Women and cyber security: a must to boost the future


On International Women’s Day, Check Point Software Technologies Ltd., a leading provider of cyber security solutions globally, wants to highlight the role of women in cyber security. In recent years, there has been an increase in the presence of women in this field. According to a Tehtris report “Women in IT and cyber security”, in 2013, women represented 10% of cyber security positions, compared to 25% in the last year, representing a remarkable 150% increase in the last decade.

Check Point Software also has reinforced its commitment to produce and support an equitable leadership team, with 20% of our Vice Presidents being women globally, compared to the industry standard of 16%. There are eight members on our executive board with four of them women, which is progressive for cyber security, and for technology as a whole. Infact, 44% of top leadership positions at Check Point globally are held by females, with 78% of our employees, overseen by these female leaders. To promote the inclusion of women in cyber security and address the gender gap, Check Point Software note four reasons why women are an essential boost for future:

1. Holistic perspective and diversity of approaches: the cyber attacks can affect anyone, and cyber adversaries also come from different backgrounds. A diverse team can respond more effectively to the needs of the population. The Cloverpop study reveals another important reason: 1. gender-diverse teams make better business decisions 73% of the time.
2. Creativity in problem solving: a team with gender diversity is possibly more creative in solving company problems due to their different perspectives and life experiences. Women are generally seen to be more detailed in processes which may help in effective problem solving.
3. Adaptability and resilience: women have demonstrated in recent years their capacity for change and adaptability. After being relegated to a secondary position throughout their lives, they are gathering the strength to enter areas where their presence has never been considered necessary, such as the field of cyber security, traditionally dominated by men. This resilience is crucial for cyber security, as it is a sector constantly changing and evolving, and defenders must always stay ahead and at the same level of attackers.
4. Need for talent: the first reason addresses the need to include qualified personnel in cyber security, as this sector has gained greater relevance in last year’s due to the increase in global cyber attacks: according to Check Point Software’s Security Report 2023, in 2022 there was a 38% increase in cyberattacks per week compared to the previous year. That’s why, Check Point Software is developing different strategies such as Woman Mentoring to develop the future of female leaders, and FIERCE to generate interest for cyber security to attract and empowers young female talent.

Programs for Inclusion
Check Point Software also shared how companies can lead by example in promoting gender diversity and inclusion. In recent years, Check Point have introduced various programs to ensure the inclusion of females into this traditionally male-dominated industry via:
Secure Academy Program: Through partnerships with universities and educational institutions worldwide, Check Point includes cybersecurity in academic curricula, encouraging a diverse range of students to explore and excel in this critical field.
Graduate Program: Tailored for new graduates in engineering, sales, and other disciplines, this program offers a bridge into the cybersecurity industry, providing mentorship, hands-on experience, and career development opportunities.
Check Point Mind: A comprehensive training initiative offering an array of cybersecurity learning opportunities, ensuring professionals can stay abreast of the latest in the field, fostering a culture of continuous learning and innovation.

By investing in education and professional development, Check Point not only contributes to closing the gender gap but also strengthens the overall cybersecurity landscape, making it more resilient against threats in an increasingly digital world.

Encouraging Diversity and Inclusion in Organisations
In the quest to drive greater diversity, it is essential to ensure female representation spans across all levels within the organisation and not grouped only at the top or bottom half. However, achieving this requires more than just recruitment efforts, it necessitates an environment conducive to growth and work-life balance and fosters support of family life, rather than be penalised for having one. With the technology and cyber security section being more dynamic and flexible, mobile working is allowed and in some cases, encouraged, providing flexibility for working mothers, making it more attractive for females who want that balance.

Check Point also drives further support for women at Check Point to grow their careers and take on leadership roles through their Woman Mentoring Program in PO and FIRE (Females in Roles Everywhere). This has led the company to have close to 50% females in executive leadership roles, with women managing over 4,000 employees. In addition, Check Point collaborates with various partners within the community to advocate for the inclusion of a diverse array of underrepresented identities within the tech industry. These partnerships include organisations like She-Codes, WomenHack, Tech Career, JBH (Avratech), Kama Tech, Tzofen and ItWorks amogst others.

These programs collectively demonstrate Check Point Software’s commitment to nurturing talent, promoting gender diversity, and equipping the future workforce with the skills necessary to succeed in cybersecurity.
Promoting Women’s Leadership

In the pursuit of gender balance, it is crucial for organisations to promote women’s leadership from both within and outside. At Check Point within the EMEA region, significant steps have been made to ensure inclusive recruitment practices, with 41% of newly hired employees being women.

Check Point’s President, Rupal Hollenback is a strong advocate of female leadership, promoting capable female leaders from within the company, and even from outside the industry. Through a comprehensive approach that includes recruitment, cultivation, and development, as well as providing opportunities for recognition, women can thrive and progress within the organisation. By adopting such inclusive practices, organisations like Check Point are not just talking about change, but are leading by example.

Role Modeling for Future Generations

Female leaders like Rupal also recognise the importance of serving as role models for younger women aspiring to enter male-dominated industries like cybersecurity. By actively engaging with and nurturing younger talent, the effort to break down barriers and encourage more women to pursue careers in non-traditional fields will be successful.

At the end of the day, it is crucial to highlight and celebrate the achievement of women leaders across various fields, including STEM. By showcasing successful women who have excelled in traditionally male-dominated industries, we can hope to inspire the next generation of female leaders and create a more inclusive future for all.

“Cyber security always needs new talents to grow; however, the inclusion of women remains very limited, and their presence in the sector is growing very slowly”, explains Maya Horowitz, VP of Research at Check Point Software. “Closing the gender gap in cybersecurity is not just a matter of equality. We focus our efforts on education, professional development, inclusive recruitment measures, mentoring programs and pay equity advocacy to make the cybersecurity career pathway increasingly accessible and attractive to women. I urge security organisations to take a more active role in progressing female leadership in this sector, akin to Check Point’s efforts. An inclusive workforce makes for a better workforce with stronger business results”.


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