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Equity in Cybersecurity: A CIO’s Insights on International Women’s Day

March 07, 2023

A tech company’s chief information officer on why reflecting her role is particularly poignant on International Women’s Day.

As Chief Information Officer (CIO), I am accountable for the strategy and safety of data managed by our company. I don’t take this responsibility lightly. Our customers, their patients, and our staff deserve secure data, processes, and systems that function for themnot just to frustrate them. We accomplish this because I am surrounded by incredibly smart and talented people here at Catalyst Clinical Researchincluding many with deep IT expertiseMany of them are women.  

Deborah Jones-Herzog
Chief Information Officer, Catalyst Clinical Research

Yet according to a study by the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NYWIT), women account for just 25% of today’s computing workforce. This underrepresentation means that women’s perspectives, experiences, and skills may be overlooked in tech.  

Equity is the theme for International Women’s Day (IWD) this year, and it’s got me thinking of how we’ve been able to establish equity here at Catalyst for not just the women of our IT team, but for women and staff throughout the company, and for our customers around the globe.  

Companies like Salesforce, for example, have established equity by helping us understand our staff’s time and salary imbalances. Making critical cybersecurity training as accessible as possible so our people can learn at their pace—that’s equity. I am grateful to work in a place and lead a team so centered around this principle. I wish it were the case in more companies, in more places around the world.  

I am also pausing this IWD to think of the incredible women tech mentors who helped pave the way for my own IT career. In doing so I also recognize the impact that my contributions have had, inspiring my women tech colleagues and the future generations who’ll follow us.  

At Catalyst, our culture is being built for them, too. We prioritize our mostly hybrid staff’s understanding of modern security risks and coach them to listen and learn so they can operate with safety in mind. It’s the greatest commitment we can make to one another as colleagues. Our people don’t take commitment lightly—in fact, it’s one of our core Catalyst values.  

We are proudly building a culture that celebrates equity, values security, and cherishes the commitments we make every day.