Session: Women in Cyber - The Evolving Landscape and the Impact of Diversity in the Workplace
It’s no secret that cybersecurity employers have long struggled to address the gender gap facing the industry. In fact, in 2021 the ISC(2) Cybersecurity Workforce Report on Women in Cybersecurity reported that women only make up 24% of the cyber workforce.
With an acknowledged skills shortage in the industry, we as leaders must consider the steps we can take to address the needs of employers not just to secure cyber talent, but to close the gender gap and encourage more diverse candidates to join our industry.
During this session, Wendi Whitmore, SVP of Unit 42 at Palo Alto Networks, will discuss the path that brought her to cybersecurity. She will talk about her experiences as a woman in the cyber workforce, how she works with her team to attract a diverse workforce and Palo Alto Networks’ commitment to foster an environment that celebrates inclusion.
- What can we do to educate and inform women about the roles available to them if they pursue a cybersecurity career.
- How Palo Alto Networks and Unit 42 foster an environment that embraces diversity and celebrates inclusion.
- How non-traditional approaches can lead to success in recruiting for cyber roles.
Wendi Whitmore serves as senior vice president for Unit 42 at Palo Alto Networks. She is a globally recognized cybersecurity leader, with two decades of experience building incident response and threat intelligence teams that have helped clients solve some of the world’s largest and most complex breaches.
Wendi leads the new and expanded Unit 42, which includes former Crypsis security consultants and members of the original Palo Alto Networks threat researcher group (the original Unit 42). The combined team helps organizations tackle the most complex cyberthreats — from ransomware to state-sponsored espionage.
She joined Palo Alto Networks from IBM, where she led the global X-Force incident response, threat intelligence, incident command, and cyber range teams. She previously held executive level positions in the professional services organizations of CrowdStrike and Mandiant.
She began her career as a Special Agent conducting computer crime investigations with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.
Wendi regularly meets with executive leadership teams and boards to advise them on strengthening their security programs to address their most-pressing threats. She is a frequent speaker at high-profile technical conferences and has taught graduate-level computer science and cyber security courses at Carnegie Mellon University and The George Washington University.
In 2022 Wendi was named a member of the first-ever Cyber Security Review Board launched by the United States Department of Homeland Security.