Press Release - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

#ShareTheMicInCyber Campaign Highlights Black Women in Cyber

| Feb. 23, 2021

The #ShareTheMicInCyber campaign will highlight Black women in the Security & Privacy sector throughout March 2021 in celebration of Women's History Month. Cybersecurity experts Camille Stewart of Google and Lauren Zabierek of Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center Cyber Project lead the call for prominent voices and cyber allies to share their social media platforms in an effort to amplify Black female voices and achievements in the cybersecurity sector.

"The lack of diversity in the cybersecurity industry at all levels exacerbates the existential challenges of our era by limiting the United States' ability to identify and address threats, innovate, and meaningfully cooperate with partners,” said #ShareTheMicInCyber founder Camille Stewart, who is also a fellow with the Belfer Center's Cyber Project. “The #ShareTheMicinCyber campaign individualizes the work to eradicate systemic racism. It can often seem like a problem too big for one person. This campaign allows us to have and share hard conversations where many are just learning about systemic issues that are continuing to happen across the world. In an industry where women represent less than 30%o of the workforce, #ShareTheMicinCyber is a call to action that goes beyond a one-day virtual campaign and seeks to catalyze action from members of the cyber community," Stewart said.

The #ShareTheMicInCyber campaign was created in collaboration with Zabierek, the  Executive Director of the Belfer Center's Cyber Project, after the murders of Geoge Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others. The cyber community's desire to uplift their Black colleagues spurred this movement to amplify diverse voices, cultivate talent, and put action behind eradicating systemic racism.

"Racism, like cybersecurity, is a national security issue,” Zabierek said. “We chose to address combating systemic and institutional racism through the national security lens based on our shared experience in that domain. We recognize that our security will suffer if we do not prioritize diversity in this field. We understand the strategic imperative as well as the meaningful actions toward this objective, such as knocking down barriers, elevating voices, developing existing talent, creating opportunities, and facilitating connections.

#ShareTheMicInCyber was created in service to those goals and has become an incredible movement," Zabierek said.

On March 19th, cyber and privacy practitioners and Black women who specialize in all sectors of cybersecurity and privacy will be paired together to share their voices and expertise across Twitter and LinkedIn social media platforms for the third #ShareTheMicInCyber campaign. Since last year, more than 150 members of the cybersecurity industry have shared their voices online through their counterparts' accounts and have reached more than 15 million social media users to call for action and change across industry practices.

#SharetheMicinCyber, by supporting industry recruitment efforts and creating a lasting online community, also presents an opportunity for professionals to network and become sought-after candidates for career opportunities. Participants benefit from programming around the campaign date, an expanded network and robust community, scholarship opportunities, and a number of training opportunities.

A #SharetheMicinCyber participant in a previous ampaign said: “The campaign provided the benefit of access. I was inundated with LinkedIn requests and direct messages, from other CISOs, CEOs, and VC partners. By the end of the day, I'd received an invite to join a prominent Board as an Advisor. Like, I'm sitting on the same Board as the CISOs of Chipotle, Yum Brands, Tik Tok, Rockwell Automation--mega-companies. I like to think [#SharetheMicinCyber] campaign was also an opportunity for Allies and Accomplices who have been trying to figure out ways to bridge the gap. Camille is an amazing partner who took her role as an ally to the next level. She used her privilege, and her access, in a way I would have never have dreamed possible.”

Organizations such as Google, Twitter, SANS Institute, Recorded Future, Discernible, GirlSecurity, Berman Klein Center, Craig Newmark Philanthropies, the Future of Privacy Forum, University of Washington's Tech Policy Lab, and more have publicly supported the #ShareTheMicinCyber campaign. The #SharetheMicinCyber campaign also provides scholarship opportunities to participants through an exclusive partnership with Women in Security and Privacy (WISP).

For more information about the #ShareTheMicinCyber campaign visit https://sharethemicincyber.splashthat.com.

For media inquiries, contact: Avery Jones, AblazePR LLC, +1 3015862962, avery@ablazeprllc.com

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation:#ShareTheMicInCyber Campaign Highlights Black Women in Cyber.” Press Release, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, February 23, 2021.