Approximately a year ago I visited Israel for the first time and had the pleasure of meeting several women from the Cyber Ladies meetup group. I saw the wonderful friendships that they had, built from this meetup of other women in their industry, and thought "I want that too, that's a fantastic idea". My friend Donna and I started a similar meetup in Ottawa, Canada, which has since turned into an international organization called WoSEC: Women of Security.
The purpose of this blogpost is to tell you about our community, and if you are woman (or identify as a woman in any way) to invite you to participate. Girls accompanied by an adult are also welcome.
- WoSEC is a community for women to make new friends in Security, so that women not only join our industry, but they STAY.
- We shine the spotlight on great things that women are doing in InfoSec with our twitter account, with which we strive to create a constant stream of positivity.
- We "brunch and bitch" (like a stitch and bitch, but with food), so that we can make friends, network, and create mentoring relationships.
- We hold safe spaces for learning, with women-only workshops, lessons or talks. We do this at meetups and at conferences.
- We "Crash boy events"; by attending in a group, none of us is ever "the only woman there".
- We are trying to create a community for all women who work in (or who want to work in) InfoSec, in hopes that they will have more opportunities, more support, and more fun.
- We don't have membership fees, all women are welcome, and even if someone is not involved with WoSEC we are happy to share their accomplishment and cheer them on.
WoSEC has resulted in: women starting businesses together, mentoring relationships, job interviews, internships, people being able to recruit from our community, a cheering squad showing up to surprise female speakers, standing up for each other, priceless advice, and friendship.
We can advocate for each other, and we do. We share hotel rooms or give each other rides, we team up for large challenges, we introduce people who need to meet, and so much more; we are building a community together.
I invite you to join our meetups around the world (just search "WoSEC" on meetup to see if we have one near you), or reach out to see how you can get involved or start your own chapter.
Thank you for reading.