Cybersecurity Needs to Do More Than Preach to the Diversity Choir

Lessons I learned from two summers at Hacker Summer Camp



Photos courtesy of the author.

It was a week out from DEF CON 27, and I was a bundle of nerves.

I’d been to DEF CON before, but this year, I had my own community that I was excited to see and my own set of responsibilities at Hacker Summer Camp, an affectionate name for a series of hacker conferences all occurring in the same city during the same week.

I had been invited to speak on three panels during Camp week. One panel on diversity and inclusion for BSides Las Vegas, one on raising awareness for women’s resources for The Diana Initiative, and one on leadership and career advice for Women in Security and Privacy (WISP). I was also a lead for the 2019 scholars of WISP DEF CON, which comes with its own set of responsibilities. On top of those commitments, I wanted to attend BSidesLV, Black Hat, DEF CON, and The Diana Initiative, which were all occurring during the same week.

I navigated through the conference in total and complete awe of everything.

Last year, my first year at DEF CON, I attended on scholarship from WISP. Though not new to the industry, I was definitely new to the security community and what it had to…