Increasing Representation of Women in Security Research

Microsoft is committed to partnering with and supporting women in security research. Whether it’s growing women early in their career, or connecting people with mentors, we want to be a part of the journey. Throughout Women’s History Month we intentionally sought opportunities to engage with women in security research. Whether at an intimate gathering of some of the most respected women in security research or engaging with women early in their career, it became obvious there just aren’t enough women in security research.

“I am constantly inspired by the amazing women in security research and their contributions. We must continue to invest in building and growing women to create a safer world for us all.” – Aanchal Gupta

On International Women’s Day Aanchal Gupta, VP of MSRC Engineering, hosted a gathering of some of the most influential women in security research. These leaders, who crossed organizations and industries, came to celebrate their achievements, and explore opportunities to promote the inclusion of women in research. Many attendees agreed the lack of representation made it harder for women to see security research as a great career choice. This harsh reality is true and troublesome.

Later in the month, we participated in the Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS) 2022 conference and were inspired by the 1,700 women who attended.

“We need to get to 50% of women in cybersecurity by the year 2030.” – Jen Easterly

At the conference, Jen Easterly, Director of the Cybersecurity, and Infrastructure Security Agency, presented a moving keynote. She keyed into the same theme, highlighting women make up 51% of our global population but only 24% of women are represented in cybersecurity. Easterly presented a call to action to the attendees by saying “We need to get to 50% of women in cybersecurity by the year 2030.” Microsoft wholeheartedly supports this commitment.

Which brings us to how you can help. Are you a woman in security research who wants to join us on this quest? Are you an ally, and want to be more involved? We are proud sponsors of WiCyS, The Diana Initiative, and Executive Women’s Forum, but want to talk to you if you are interested in partnering on an event. As International Women’s Month comes to an end, we remain resolute in our commitment to partner with and support women in security research. We are stronger together, and we look forward to partnering together to drive the change we want to see. If you are interested in moving the needle to 50% of representation by 2030, please contact us at msrclistens@microsoft.com to join us on this journey!