Supporting diversity in the workplace this International Women’s Day

by Ross Baker

At Trend Micro, our core mission is to secure the connected world through continuous innovation. But it’s not the full story. As a responsible corporate citizen, we also devote a great deal of time to sustainability, workplace wellbeing, internet safety education and a range of charitable causes. One of those that we hold most dear is improving workplace diversity.

There’s still a long way to go. But thanks to our Close the Gap initiative, in a few years’ time we hope to have some major industry successes to celebrate on International Women’s Day (IWD).

Women in IT
IWD has been running now for over a century. But while we’ve certainly seen many improvements over the years in the way women are treated, a truly gender-equal world is still some way off. Nowhere are the challenges we face more obvious than in the technology and cybersecurity industries. Despite a shortfall of security professionals in excess of four million globally today, women still only make up around a quarter of the workforce.

That’s why, in November 2018, Trend Micro launched Close the Gap: a new initiative designed to promote greater diversity in the workplace. It comes right from the top. Our CEO Eva Chen co-founded the company with diversity and innovation right at its heart, and we’re taking that founding spirit forward today with a commitment to providing women with the skills they need to advance their careers.

Closing the gap
CTG really is a no-brainer. Chronic industry skills shortages couldn’t have come at a worse time, with CISOs under tremendous pressure from a volatile threat landscape and an attack surface that continues to expand thanks to digital investments. But it’s not just about closing the overall skills gap.

Greater gender diversity in the workplace has been proven to improve productivity, reduce employee churn and help organisations hire the brightest and best candidates. Diversity of employees also means diversity of thought: different ways of thinking that can help to improve problem solving.

Going that extra mile
On the 9th of March, we’re celebrating IWD with a range of activities. Our office manager Samantha and her team are taking a spin challenge to raise funds for Smart Works, a fantastic charity that provides smart clothes and interview coaching for women looking to get back into the jobs market. Samantha is no fan of cycling, so the 500 miles she’s planning to spend in the saddle highlight her incredible generosity, and our commitment to getting more women connected and empowered.

That’s not all. Trend Micro is also hosting an internal event the day after IWD to work out how to drive greater diversity and inclusivity inside company. We’re looking forward to hosting external speakers such as a representative from Smart Works to inspire us.

There’s plenty to be optimistic about as we celebrate IWD 2020. But we have to keep challenging ourselves, and others in the industry, to create a gender-diverse sector that will truly reflect society, and have the range of skills to take on the black hats with confidence.

To donate to our Spin for Smart Works, click here.

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