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The primary goal of Schooled in Security is to find more creative ways to persuade more students, and especially young women, to think about a career in cybersecurity. 

We believe that the first step, before even talking about training, is to inspire students to be interested in this topic in the first place.

The initiaitve is being piloted on schools in Cincinnati Ohio, with a view to extending the programs to schools nationwide.

And one of the best ways to start this inspiration is to show students a snapshot (or hundreds of snapshots) of their future possible selves.

Our Inspiration Wall

We're creating an Inspiration Wall of women in cybersecurity, from all kinds of backgrounds and in all kinds of fields and would love to include you.

This is our plan:

- We'll initially feature the stars of our Inspiration Wall on the home page of our web site, and a link to a deeper profile on each.

- So we'll need a photo, a name and job description/title, a 75 word intro, and then answer to a series of questions, below.

- You'll get a full web page to yourself, and you're free to promote your own initiatives too.

Eventually we hope to devote an entire website to inspirational men and women, but mainly women, to reinforce for students the incredible diversity of people, opportunities, and skills.

 

Here's what a profile would look like:

 

My name is Cassie Clark, and I'm the Security Community Manager for Salesforce

 

My focus is on employee engagement and education to internal employees at Salesforce. I teach employees about security best practices and help them understand how their behavior impacts security at Salesforce. I help employees in Security feel a sense of belonging in their teams and at Salesforce.

This is my first job in information security; prior to this role, my career background was completely different - centered largely around program management, marketing and communications, and administrative work in nonprofits.

 

What’s your full title and where do you work?

My title is Security Community Manager and I work on the Security (information, not physical) team at Salesforce.

Salesforce is a global technology cloud-based company that focuses on storing and maximizing information and data for its customers. In this way, customers have an easier time meeting their customers' needs effectively.

 

What do you do as part of your job, what do you focus on?

My job is multifaceted, which makes it a lot of fun. Overall, I manage community and education programs for the Security team and for other employees at Salesforce. Some programs are focused on creating a healthy community for and providing education to the Security team, which improves team collaboration and employee engagement and retention. Other programs are focused on figuring out how to best help employees understand their own security behaviors and how they can change those behaviors to help the company be more secure.

A typical day might look like: Meeting with folks about projects or initiatives I work on, strategizing on communications or engagement for a project, or running an event for our employees!

 

How did you get started in cybersecurity?

I actually fell into my job a bit. I was looking for my next role and wanted to move into working a tech company. My background is in community management, program management, marketing/communications, and diversity work, so I was looking for opportunities in those areas. I applied for a role on a security awareness team working to foster secure developer communities, and I am grateful to say that my team valued diverse backgrounds and sought those skills over security knowledge. It's been a great experience!
 

What do you love about your work?

There are several things I love about my job - I work with amazing people, I get to learn about really interesting things on a regular basis, and I get to engage a huge range of people. But the #1 thing I love about my job is that moment when I work with people and they feel truly engaged. That might be when they understand their secure behaviors and how they fit into a larger picture around security, or it might be a feeling of connection on my security team. Those moments make my day!
 

Is there anything you don’t like about your work?

While there is a considerable need for smart, strategic communications, it isn't the work that I love doing. When things get frustrating, it's important for me to remember how essential those communications are to the success of my job. They're the crucial way that employees understand and receive information about our awareness campaigns.
 

Do you need a college degree to do what you do?

While it's useful, I don't think it's necessary. Several people in the industry learned how to code or hack without having a degree, so while it can be a little more challenging to get a job, it's not uncommon! My specific role would require some experience in building communities, running events, or doing communications work regardless of having a degree.
 

What’s the best kind of training or studies to pursue to get a job like yours?

Interestingly, my job is security awareness-related and there isn't really any curricula out there that focuses on that part of security. That being said, it's important to understand engagement and perhaps training on a deep level. How do people learn best? How do you drive behavior change? This could include anything from English or Communications studies to liberal arts thinking.
 

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about a career in cybersecurity or privacy?

Talk to as many people as you can! Security folks may seem intimidating or shy, but they're actually pretty fun and open people who enjoy making connections and helping people get into the industry. Attend security events and conferences and try to learn as much as possible. And above and beyond, start looking online for easy trainings that you can take to learn as much as possible about this type of work and what's involved. That will really help inform if this is an area where you could see yourself building a career!
 

What do you think are the most important roles and opportunities in cybersecurity, and especially for women?

Any role, especially for underserved populations. I really mean that - the number of women in security is still incredibly low, for instance, and it would be great to see more diverse individuals get into the field! Security can be a highly technical field, but there are plenty of areas where non-technical people - like myself! - can get involved and build a really great career. The trick is to get involved and talk to lots of people to learn more.