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Women and Cybersecurity: Creating a More Inclusive Cyberspace

May 26, 2022


women in cybersecurity event

Millions of cybersecurity professionals around the world are on the frontlines of tracking and addressing digital risks and online threats. The tech and cybersecurity industries are among the most in-demand, profitable, and critical fields in modern history. Yet, countries around the world are facing a shortage of knowledgeable and experienced cybersecurity talent that is able to keep pace with the fast rate of digitization and the parallel proliferation of digital risks. In particular, women account for only 2 out of 10 cybersecurity professionals, despite representing almost half of the global workforce. This gap can be explained by several factors, including industry perception and culture, societal and family constraints, barriers to entry due to limited digital and cyber literacy, wage gaps, lower earning potential at every level, missed or delayed promotions, and a much harder path to reach the upper echelons of the corporate world — despite often having higher levels of education and certification than men.

The under-representation and under-utilization of female talent is both a critical business issue and a hindrance to the development of more secure and resilient economies and societies, as well as the overall safety and protection of countries. In addition to worsening the shortage of cybersecurity professionals at a time when they are in high demand, this gap further aggravates gender disparities across other sectors. Furthermore, female internet users already face a higher number of cybercrime incidents and online harassment while also being at an increased risk of financial data loss, violations of privacy, and security breaches. Together, these factors underscore the importance of designing a cyberspace that is safer, more gender inclusive, and promotes the efforts to close the workforce and gender gap. 

  • The Bank would like to initiate a global conversation on cybersecurity and gender issues and bring perspectives from different stakeholders to a common platform to:  

    • Look at the relevance of gender disparities/inequalities in cybersecurity and define the need to focus on actionable measures to close the gender workforce and awareness gap; 
    • Highlight current good practices on how women are being included in cybersecurity roles across sectors;    
    • Discuss the various challenges faced by women as cybersecurity professionals and internet users, and possible ways to address them; 
    • Outline advantages of including women in the cybersecurity workforce; and    
    • Define what governments, civil society, and the private sector can do to make this space more diverse, inclusive, and safer.  
  • TIME



    9:00-9:30 am

    (30 mins)

    Welcome Remarks and Fireside Chat

    Anne Neuberger, Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber and Emerging Technology in the Biden Administration

    Christine Zhenwei Qiang, Director, Digital Development Global Practice, World Bank


    9:30-9:40 am

    (10 mins)

    Opening Presentation

    Gwenda Fong, Assistant Chief Executive, Cyber Security Agency of Singapore


    9:40-10:40 am

    (60 mins)

    Global Policy Dialogue

    Moderated by

    Anat Lewin, Senior Digital Development Specialist, World Bank


    Amanda Craig, Senior Director of Cybersecurity Policy, Microsoft

    Confidence Staveley, Executive Director/Founder, Cybersafe Foundation

    Katharine Millar, Assistant Professor, London School of Economics

    Latha Reddy, Co-Chair, Global Commission on Stability of Cyber 

    Nanjira Sambuli, Fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace


    10:40-10:55 am

    (15 mins)

    Development Partner Presentations: 1-Min Lightning Talks

    Moderated by

    Francesca Bosco, Chief of Strategy, Cyber Peace Institute

    Partner Presenters:

    Helene Molinier, Senior Policy Advisor on Innovation, UN Women

    Renata Dalaqua, Head of Gender and Disarmament Program, UNIDIR

    Yasmine Idrissi Azzouzi, Cybersecurity Program Officer, International Telecommunications Union

    Gretchen Bueermann, Cybersecurity Research and Analysis Specialist, World Economic Forum

    Kerry-Ann Barrett, Cybersecurity Program Manager, Organization of American States



    (5 mins)

    Closing Remarks

    Anat Lewin, Senior Digital Development Specialist, World Bank


  • women in cybersecurity event

    Anne Neuberger

    Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber and Emerging Technology for the Biden Administration

    Anne Neuberger is the Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber and Emerging Technology for the Biden Administration. Previously, she served as the National Security Agency’s (NSA) Director of Cybersecurity, where she led NSA’s cybersecurity mission, including emerging technology areas like quantum-resistant cryptography. Prior to this role, Ms. Neuberger led NSA’s election security effort and served as Assistant Deputy Director of NSA’s Operations Directorate, overseeing foreign intelligence and cybersecurity operations. She also served as NSA’s first Chief Risk Officer, Director of NSA’s Commercial Solutions Center, Director of the Enduring Security Framework cybersecurity public private partnership, and the Department of the Navy’s Deputy Chief Management Officer. In 2017, Ms. Neuberger was awarded a Presidential Rank Award for her service at the NSA. Before her government service, Ms. Neuberger was Senior Vice President of Operations at American Stock Transfer and Trust Company, where she directed technology and operations.

    women in cybersecurity event

    Christine Zhenwei Qiang

    Director of Digital Development at the World Bank

    Christine Zhenwei Qiang is the Director of the Digital Development Global Practice under the Infrastructure Practice Group of the World Bank. She heads a team supporting digital transformation in developing countries to drive shared prosperity and reduce poverty. Her team advises policymakers and regulators, works closely with private sector and development partners, and designs investment and technical assistance programs to improve digital connectivity and use of digital technology to address development challenges in client countries. The team collaborates with other Global Practices and across the World Bank Group to expand access to digital infrastructure, boost digital industry and capabilities, ensure the availability and use of digital platforms, and help build the foundations needed for digital economies to thrive. The team also works to strengthen cybersecurity and data protection and leverage the potential of digital technologies to enhance environmental sustainability. Christine joined the World Bank Group in 1998. Prior to her role as Director, Ms. Qiang was the Practice Manager in the Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation (FCI) Global Practice for West and Central Africa, Practice Manager of the Global Investment Climate unit in FCI, and Practice Manager of the Global Investment and Competition Unit in the Macroeconomics, Trade and Investment (MTI) Global Practice. She was also Lead Economist at the Policy Division of the Global ICT Department of the World Bank Group. Ms. Qiang holds a Ph.D. in economics and a Master’s in computer science and engineering from the Johns Hopkins University.

    women in cybersecurity event

    Gwenda Fong

    Assistant Chief Executive at Cyber Security Agency of Singapore

    Gwenda Fong is the Assistant Chief Executive at the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA). She is responsible for guiding and coordinating Singapore’s cybersecurity developments, which includes domestic and international strategies and policies. Since joining CSA in 2017, Gwenda has been involved in the drafting and implementation of the Cybersecurity Act that was passed in Parliament in 2018, which established a legal framework for the oversight and maintenance of national cybersecurity in Singapore. Gwenda also oversaw the development of Singapore’s Safer Cyberspace Masterplan (2020), National Cyber Defence Doctrine, and Gwenda holds a concurrent appointment as Senior Director (Futures) at the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI), where she leads research on long-term challenges and disruptions in the areas of communications, information, and digitalisation. Prior to CSA, Gwenda was Director for Successful Ageing in the Ageing Planning Office in the Ministry of Health. She has also held roles in the Ministry of Defence and the Defence Science & Technology Agency. Gwenda holds a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and a M.Sc. in International Planning from University College London.

    women in cybersecurity event

    Anat Lewin

    Senior Digital Development Specialist at the World Bank

    Anat Lewin is a Senior Digital Development Specialist at the World Bank and co-Lead of the Cybersecurity Community of Practice at the World Bank. She leads policy advice and investment lending activities in Cybersecurity, Data Governance, Data Protection and Digital Government in Eastern and Southern Africa. Anat advises developing country governments on establishing good practice Cybersecurity, Data Governance and Data Protection policies, strategies, institutional governance frameworks, technical and operational capabilities and digital skills programs. She leads activities that assist African governments – for instance in Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and Somalia – in implementing reforms supported by large-scale financing by the World Bank. Her analytical work has focused on accessing mobility data by creating anonymized and aggregated datasets derived from call detail records of telecom operators. Anat holds a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University in New York and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from the University of Toronto in Canada, Trinity College. She studied International Relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and advanced Arabic at the University of Jordan in Amman. Prior to joining the World Bank in 2000, Anat worked for the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa in Ethiopia. She speaks English, German, French, Hebrew and Arabic.

    women in cybersecurity event

    Latha Reddy

    Co-Chair of the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace

    Latha Reddy is the former Deputy National Security Adviser of India where she was responsible for cybersecurity and other critical internal and external security issues. She also served as a Commissioner of the Global Commission on Internet Governance. Ms. Reddy served in the Indian Foreign Service from 1975-2011. During her diplomatic career she served in Lisbon, Washington, D.C., Kathmandu, Brasilia, Durban, Vienna and Bangkok. She served as Ambassador of India to Portugal (2004-2006) and to Thailand (2007-2009). She was Secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs in Delhi (2010-2011) with overall charge of India’s bilateral and regional relations with Asia. She was then appointed as India’s Deputy National Security Advisor in the Prime Minister’s Office from 2011-2013. Ms. Reddy has extensive experience in foreign policy, and in bilateral, regional and multilateral negotiations. In addition, she has expertise on security and strategic issues and has worked on strategic technology policies, particularly on cyber issues relating to cyber security policy, international cyber cooperation and Internet governance. Ms. Reddy is involved with several organizations and think-tanks, both globally and in India. She is currently, among other positions, serving as a Distinguished Fellow in the East-West Institute in the US and the Observer Research Foundation in India.

    women in cybersecurity event

    Katharine Millar

    Assistant Professor of International Relations at London School of Economics

    Dr. Katharine Millar is an Assistant Professor of International Relations in the Department of International Relations at the London School of Economics. Her research examines the relationship between gender, sexuality, politics, and violence. Her current research examines gender and cybersecurity; gender, race, militarism, and contemporary populism(s); and the transnational components of death associated with COVID-19. Dr. Millar has also published on female combatants, gendered representations of violent death, and military and civilian masculinity. Dr. Millar is a member of the Centre for Women, Peace and Security at the London School of Economics. She has participated in consultation processes regarding the UN's Women, Peace, and Security Agenda, as well as gender and cybersecurity, for various national governments and international organisations. Previously, Dr. Millar was at the University of Oxford, where she held a Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada doctoral fellowship at Somerville College, and lectured in Politics at St. Anne's College.

    women in cybersecurity event

    Nanjira Sambuli

    Fellow in the Technology and International Affairs Program at The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

    Nanjira Sambuli is a researcher, policy analyst and strategist interested in and working on understanding the unfolding, gendered impacts of ICT adoption on governance, diplomacy, media, entrepreneurship and culture. Nanjira is a Fellow in the Technology and International Affairs Program at The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and a Ford Global Fellow. She is also a co-Chair of Transform Health, and board member at The New Humanitarian, Development Gateway, and Digital Impact Alliance. Nanjira advises the Carnegie Council’s AI and Equality Initiative and the <A+> Alliance for Inclusive Algorithms. She is a member of the Gender Advisory Board at the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD). She is also a Diplomacy Moderator at the Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator (GESDA). Nanjira served as a Commissioner on the Lancet & Financial Times Governing Health Futures 2030 Commission, as a panel member on the United Nations Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation, and as a deputy on the United Nations Secretary General’s High-Level Panel for Women’s Economic Empowerment.

    women in cybersecurity event

    Amanda Craig

    Senior Director of Cybersecurity Policy at Microsoft

    Amanda Craig leads Microsoft’s Global Cybersecurity Policy team, which works to address complex global change and advance trust in the computing ecosystem. The team focuses on security policy issues related to cloud computing, connected devices, artificial intelligence, supply chain risk management, critical infrastructure protection, and incident response. Amanda has authored several Microsoft publications, including Risk Management for Cybersecurity: Security Baselines; Transforming Government: Cloud policy framework for innovation, security, and resilience; and Transforming Government: A cloud assurance program guide. She represents Microsoft on the Coalition to Reduce Cyber Risk, the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Council, and the IT Sector Coordinating Council Executive Board. Prior to joining Microsoft, Amanda was a fellow of the Eric T. Werner Global Cybersecurity Policy Advancement program. She also focused on cybersecurity and intellectual property issues at Indiana University’s Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research, the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Cyber Affairs, and Google. Amanda has a B.S. in Journalism and International Studies from Northwestern University, an M.Sc. in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies from the University of Oxford, and a J.D. from Indiana University.

    women in cybersecurity event

    Confidence Staveley

    Executive Director/Founder of Cybersafe Foundation

    Confidence Staveley is an award-winning Cybersecurity Professional, Cybersecurity Awareness Advocate and Cyber Talent Developer. Confidence has achieved numerous professional certifications and industry recognitions. She has recently won the Cybersecurity Woman of the Year 2021 Award, IFSEC Global Top Influencer in Security & Fire 2021, Top 50 Women in Cybersecurity Africa 2020, Young CISO of the Year Award 2021, and is a 2021 African Obama Leader and an awardee of the U.S. State Department's International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP) Impact Awards, an acknowledgment of her professionalism and expertise globally. She is the Founder and Executive Director of CyberSafe Foundation, a leading non-governmental organization dedicated to improving inclusive and safe digital access in Africa. Her organization, funded by the UK Government’s Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, has implemented multiple cybersecurity intervention programs in Africa.

    women in cybersecurity event

    Francesca Bosco

    Chief of Strategy at Cyber Peace Institute (CPI)

    Francesca Bosco has an International Law and Human Rights background and 15+ years’ experience in working for international organizations (United Nations and World Economic Forum) on action-oriented research, capacity building and technical assistance in international justice, crime and security. She has developed her expertise on countering and preventing cybercrime and misuse of technology, focusing on opportunities, risks and threats created by new technologies. She has a long-standing expertise on leading programs to foster cybersecurity, increase cyber resilience and promote cyberpeace. At the Institute, she is leading the strategic engagement in programs and initiatives leveraging multistakeholder cooperation (with civil society, academia, corporates, philanthropy and public institutions) to strengthen cyber resilience and secure digital transformation to achieve cyberpeace.

    women in cybersecurity event

    Renata Dalaqua

    Head of Gender and Disarmament Program at United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR)

    Dr. Renata H. Dalaqua is a Political Scientist and Head of the Gender and Disarmament Programme at the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR). Previously, she was the Deputy Director of Projects at the Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI) and a Consultant with VERTIC's National Implementation Measures programme. Since 2018, her research has mostly focused on the interlinkages between gender norms and weapons and violence in society. She is the lead author of a UNIDIR study on gender balance in arms control and disarmament, "Still Behind the Curve," as well as "Missing Links," a study on sex-specific and gendered impacts of chemical and biological weapons. Renata holds a Ph.D. in History and Politics from the Vargas Foundation (Brazil) and a master's degree in International Politics and Security from the University College London (UK).

    women in cybersecurity event

    Kerry-Ann Barrett

    Cybersecurity Program Manager at Organization of American States (OAS)

    Kerry-Ann Barrett is the CyberSecurity Program Manager at the Organization of American States. In her capacity she offers technical assistance to member states in the development and implementation of their national cybersecurity strategies as well as assist in the implementation of various technical capacity building initiatives within the Cyber Security Program. Additionally, in this capacity she has participated as a speaker at various regional and international cyberspace fora with a focus on cyber related issues in Latin America and the Caribbean. Kerry-Ann is also an attorney-at-law with over 16 years of experience. Included in her legal professional experience have been appointments within several government ministries in the Caribbean, as well as legal consultancy services to the CARICOM Secretariat and the ILO Sub-Regional Office for the Caribbean. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in International Arbitration, a Master’s in Business Administration (Distinction) in International Business, an LLB and Certificates in E-Diplomacy, Cyber Security Risk Management and Legal Frameworks for ICTs. Her expertise covers cybersecurity policy development, electronic commerce, internet governance and cybersecurity. Most recently, she has led or provided technical support for the development of the national cyber security frameworks for countries such as Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, México, Peru and Trinidad & Tobago. Her international experience includes the representation of the OAS in the Council of Europe, ICANN and has been designated as a member of the Board of Curators for the portal on cybersecurity capabilities of the University of Oxford, an Oxford Martin Associate as a member of the Global Cyber Security Capacity Centre’s Expert Advisory Panel, the ICANN Implementation Shepherds team for the SSR2 Report and the GFCE Women in Cyber Capacity Building (WiCCB) Network.

    women in cybersecurity event

    Yasmine Idrissi Azzouzi

    Cybersecurity Program Officer at International Telecommunications Union (ITU)

    Yasmine Idrissi Azzouzi is a Cybersecurity Programme Officer in the cybersecurity division of ITU's Bureau for Development, focusing on capacity development and inclusion in cybersecurity. Notably, she is the global coordinator for the Women in Cyber programme, a project aiming to help overcome the workforce and gender divide in cybersecurity, and to increase the number of women leaders in the field. She also supports capacity building activities related to Child Online Protection, notably training development for national policymakers, educators, parents and children. As a member of ITU's Youth Task Force, she also advocates for youth engagement in digital development, and supports activities on youth participation and awareness- raising, notably by encouraging young people to explore the cybersecurity field and its opportunities. She holds a Master's degree from the University of Geneva in International and European Governance, and a Bachelor's degree in International Relations from Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane.

    women in cybersecurity event

    Gretchen Bueermann

    Cybersecurity Research and Analysis Specialist at World Economic Forum (WEF)

    Gretchen Bueermann is a research and analysis specialist at the World Economic Forum’s Centre for Cybersecurity, where her primary focus is on cyber resilience and cybercrime initiatives. Previously, she was a data scientist at the International Organization for Migration (UN Migration), where she was the co-lead of the Data Science and Ethics Group and focused on predictive analytics for complex humanitarian emergencies. Prior to UN Migration, Gretchen worked at the Behavioral Science Research Lab at the Yale School of Management. She has an M.A. in Development Economics from Yale University and a B.A. in Economics from Reed College.

    women in cybersecurity event

    Helene Molinier

    Senior Manager for the Action Coalition on Innovation and Technology at UN Women

    Hélène Molinier is the Senior Manager for the Action Coalition on Innovation and Technology at UN Women. She has led various innovative policy and programming initiatives with international development organizations focusing on tech and innovation, sustainable development, gender, rule of law and education. She is the author of the UN Women policy paper on “Leveraging Digital Finance for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment” and provides technical leadership on the development of inclusive and gender-transformative digital tools, frontier technology and social innovation.


  • When: 9:00-11:00 AM EDT
  • Where: ONLINE
  • Languages: Discussions will be conducted in English.