From Inside Cybersecurity:

The R Street Institute is putting together a coalition of think tanks and universities to support increasing diversity at cyber-focused events and conferences, with participants signing onto a pledge to invest in making women and minorities more visible in the cyber space.

The “Making Space” pledge, led by R Street’s Tatyana Bolton, recognizes that more representation is needed in the cybersecurity field. The initiative recognizes that “including a broader array of voices” in the conversation “will not only improve the debate, but also encourage a diverse pool of people to join cybersecurity and help ensure cybersecurity policy accurately reflects the perspectives and concerns of society at large.”

“With history as background, we, the undersigned, pledge that we will increase the diversity of speakers and experts at events within and/or funded by our programs and organizations,” Bolton wrote in a blog post last week.

Bolton wrote, “For panels consisting of three or more speakers, inclusive of moderators, we pledge to recruit and include at least one woman or member of an underrepresented community (e.g. LGTBQIA, BIPOC, LatinX, Hispanic, people with disabilities) to add value to our learning and viewpoints that are not adequately represented within the cybersecurity field. For our conference partners, we pledge to consider both the representation at the individual panel level as well as the conference speakers and keynote speakers as a whole, to create a holistically representative atmosphere at our events.”

Participating academic institutions include:

The pledge is also signed by:

Bolton writes, “Diversity is security. In support of #ShareTheMicInCyber’s movement to eradicate systemic racism in the cyber industry we pledge to make that a reality with this actionable step. While ensuring diversity on our panels and at our conferences is a small step, it will hopefully contribute to a broader recognition that diversity, equity, and inclusion, are critical to society’s broader economic development, well-being and security.”

Former DHS cyber leader Suzanne Spaulding has committed to the pledge as well as Center for Security and Emerging Technology’s Ben Buchanan and the co-founders of #sharethemicincyber Camille Steward and Lauren Zabierek.

Organizations and individuals can sign onto the pledge on R Street’s website.

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