Hg’s President Cynthia Hetherington Encourages Young Girls and Women to Get Curious About a Career in Cybersecurity and New Technologies
January is National Mentoring Month, and this year Hetherington Group (Hg) is celebrating the annual campaign aimed at expanding quality mentoring opportunities by encouraging young girls and young women to Get Curious about the vast professional opportunities available to them in cybersecurity and new technologies. Globally, women are greatly underrepresented in the field, which continues to grow exponentially.
- Women made up 25% of cybersecurity workforce, predicted to rise to 35% by 2031
- Men are 4x more likely to hold executive roles in cyber security than women
- An estimated 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs globally
- An estimated 465,000 unfilled cybersecurity jobs in the United States (Source: https://cybersecurityventures.com/jobs/)
“There has been no better time to get curious about the amazing possibilities for young girls and young women to enter this exciting profession,” said Hg’s founder and president, Cynthia Hetherington. “As a female executive and woman business owner, my ability to mentor young girls and young women as they explore cybersecurity opportunities is, perhaps, one of my greatest callings in life. I stand on the shoulders of my mentors to offer guidance, support, encouragement, and opportunity to our future women CEOs of cybersecurity companies.”
National Mentoring Month is the time of year where engagement from community members interested in becoming a mentor is highest. Research shows that mentors play a powerful role in providing young people with the tools to make responsible choices, attend and engage in school, and reduce or avoid risky behavior.
Mentoring relationships are at their best when connections are made between a caring adult and a young person who knows that someone is there to help guide them through life choices. As a former librarian, Ms. Hetherington entered the security profession in the 1990’s when most, if not all, security role models were men. She is appreciative of the mentors who helped her along the way. Ms. Hetherington had to learn quickly, often on her feet, that she had the same skills they possessed, and sometimes even more finely-honed skills. These early and challenging experiences are the foundation of her deep commitment to encourage and support young girls and women to enter the IT and cybersecurity industries.
Ms. Hetherington shares her experiences and expertise as a keynote speaker and contributor at women-focused technology events and conferences across the U.S. She is an active member in the Women in Security Forum and collaborates with the National Center for Women and Information Technology on drawing young girls into the profession. Ms. Hetherington serves as a lecturer and mentor to CybHER.org and RocketGirls at Cyber Space Camps held at the Kennedy Space Center.
National Mentoring Month is led by MENTOR, the national unifying champion of the mentoring movement. Each year since its launch in 2002, the campaign has enjoyed the strong support of the President and the United States Congress. Other well-known supporters include the late Maya Angelou, Clint Eastwood, Senator John McCain, Quincy Jones, General Colin L. Powell, Cal Ripken Jr., MENTOR co- founder Bill Russell, and Usher.
MENTOR is the unifying champion for quality youth mentoring in the United States. Our mission is to expand the quality and quantity of mentoring relationships nationwide. Potential is equally distributed; opportunity is not. A major driver of healthy development and opportunity is who you know and who’s in your corner. 30 years ago, MENTOR was created to expand that opportunity for young people by building a youth mentoring field and movement. The result: a more than 10-fold increase in young people in structured mentoring relationships. Today, we are the expert voice representing a movement that is diverse and broad and seeps into every aspect of daily life – meeting young people everywhere they are from schools to workplaces and beyond.