My name is Jane Frankland and I’m writing the book “Women in Cyber Security: Standard not Exception." My mission is to showcase the cyber security industry so we can attract, recruit and retain a more gender diverse cyber security workforce and make the cyber security industry better and stronger.
How it came about
It all began with a blog and one that I was shocked into writing. Let me explain.
Having read (ISC)² report, entitled Women in Security: Wisely Positioned for the Future of InfoSec that surveyed nearly 14,000 professionals worldwide, I discovered only 10% are female. To make matters worse, the figure was the same as the year before, and had reduced from the year before that, despite the growing demand for more cyber security professionals.
Prior to reading it I thought that women were just keeping a low profile and not being visible online. As a woman who’s built a successful career in cyber security that’s spanned two decades, and has a strong personal brand online, I thought I'd provide my view on what I’d seen and propose pragmatic solutions. I had no agenda, other than to be a voice. So, one weekend in November 2015 I began writing. As soon as I pressed, “publish” on LinkedIn, the blog - The Future of Women in Cyber Security: How do we Increase the Numbers - went viral.
Many had a lot to say and the comments and private messages were insightful. I then set about researching more and over the Christmas period I ended up writing a 15,000 word report! However, rather than publish the report, I decided to add more value by including case studies and to turn it into a book.
Can you tell me more about the problem?
Cyber security is an amazing industry. It has so much to offer, is well paid, future-proofed and it needs to thrive. This book is being written because it will help to solve 3 challenges that the cyber security industry is struggling to overcome right now:
1. Skills Shortage: Within the cyber security industry there’s historically been a skills shortage that continues to worsen, and a lack of qualified security professionals is seriously holding back the industry. As women make up roughly half of the workforce it would make sense to harness this untapped pool of talent.
2. Rising Cybercrime: Women are vital assets to any ecosystem but particularly to cyber security. Countless studies have shown that women and men gauge risk differently. Having a wide range of perspectives and thought leadership throughout the whole industry, results in improved protection for businesses, individuals and countries.
3. Costs and Budgets: When we close the gender gap there are huge implications for our global economy. Studies show that gender-diverse teams are more productive, innovative and able to stay on schedule and within budget, compared to homogeneous teams. Furthermore, when women are at the helm of business, in leadership roles, not only does GDP improve but also there’s more diversity in the workforce, contributions to charities and support of local businesses.
What's the objective?
The objective is to achieve a gender diverse workforce within cyber security. I want this book to positively affect change – to reverse the skills shortage and increase numbers of women in cyber security.
Everyone in cyber security wants to see more women in the industry and for it to benefit from having a more gender diverse workforce. I believe the industry needs help as it matures. From my knowledge of the industry and the research that I've done I believe there are 5 challenges to overcome if we're to get more women into cyber security roles and achieve a gender diverse workforce.
Whilst the aim of the book is to showcase the variety of roles within the cyber security industry so we can attract, develop and retain more women, the book should not be seen as exclusive to women-only. The book wholeheartedly welcomes men and they'll gain much from reading it. Men are a vital component and their support is key to reversing the gender diversity gap in cyber security. Men want to be part of the conversation, take an active role in bringing more women into the industry, and women want men to do this too.
For the first time ever, technologists, entrepreneurs, academia and government will be brought together in this book. Through stories and case studies everyone will have the opportunity to benefit from the diversity of knowledge, perspective and experience detailed. The book will offer insight and document practical methods that can be used to navigate a career in cyber security. It will be an uplifting read and you’ll hear how others have overcome obstacles that have stood in their way and what they love about the industry.
How will this project be achieved?
I'll author the book. Interviews will be performed with a variety of professionals from within the industry, ranging from juniors to seniors and from industry, academia, government, start-ups, vendor technology companies and consultancies. Whenever possible these will be video recorded so the content can be further re-purposed. The book will be edited and published by Rethink Press.
Rethink Press is an independent hybrid publisher, working mainly with entrepreneurs, business owners, coaches and consultants to get their business or self-help book written and published to the highest standard. Lucy McCarraher is Managing Editor of Rethink Press and Publish Mentor to Key Person of Influence UK and Singapore; Joe Gregory the Managing Publisher of Rethink Press. The company is based in Norfolk, UK, though the team is nationally and internationally based. Rethink Press publishes all titles to Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, other Amazon territories where appropriate, and Amazon Kindle. For print books, Rethink Press distributes through the following wholesalers: Nielsen BookData, Bowker, BDS, Gardners, Ingram Books, The Book Depository.
The book will receive marketing and promotion as part of the publishing package. I've an extensive network of over 10,000 people across all the social media platforms (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Slideshare, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+). I've contacts all over the world too, who are keen to help publicize and endorse this project. Furthermore, I'll be publicising the book on both of my websites and when I speak at events all over the world.
How far along is this project?
The book is in progress and 15,000 words have already been written. The book needs case studies, which involves interviews, then further writing and editing. This will take time, and so far I've been using my evenings, weekends and some days during the week to further this. However, the book is not happening as fast as it needs to. When this project becomes funded I can pay a team to help me with the interviews as well as editing, publishing and distributing it.
What is the time-line/ schedule?
- March - Kickstarter campaign runs for 30-days.
- May - funds are received.
- May to August – interviewing and write up.
- August to October – publishing and editing. Translation if funds permit.
- October to November – Marketing campaign begins. Kickstarter campaign rewards are implemented and/ shipped.
- December - book launch
How will the funds be used?
When I reach my goal the funds will be used for editing and publishing. These amount to £6,500. Any extra money will be used for translating it into other languages (e.g. Spanish) so it can reach more people and have more of an impact plus further promotion (e.g. a book launch).
How can you help?
This is a massively important project that can have a HUGE impact. It's not just about writing a book that’s on trend and headlining. This book has the power to affect change and make a real difference to the cyber security industry. In order to achieve this objective, I need to perform more research, conduct interviews and videos. Furthermore, I need to publicize what’s being done, have the content edited and manage costs.
To get this off the ground I need your support. My ask is that you back this campaign and help to bring this practical, informational, and much needed book to all genders around the world.
What's in it for you?
Aside from the rewards, the book will attract some of the most influential players in the cyber security industry and is set to gain media attention globally. As someone who's involved, you'll be able to leverage off this, align yourself to a worthy cause and affect positive change for cyber security worldwide.
When you engage as an organisation/ sponsor, you display a desire to make a positive contribution to the gender diversity issue. You send a very clear message to your organisation and can have a powerful effect on internal culture. This can boost employee engagement, morale and raise awareness amongst the sponsor’s employees. Furthermore, you can give a sense of purpose, involvement and corporate pride amongst employees at being associated with something that makes a positive difference in their world.
Aligning with a worthy cause evokes a more caring image with all of the associated stakeholders, be they clients, new recruits, partners or investors. It communicates something beyond price, product or service and gives them a reason for picking your organisation over other competitors in the market.
Risks and challenges
Every project can face risks and challenges. The greatest risk to this project is one of an unexpected time obstacle, which could arise during the interviews phase. Those who’ll be interviewed are busy and it may be challenging to schedule time in my diary and theirs for this. To address this, I'll be using another dedicated resource who can help me perform the interviews.
Bringing the book to completion also needs effective project management and support. This will be obtained via the publishers, Rethink Press, who will be guiding me. Writing a book isn't for everyone. Few can do it. But, being used to writing, a strong project manager who's focused on the end result, with your support I'll achieve this.
The production process takes between 6 and 12 weeks. Rethink Press will support me by sending proof copies of edits, typesets and covers throughout the production process. My response will be swift, which will enable the book to run to schedule. I’ll keep everyone updated if I need to adjust deadlines, and I’ll be transparent at every step.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)