On 19 Feb 2021, I spoke about how to build a career in cybersecurity at the Women4Cyber Masterclass with a Role Model. Happening every month, the Masterclass aims to highlight the achievements and expertise of women who shape cybersecurity in the EU today. Women4Cyber is a non-profit European private foundation with the objective to promote, encourage and support the participation of women in the field of cybersecurity. The strategic objectives and actions of the Foundation are supported by the Women4Cyber Council, an ad hoc advisory body, of which I am a proud member.
Yes, girls outperform boys at school. Yes, women managers outperform their men counterparts at work. Watt zillion initiatives exist to encourage more entry-level diversity. But how many initiatives exist to tackle the leaky pipeline?
So, is there a perfect profile to build a career in cybersecurity? Or is it more of a perfect combination of skills? How, as a woman, do we tackle ambition? Let’s talk about navigating those avenues because helping other women move forward with their career is good business.
The effort is there, but why doesn’t it transform into fast change? Cultural change for gender equality requires system change. It is not just about women “leaning in”. It is also about men reaching out and stepping aside. You can invite a diverse crowd to a party; but then, you also need to invite them to dance.
A summary of the discussion and the recording are also available over at the Women4Cyber Foundation website. Below are the full notes of what I discussed along with additional notes we didn’t address. Hope that helps!
Earlier today, I spotted Dr. Isis’s #batsignal about @DNLee5’s delirious encounter with biology-online.org editor. DNLee is a biologist who was called a “whore” by Biology Online editor who asked her to blog for free, a gig she kindly refused. Later on, DNLee5 wrote a response over on her blog hosted by Scientific American, but the post was pulled down. According to Dr. Isis, DNLee’s happy to have the original post reproduced, so here it is below, with the original images and screenshots that I hosted here (they linked to SciAm’s servers, but since SciAm removed the post, they may as well remove the pics, too, for the sake of consistency, of course.).
Here also a link to the Storify I curated gathering quite a few outrageous reactions. And — more and more disappointingly — the deafening silence SciAm crew is being burying itself in.
I have started curating stories for SciLogs.com’s The Aggregator, In brief, the idea is to have resources collected when an interesting story happens. I did this one for Ada Lovelace Day 2012, but as it relates to Women in Science and Research in general, we can have Ada Lovelace Day everyday 🙂
When a few years ago I first got interested in this topic, I obsessively read all I could about it. The oldest paper I found at that time was from 1965 and bore the title: “Women in Science: Why So Few?” Yes, it’s the same as the title of the current posting and no, this is not a simple coincidence: women are thin on the ground in science and technology.
As you may have noticed it already, I am kinda interested in gender issues. This means quite a few things, “gender issues”. Sounds trendy, fashionable, LGBT-compliant, gently feminist, etc. Dunno, it is just end of any form of sexism for me. In “gender issues”, there is gender = not only women, not only men, but both.
Anyway. I am not intending to write a crash course on gender studies here. Although, honestly, after what will follow, I think some people should urgently take one. For the context: I was attending an one-day seminar where I presented an international workgroup I will chair and which will focus on encouraging women in science. As this is a long story, I’ll skip it here and come back to it later.
So, the context, was I saying: at this seminar, as at any seminar or conference, there are brochures, leaflets and stuff presenting various initiatives. I always take them all to read them calmly once I am home and have time. This time, no exceptions: I got back home with nearly a kilogram of brochures that I read from page 1 to the end. The part #mylife stops here. I wanted to tell you about one of them which definitely got my attention. It is a… surprising reading.
Sad news, everyone. Lynn Margulis passed away two days ago.
Important? Hell, yeah. Never met her in person. But she came up with one of the most fascinating scientific theories ever: the endosymbiotic theory. Remember, the stuff you are told from high school: mitochondria and plastids (such as chloroplasts) originated from free-living bacteria that were integrated in other cells. The whole system ended up being an eukaryotic cell, in other words what composes us.
I believe PhD fellows are wrongly thought to be students. I argue that, given our responsibilities, PhDs are early career researchers.
Ok, so here is some quick thought. The other day, I received a nice mail from a Nature Staff member asking me whether I’d like to take part in a blogging initiative they had about PhD. I accepted with great pleasure: this is an excellent opportunity to talk about important things and to reach a huge amount of people. Whether they would agree with what I say or not is secondary. Nobody asked for. To me, the crucial thing was to tell about what people can live through their years as a PhD. My answers are here.
This is not all. Nature has a dedicated issue on PhDs this week.
A week or so ago, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon declared: “Women remain second-class citizens in too many countries, deprived of basic rights or legitimate opportunities”. It was during the Global Colloquium of University Presidents, held at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, USA.