"Negotiating Your Next Career Move" insights from the Vision & Voice Empower the Next event that occurred during RSA 2023 

During RSA in the 2023 Vision & Voice Empower the Next Generation event, we brought together our community of women in cybersecurity under the theme of "Stronger Together". Our panel discussion on "Negotiating Your Next Career Move" aimed to empower women with insights from an expert panel and the experiences of our audience members. Panelists included Shinesa Cambric, Principal Product Manager at Microsoft, Kristina Dorville, Head of Information Security Governance and Cyber Risk Standards at AIG, and Kim Sanders, BISO at Amtrak.

The panel discussed several topics, including making the jump from manager to senior leadership, building a personal brand of thought leadership, and improving expertise by tackling other disciplines.

Women in cybersecurity face unique challenges due to the industry's traditionally male-dominated nature. According to a study by (ISC)², women make up only 24% of the cybersecurity workforce globally, and women hold only 11% of cybersecurity leadership positions.

The panel emphasized the importance of women knowing their worth and gathering information about compensation and benefits. Women in cybersecurity should seek information from peers in similar positions to understand how they are being compensated and should not hesitate to ask hard questions.

One of the key takeaways was the need for women to quantify their impact on the business to negotiate better compensation and benefits. The panel also recommended the book "Never Split the Difference" by Chris Voss, highlighting the importance of effective communication and listening during negotiations.

The discussion also highlighted the importance of creating an advisory board, which can include peers, mentors, and sponsors, to provide guidance, support, and advocacy. This can help women in cybersecurity navigate their professional lives and overcome challenges.

Negotiating can also involve negotiating with oneself. Women in cybersecurity should know what they need and start from a position of value. This can include asking for more than just money, such as more vacation time or opportunities to expand beyond their regular role.

Women in cybersecurity face unique challenges, and approaching negotiations with knowledge, confidence, and flexibility is crucial. The insights shared by the panelists provide a valuable starting point for women looking to negotiate better compensation and benefits and advance into leadership positions. By harnessing their skills and taking advantage of opportunities, women in cybersecurity can create a better professional future for themselves and contribute to the industry's growth and success.

Check out our recommended list of books that support negotiation upskilling:

"Earn It!: Know Your Value and Grow Your Career, in Your 20s and Beyond" by Mika Brzezinski, Daniela Pierre-Bravo, et al. This book provides practical advice for young professionals, including tips for negotiating salaries and promotions.

"Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts" by Brené Brown. This book explores the importance of vulnerability in leadership and includes strategies for navigating difficult conversations, which are essential negotiation skills.

"Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity" by Kim Scott. This book provides a framework for giving feedback effectively, which is a key component of successful negotiation.

"Managing Up" by Mary Abajay. This book offers insights into building strong relationships with supervisors and colleagues, which is important for creating a supportive environment for negotiation.

"How Women Rise" by Sally Helgessen & Marshall Goldsmith. This book offers practical advice for women looking to advance in their careers, including tips for negotiating effectively and overcoming common barriers to success.

Join the Vision and Voice community today and see how it opens opportunities for equality, inclusivity, and progress for women in cybersecurity.

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