problem solver, with a proven track record of deploying value driven innovation strategies for government, business, and people.

Karen is a long-time advocate for inclusivity and diversity in building the Information and Emerging Technology workforces, a sought after speaker, author and contributor for Smart City design, Strategic Business Architectures, solutions for Workforce and Economic Development and a veteran consultant in securing infrastructures, re-imagining cost effective growth strategies, expanding public private partnerships (P3) and building resilient, sustainable organizational cultures.

Karen is a contributor for volunteer organizations that support rural development, Smart Cities, Women's' Empowerment, and is currently one of the co-chairs for the NICE Workforce Management Sub-Group.

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