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The Women’s Cybersecurity Circle to announce: "I don’t wear a hoodie, but I do I work in cybersecurity ": a guide to roles, training and career opportunities in cybersecurity

December 2019 by Marc Jacob

Coinciding with the opening of the International Cybersecurity Forum (FIC) 2020, The Women’s Cybersecurity Circle is pleased to announce the publication of the book:

"I don’t wear a hoodie, but I do I work in cybersecurity ": a guide to roles, training and career opportunities in cybersecurity

The image of the geek in the hoodie belongs to a bygone era of cybersecurity ... and yet it is still omnipresent to the point of diverting potential talent away from a sector in full expansion! The Women’s Cybersecurity Circle (CEFCYS) is tackling head-on all the clichés that are preventing talent, both female and male, from embracing everything this critical sector has to offer; as well as advocating for career and training pathways in cybersecurity, particularly for women.

Public release: January 28, 2020, at e-Theque Editions

A ground-breaking approach

• The book provides a toolkit to discover the reality of cybersecurity, incorporating a wealth of practical information that presents cybersecurity as an open and communicative domain, far distanced from the usual clichés.
• The book is aimed at young people who are thinking about third-level education and career choices, parents concerned about the future of their children, teachers and career-guidance counselors ... to build awareness and stimulate interest in the cybersecurity sector, as well as to draw attention to the many options in terms of education and training.
• The book advocates strongly in favour of cyber professions, from initial training to re-skilling and upskilling throughout the full span of a career.
• The book illustrates clearly the wide variety of jobs performed by cyber women and presents 23 personalities as role models we can identify with; in addition to highlighting the companies that actively champion the role of women within their cybersecurity teams.

A sector full of potential, but poorly viewed and badly known

In less than five years, digitalisation has up-ended the former status quo, with the Internet of Things, mobility, the cloud, artificial intelligence, GAFAM ... all of which have profoundly restructured our technological and economic landscape. A parallel phenomenon is the exponential rise in the frequency and intensity of cyber-attacks.
Despite the uptick in training, and in spite of salaries that are comparatively very attractive, the cybersecurity sector continues to face a structural talent shortage: out of the 6,000 open positions in France, only 1,000 have been filled, which is not even 20% and which gives an alarming indication of the chronic issues that the sector is facing.
If the reasons for this disenchantment concern the digital sector as a whole, cyber in particular suffers from a lack of awareness and understanding amongst the general public: the image of the geek-in-the-hoodie is unfortunately still the stereotype that immediately comes to mind.

This book dismantles the myths about career opportunities and training: cyber is so much more than just technology, and it is most certainly not only a playground for geeks. The reality is that cyber jobs are massively diversified. Whether you are a young graduate or a mid-career professional looking to pivot into something new, job-hunters are spoilt for choice, with opportunities everywhere from start-ups to large multinationals as well as in the public sector!

Making the cyber sector accessible to women

In the cybersecurity sector, women account for just over 10% of professionals in the sector, which is half the numerical average. Inadequately guided, insufficiently informed, women are turning away from the cyber sector under the cultural weight of stereotypes. Such a lack of diversity, combined with the general skills shortage, poses a problem: how to cope with digital transformation and the rise of cyber threats if more than half of the population does not care, is excluded or self-excludes from the sector? "Why deprive yourself of 50% of potential talent? Cybersecurity must not remain a no (wo) man’s land ... ", says Nacira Salvan, Founding President of CEFCYS," ... this publication showcases the many faces of the value women bring to cybersecurity: profiles from different backgrounds, sectors and experiences, 23 testimonials we can identify with. Some cyber-women have chosen to work in security as a logical follow-on from their initial training; others discovered cyber later in the course of their careers and decided to expand their initial skills. The publication also incorporates contributions from high-school students who are considering a career in cyber world, with insights into their reasons for doing so.

Changing the narrative

Combining practical information and real-life testimonials, the book “I don’t wear a hoodie, but I do work in cybersecurity” is a natural follow-on to the research conducted by the OPIIEC since 2017 to which the CEFCYS contributed: "the working group recommended, on the one hand to increase the attractiveness and visibility of the sector and on the other hand to support job mobility and the upskilling of employees in alignment with the requirements of cybersecurity professions. This book is an important milestone in support of this perspective, and it will play an important role in increasing awareness regarding the companies and organizations that open opportunities for women. Our approach is pragmatic and unprecedented, "says Nacira Salvan.

Cyber professions are among the thousands of "new" jobs that women, and more broadly young graduates, must embrace right now. Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for the Economy and the Digital Society and Christine Hennion Deputy of the Hauts-de-Seine, President of the Femmes@Numerique Foundation actively support CEFCYS in its mission to change the narrative around gender diversity in cyber.

"I don’t wear a hoodie, but I do I work in cybersecurity ": a guide to roles, training and career opportunities in cybersecurity will be presented at the International Cybersecurity Forum (FIC) to be held from January 28 to 30, 2020 in Lille (France).

Created in 2016 by Cybersecurity expert, Nacira Salvan, the Women’s CyberSecurity Circle (CEFCYS) promotes the presence and leadership of women in cybersecurity. The Association brings together more than 200 female members of various professions: security managers, technical experts, cryptographers, consultants, hackers, project managers, sales professionals, entrepreneurs, corporate executives, journalists, auditors .... Their collective ambition is to stimulate interest, awaken potential and open new horizons in cybersecurity.

CEFCYS is represented in Paris, Toulouse, Rennes, Lille, Marseille and Lyon.

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