Diversity and Inclusion Principles for RSAC 2019

Posted on by Sandra Toms

I am pleased to announce today that we have unveiled our new diversity & inclusion (D&I) initiative which includes a host of new efforts around four guiding principles focused on making certain today and tomorrow’s RSA Conference experience is one where all are included in the conversation.

RSA Conference is, and has always been, about bringing all people in the cybersecurity industry together and empowering the collective “we” of the industry to stand against cyberthreats around the world. And, in the past, RSAC has always prided itself on being a neutral platform for debate. To reflect the industry without bias. But on the topic of diversity and inclusion, we will not stand on the sidelines any longer – the industry expects us to lead by example and we are taking this issue head-on.  Our mission is to have our events represent the diverse voices in cybersecurity regardless of gender, orientation, religion, physical ability, ethnicity and experience. Our D&I program was designed to accelerate positive change for not only RSA Conference but for the cybersecurity industry on a whole.

Diversity, in its entirety, remains a problem in the technology sector, and women in particular are  underrepresented – women hold about 26 percent of tech jobs according to a research report by The American Association of University Women (AAUW), and in cybersecurity that drops to 11 percent of roles globally being held by women according to the (ISC)2 2017 Global Information Security Workforce: Women in Cyber Security study. We can and will do more to act as a catalyst for change, and we are starting with bringing more women into the cybersecurity fold through our new D&I programs.

Over the past several months, we’ve been listening to the community, asking questions and seeking guidance.  I believe we have a solid program, and I’m grateful to the many individuals and organizations that have reached out with guidance and advice.

The RSAC diversity & inclusion initiative Guiding Principles include:

  • Improving governance of D&I issues.
  • Programming content and activity that creates an environment for positive and inclusive dialogue, bringing all voices together.
  • Ensuring RSA Conference is a welcoming, safe and comfortable space for all.
  • Investing in solutions and partnerships that address the roots of bias and exclusion.

Read more about the specifics of each of these principles by visiting: https://www.rsaconference.com/events/us19/agenda/diversity-and-inclusion

You can also find the press release with more details here: https://www.rsaconference.com/press/95/raa-conference-unveils-new-diversity-and-inclusion

In conjunction with the unveiling of our new D&I pillars, we also announced today the addition of nine new members to the RSAC Conference Advisory Board with a range of experience and backgrounds  – a step that falls under our D&I governance pillar by also expanding the Board’s guidance around a broader set of issues in cybersecurity, including D&I. I am thrilled to welcome these industry titans to our Board and excited to see the impact they will elicit moving forward. Check out the blog to learn more about these additions.

While I believe we have a solid foundation, I am sure this is just a starting point. Our efforts will evolve as time goes on to broaden programs and partnerships that include and champion all diverse groups. What I have learned over the past several months is that D&I is not binary. It is not a “yes/no”, “true/false”, “on/off” journey. I have learned a lot and will continue to learn and course correct – just like we always have with RSAC.  It feels good to talk about our desire and mission to change the industry, and our plans that will help push all of us forward.  Through diversity, we all benefit from achieving better results, creating better products and realizing innovation. That is the goal of being “better.”

In the coming weeks and months, we will be releasing a series of blogs around diversity and inclusion leading up to RSA Conference 2019 that we hope you find powerful, useful and comforting. Stay tuned!

Sandra Toms

Vice President and Curator, RSA Conference

Blogs posted to the RSAConference.com website are intended for educational purposes only and do not replace independent professional judgment.  Statements of fact and opinions expressed are those of the blog author individually and, unless expressly stated to the contrary, are not the opinion or position of RSA® Conference, RSA Security LLC or any other co-sponsors. RSA Conference does not endorse or approve, and assumes no responsibility for, the content, accuracy or completeness of the information presented in this blog.

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