Why representation matters for future women leaders

Judith Tapia,
B2C Sales Manager for Mexico at Kaspersky

Judith Tapia, B2C Sales Manager for Mexico at Kaspersky

Recently, the online remittance service Remitly conducted a worldwide study about dream jobs and being an "influencer" ranked in the global top five, while becoming a "YouTuber" was the most popular profession in Mexico.

The answer is not at all surprising. Today, children find in these platforms entertainment spaces with access to content creators of every kind that not only go viral but also become their role models in many cases. It is natural that they aspire to be like those they view every day.

There is a myth that those who work in the cybersecurity industry are geeks, meaning that we pursued a degree in science or technology and that we spend all day programming in front of a screen. Nothing could be further from reality! We are professionals from different areas since what is mostly required is exactly that: diversity.


The number of specialists required by the growing cybersecurity industry. We should be a guiding light to inspire young girls to pursue high-potential careers in this field and help overcome this shortage.

Speaking of diverse talent, increasingly more women are clearing the way and conquering this industry that managed to understand that female participation is much more than reaching the gender quota, it translates into business competitiveness. This is happening because it's more and more difficult to find the necessary and qualified talent.

We refer to an industry that urgently needs brilliant young people who dare to take on those positions to break not only the myth of the geek behind the screen but also the belief that a job in tech only involves the universe of so-called hard skills. We can't disregard the soft skills, which in the digital era have become more important than ever before: analytical, communication, and critical thinking skills, which are actually more difficult to acquire than technical skills.


We must tell young women that there isn't just one way to begin a career in cybersecurity and that they don't necessarily have to study something related to technology to be part of the industry. The sector needs professionals with a variety of skills and abilities. Therefore, anyone can aspire to join this world wherein, I can assure you, you won't have time to get bored. The sector includes not only female engineers, programmers, and actuaries but also female lawyers, designers, communicators, psychologists, and salespeople. Every profession has the same relevance when the target is to protect the world from cybercrime.

The lack of role models has influenced the perceptions of female talent. The lack of women in the industry made 26 % of Mexican women have doubts about joining the sector. In other words, "you can't be what you can't see." On the other hand, female presence in the cybersecurity and ICT sectors barely accounts for 11 % of the workforce, based on a study carried out by Kaspersky.

How can we get more and more girls and teenagers to dream of becoming digital heroines? It is important to start eliminating gender roles and stereotypes, including those related to pursuing specific careers, from our closest social circles, such as home and school.


The low visibility of other careers, such as cybersecurity, is the reason why young people don't know they exist and, therefore, don't consider them as an opportunity for their future, besides not having the necessary role models.

By having a supportive environment and network, young women can broaden their options and their role models. The cybersecurity world is exciting, and it represents the opportunity to make a career in one of the most important industries in the world since it's responsible for protecting the digital transformation, which touches every aspect of our lives.

Those of us who are part of it should serve as guidance and inspiration to women who dream of having a job that allows them to fully develop their talent. Here, they will not only have a promising future but also a commitment: to take the lead and accept the central role that was denied to women in this industry for years. It is your responsibility to keep transforming the world.