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The National Security Issue No One Is Talking About

Anne-Marie Slaughter and Elizabeth Weingarten wrote for TIME about the intersection of women in cybersecurity and national security:

At first, it might sound like just another lack-of-women-in-technology story. But the story of women in cybersecurity is different. That’s because the dearth of women in the field is making all of us less safe.

To understand why, it’s first important to clarify what cybersecurity is, exactly. Cybersecurity is the intersection of technology and national security, the place where we define the policies, systems and practices that keep us and our information secure both on and offline. These policies don’t just extend to businesses and governments—they create safer systems for our families, our communities and our country.

Part of the reason why the gender gap exists is nestled in the very name “cybersecurity.” The industry represents a unique and potent collision of military and tech culture—two fields that have traditionally been dominated by men, and have thus been shaped by male priorities, schedules and preferences. Indeed, the terms “cybersecurity” and “cyberwar” are artifacts of the Cold War era. They summon up Dr. Strangelove more than rocket girls.