Public speakers play a vital role in our society, serving as catalysts for change, inspiration, and empowerment. Through their words and presence, public speakers can shape narratives, share knowledge, and drive positive change in our ever-evolving world. Moreover, they can empower others to find their own voices, embrace vulnerability, and strive for personal and professional growth.

At WiCyS, we believe that public speaking can play a crucial role in the professional development and advancement of women in cybersecurity; that is why we are launching a new initiative for our members called the Speaker Spotlight Program. Sponsored by Cisco, the program’s goal is to empower women in the cybersecurity industry by honing their public speaking skills and providing them with valuable opportunities to share their expertise.

I have seen firsthand the effect that speakers can have on a captive audience, particularly one that is young or composed of mid-life career changers excited about the possibilities that lie ahead in their professional work. With our Speaker Spotlight Program, we hope to motivate more talented women to take on this role, helping to educate others and share unique insights, so that they too can galvanize a new wave of women professionals to pursue and advance careers in cybersecurity.

This will be a significant step towards fostering inclusivity and encouraging more female professionals in the field. With a 3.4 million jobs gap in the industry, it is essential not only that we hire more women to work in cybersecurity, but that they are inspired to remain in the field and continue their work.

[RELATED: (ISC)2 Study: Cybersecurity Industry Facing 3.4 Million Shortfall in Workers]

It’s not always easy. As a recent study conducted by WiCyS and Aleria showed, many women working in cyber still experience a lack of respect among their male colleagues. With more women in the industry, and more working to impress on others the benefits of working in cybersecurity, we can change this.

With the launch of the Speakers Spotlight Program, WiCyS is taking a proactive approach to empower and uplift women in the industry. It starts by providing participants with access to Innovation Women, an organization that works to get women speaking engagements across the world. Innovation Women provides numerous resources on its platform, including a tool where aspiring speakers can create their speaker profiles, as well as access to a comprehensive directory of over 2,000 speakers, tutorials, educational modules, and tools to manage speaking applications and engagements. By leveraging these resources, women in cybersecurity can enhance their visibility, expand their professional networks, and amplify their influence within the industry.

Members of WiCyS can apply to be one of the 350 participants of the speakers’ cohort. The deadline to apply is July 18, 2034. For more information and to apply, click here).

The program is an exciting chance for women to elevate their voice and expand their influence in the field. Ultimately, the program will help foster diversity, bridge the gender gap, and create a thriving environment where women can excel and inspire in the cybersecurity industry.

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