The Security Ledger Podcast

The Security Ledger Podcast

Episode 219: LGBTQ+Cyber – A Pride Month Conversation On Being Queer In Infosec

June 30, 2021

In this week’s episode of the podcast (#219) we speak with four cybersecurity professionals about what it means to be Queer in the industry. We talked about their various paths to the information security community, finding support among their peers and the work still left to do. All in honor of Pride Month, 2021.

The information security community has grown at a fast clip over the last two decades. What started as a humble collection of small, antivirus software firms is now a sprawling global market worth more than $150 billion, and with projected growth of more than 10% annually over the next decade. Hundreds of thousands of workers have flocked to the industry. And hundreds of thousands of more need to in the months and years ahead. By one count, there are half a million unfilled job openings in cybersecurity in the U.S. alone. 

How welcoming will the field be to these new workers? If past is prologue, as the saying goes, there is reason for concern. Infosec is one of the most demographically lopsided industries around in terms of gender. Just 14% of cybersecurity workers are women and women are severely underrepresented in leadership roles. A man, for example, is 5x more likely to hold the title of CISO than a woman. And, while minority representation in the industry in the US is about in line with their representation in the general population, an ISC2 survey (PDF) found that minority cybersecurity workers are underrepresented in management roles. 

But what about sexual orientation and gender identity? How welcoming is cyber security to members of the LGBTQIA+ community and what is their experience like working in information security related fields? If the cyber security field is going to fill those 500,000 open recs, it will need to welcome not just to women, ethnic and racial minorities, but also to workers with diverse  sexual orientations and gender identities. 

Episode 203: Don’t Hack The Water and Black Girls Hack Founder Tennisha Martin

According to a 2020 Gallup study, 1 in 6 adults in Generation Z identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, Agender, or anything else that is not considered straight and/or cis-gendered (LGBTQIA+). As more young people enter the workforce, the cybersecurity industry must meet the demands of progress in order to minimize its talent gap, and create a more inclusive work environment for all people, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or expression.

In celebration of Pride month,  Security Ledger podcast is talking to LGBTQIA workers in cyber security about their experience in the field: how they got to where they are, and their experience being “out” and -in many cases – coming out in a high stress, male dominated profession. 

Our Guests

Lea Kissner is the Head of Privacy Engineering at TwitterAllisa Knight is a Partner at Knight InkAmèlie Koran is a Senior Technology Advocate at SplunkChris Kirsch is the Chief Revenue Officer at Rumble

Lea Kissner, Twitter: Engineering Respect

Our first guest is