International Women’s Day is celebrated globally every March 8 to recognize women’s achievements. This year, the theme is #BreakTheBias—asking us all to imagine a diverse, equitable, and inclusive world—something that NortonLifeLock is strongly committed to. The day gives groups invested in women’s rights a focused time to not only celebrate women, but raise awareness about women’s equality, lobby for gender parity, and fundraise for charitable organizations.
For many women, especially women of color, International Women’s Day not only commemorates the accomplishments that have been made, but also shines a light on the inequalities. As of 2020, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, U.S. women are still only earning 82 cents for every dollar a man earns (1). The gap is even wider for women of color. And while this trend is clear across most industries, there are few with a greater barrier of entry than technology.
NortonLifeLock is hoping to change that.
Today may be International Women’s Day, but this isn’t just a one-off effort for us. We pride ourselves on the year-round support and initiatives we have that empower women, both in the technology field and in a myriad of other ways. Throughout our company’s history, we have looked to level the playing field for those who want careers in cybersecurity and technology, making it more accessible to historically underserved communities. And in our field, that especially means women and women of color.
We are absolutely thrilled to announce our new partnership with Women4Cyber, a non-profit European private foundation with the objective to promote, encourage, and support the participation of women in the field of cybersecurity. Women4Cyber is creating a roadmap to eliminate the current gender gap in European tech by creating awareness, promoting tailored education and training programs, supporting and shaping gender-inclusive policies, and establishing partnerships, both within the EU and abroad (2).
NortonLifeLock has entered into a fruitful long-term partnership, with an initial contribution of $150,000 per year for two to three years. That money will go towards contributing information and content to the academy, product donations, traineeships and internships within our company, and the development and growth of the community by encouraging new Women4Cyber chapters where they don’t exist. Our particular strength will go towards the pre-entry, entry, and post-entry into cybersecurity, as well as education and focus on the job market.
In addition, we are proud to support Reboot Representation, a technical coalition that will double the number of Black, Latina, and Native American women receiving computing degrees by 2025. Today, this oft-neglected group of women make up just 4% of the computing workforce, and this carries a major cost for women, companies, and the entire tech sector. Diverse teams are more creative, innovative, and ultimately more profitable (3).
NortonLifeLock has made a three-year commitment to Reboot, contributing $200,000 each year to this critical work. The money will help Reboot assess and focus on what works for women and girls in tech and move the needle on diverse hiring practices.
In India, we also partner with the NASSCOM Foundation in India on the Cyber Security Skills Development Initiative for Women, designed to create greater employability opportunities for female engineering graduates by equipping them with in-demand job skills. We recently say 232 women graduate from the program, with 60 already placed into jobs.
Regardless of the action we’re taking this year and every year, we know that there is a serious uphill climb for many women who want to work in tech. As we celebrate International Women’s Day today, it’s important to recognize all of the accomplishments that have already been made, honor those who fought and continue to fight to break down these barriers, and remain determined to create the equality we’re still searching for.
If you feel inspired to act on International Women’s Day 2022, find events going on in your area. We're also celebrating Women's History Month all month long - check back for more stories on how we work to empower women all year long.
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