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2021 Global Forum On Engaging Women In CyberSecurity

The Global Forum will:

  • Address the current state of the CyberSecurity industry, with a focus on talent needs, opportunities and challenges in developing a highly diverse and inclusive talent pipeline with strong women leaders;
  • Stimulate critical dialogue on the need to engage more women in well-paying CyberSecurity jobs, and develop a progressive national strategy to attract, develop and retain more women in the CyberSecurity workforce;
  • Facilitate ideas and recommendations focused on individual and collective action to build a highly diverse and inclusive cyber talent pipeline; and
  • Recognize and celebrate the leadership and collective achievements of women leaders in CyberSecurity.

As CyberSecurity threats continue to grow as a global priority and concern in a rapidly evolving digital world, the demand for skilled CyberSecurity talent exceeds supply.  Moreover, CyberSecurity and cyber defence have a significant gender problem.  

Research from CyberSecurity Ventures (2019) projected that women make up just 20% of the global CyberSecurity workforce. A report from the Center for Cyber Safety and Education (2019) states vacant CyberSecurity jobs are expected to reach 1.8 million by 2022. And a global study by ISSA and ESG (2018) concluded the skill shortage is intensifying the number of data breaches.  In the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and a transformative digital economy, Canada’s global competitiveness depends on the strong external global market and on the solid performance of its human talents. 

The Department of National Defence (DND) approved a project in 2018 to the Defence Engagement Program (DEP) to identify barriers faced by women in cyber technology careers.  The consultation of three focus groups engaging both public and private sectors in Vancouver (2018), Fredericton (2019) and Ottawa (2019) resulted in the following recommendations: 

  • Develop a recruitment and retention strategy that includes a management and policy change and establishes and implements best practices for engagement;
  • Address misconceptions about work in the CyberSecurity field;
  • Address public biases about the role of women, and their ability to thrive in CyberSecurity careers;
  • Develop and implement talent and education pipelines to connect with women already in the workforce or looking for a career change.

Canada’s competitiveness in the global marketplace rests primarily on the productivity and performance of its human talents.  The global competitive landscape in the era of Digital Transformation favours innovative economies of high performance of its total workforce. Imagining an innovative workforce in Canada where women have an increasingly equal footprint is worth working towards and it is a vision that would drive Canada’s competitiveness. 

Event Replay


Introduction and Welcome Remarks:

Rima Aristocrat, Chair, Willis College

Keynote Address:

Bonnie Butlin, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Security Partners’ Forum (SPF)

Defence Initiatives on Engaging Women in Cyber:
Dr. Helen Tang, Portfolio Manager, DG Innovation, Defence R&D Canada

Panel 1 – Defence Initiatives on Engaging Women in Cyber

Introduction and Moderator: Dr. Helen Tang, Portfolio Manager, DG Innovation, Defence R&D Canada


Julia Scouten, Senior Manager, Cyber Security Services, KPMG and Co-VP Public Sector Relations, DND/CAF Women in Defence in Security

Sara Anvari, Chief Information Security Officer, Business Development Bank of Canada

Willis Grad Testimonial: Sherry Pappin, SOC Operator, 2Keys Corporation

The Future of Work and Support for a Diversity Strategy:
Jessica Brown, Head of Adoption – Americas, Faethm AI

Panel 2 – The Future of Work: Emerging Career Challenges

Introduction and Moderator: Jessica Brown, Head of Adoption – Americas, Faethm AI


Maria McKay, Senior Manager, People and Change, KPMG

Daina Proctor, Associate Partner, Security Intelligence, Threat Management, Cloud, IBM

Tracey De Leeuw, Chief Executive Officer, Futureland

Willis Grad Testimonial: Pathways into a CyberSecurity Career
Adwoa Adu, Cloud Infrastructure, Transport Canada

Cyber Security Skills, Trends and Building Your Career
Christine Lamothe, President, Perennial Talent Inc.

Panel 3 – Exemplary Careers in Cyber: “See Her and Be Her”

Introduction and Moderator:
Christine Lamothe, President, Perennial Talent Inc.


Jenny Dho, Chief Security Officer, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Allison Atkins, VP Cyber, Scotiabank 

Priya Sirwani, Global Chief Information Security Officer, Fiera Capital  

Testimonial: Opportunities with a Career College – Ramona Buda, Chief Operating Officer, Summit2

Closing Remarks, Next Steps and Preparation for 2022 Global Forum on Women in CyberSecurity

Darren Jones, National Director – Cybersecurity Strategy, Willis College

Event Replay

Event Link: https://kpmgmeet.webex.com/kpmgmeet/onstage/g.php?MTID=ea295ae6370e35dd9e69353376e5210f0
pw: WomenInCyber


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