CISA Director Jen Easterly talks future of women in STEM at CES 2023

CISA Director Jen Easterly talks future of women in STEM at CES 2023

Video Transcript

DAN HOWLEY: As far as getting more people into cybersecurity, you know, I believe it was earlier this year you had mentioned that you wanted to have systems workforce be about 50% women by 2025, you were hoping, I believe. How do you get more women, young girls, gender non-conforming people into cybersecurity? What's the kind of way to push them towards that or engage them with that?

JEN EASTERLY: Yeah, so, first of all, not just CISA, because we're well on our way to 50%--

DAN HOWLEY: Oh, wow.

JEN EASTERLY: But all of the cybersecurity industry I think has to be 50% women or non-binary people by the year 2030. Now, that's aspirational, but I think it's a goal that we can all get behind, we can actually make it happen. How do we do it?

Well, first of all, we have to start with the youngest among us. We have to ensure that cybersecurity is integrated into the curriculum from kindergarten all the way up to 12th grade so that earlier on, we're getting people who wouldn't think about tech, because it sounds scary and complicated, more interested in technology and cybersecurity-- again, from the youngest of ages.

It also helps our kids be more cyber safe. Because even as they play on all their devices, they're thinking about, OK, what do I need to do to ensure that I'm safe from all of the bad actors that are out there? So that's hugely important.

The other thing that we're doing is working with the Girl Scouts, and Girls Who Code, and the Cyber Warrior Foundation, and Empower-- giving them grants so that we can get out there and expose more young women and girls to the fact that cybersecurity is a fantastic career. It's why I spend a lot of time trying to inspire and inform young women about how great it is to be in cybersecurity as a career.

So it's something that we all have to take responsibility for, be aspirational, believe in the transformation of the cybersecurity workforce. And I think we can get there. It's a tough goal, because I think we're about 24% right now. But you got to aim high.