June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
Women in Engineering
26.437.1 - 26.437.10
Cyber War is not Gender War: Experiences of Creating a Productive Heterogeneous Environment in Cyber-Security ResearchWhile STEM disciplines continue to see an increase in female enrollment, there remains adistinct gender gap. In particular, the Technology and Computing space have always struggledto recruit and retain women. A similar trend is seen in employment, where approximately 25%of computing jobs are held by women. At ****** **** program, we have at times struggled toexceed 10% female enrollment. This is unfortunate, as it is the universal opinion of our ownfaculty, supported by data – that women are equal to, if not in some instances more capable thantheir male peers. It is thus extremely unfortunate that elements of society are still struggling withmistaken gender stereotypes, and that this, coupled with occasional misogyny can dissuadeyoung women from pursuing a career in computing. While this may not be the only cause, it isunacceptable.We have found (in line with other research) that strong faculty mentorship is an important factorin recruiting and retaining women in technology computing disciplines. This paper thus detailsapproaches used by a cyber-security research group of over 16 students in achieving a consistent40%-50% female participation within a program of less than 10% enrollment. There have beensignificant immediate and long-term benefits to establishing this ratio in a research group. Theseinclude a measurable increase in research productivity from both genders, peer-to-peermentoring, and a more complete perspective into the significance and impact of research overall.In the past four years, women have participated in both pedagogical and technical researchconferences, obtained research funding and developed entire courses. One particular effect ofsignificance has been an increase in direct, targeted recruitment of women into the program –and subsequently from the program by employers. We anecdotally note also that women incyber-security command a higher average placement wage than men, although regret that to date,this data is not statically significant due to insufficient data samples.In a time where everyone is a target of cybercrime, cyberbullying and other malicious cyber-attacks there is no longer space for a gender divide. The recruitment and retention of women incyber-security is not only necessary, but critical to ensure a diverse and optimized workforce.
Winders, W., & Cornel, C., & Cornel, C., & Larson, A., & Cunha, S. A., & Moses, S., & Rowe, D. C., & Wilkinson, L. (2015, June), Cyber War is not Gender War - Experiences of Creating a Productive Heterogeneous Environment in Cyber Security Research Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23776
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2015 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015