When BlackGirlsHack started, our Executive Director surveyed the cybersecurity landscape to identify the issues that served as barriers to entry for Black girls and women pursuing careers in cybersecurity. Those include a lack of leadership at the upper levels of organizations including in the Executive Suites as well as the Boards. Additionally, Cybersecurity, much like tech, has always been a boy’s club where the conferences, the high profile presences, are typically white men. Black people represent 3-5% of the Cybersecurity industry. Black women lack representation in the field which is important for people pursuing careers in the industry. This is also important for finding a tribe or people in the industry for networking, brainstorming, and overall support. Another gap that exists is access to technology and training. This exists both as a technology issue as well as a financial barrier to entry issue which is preventing people from getting hands on skills, trainings, and certifications due to the high costs associated with those areas. The last thing that is clearly missing in the industry is a pipeline to employment. Schools are preparing students with theory and problem solving but not much in the way of hands on skills, availability of entry level positions, and realistic requirements for job entry. All of these barriers to entry serve as the catalyst for many of the programs that blackgirlshack offers. You can find out more about these programs on our Workshops page.