OzCyber Unlocked

'Cyber shift’ – how do we improve diversity & workplace culture to enact real change?

May 31, 2021 AustCyber Season 1 Episode 11
OzCyber Unlocked
'Cyber shift’ – how do we improve diversity & workplace culture to enact real change?
Show Notes

What is diversity? What does a toxic culture look like in practice? What are the main issues or challenges that our sector needs to tackle?

In episode eleven of ‘OzCyber Unlocked’, AustCyber’s CEO Michelle Price speaks to Jacqui Loustau (Founder of the Australian Women in Security Network), Jinan Budge (Principal Analyst at Forrester), Tony Vizza (Director of Cyber Security Advocacy for the Asia-Pacific Region at (ISC)²), Jacqueline Kernot (Cyber Security Partner at EY) and Laura Lees (Sydney Co-Chapter Lead at AWSN and Vice President of the ISACA Sydney Chapter) about what can be done to address a toxic culture for individuals, leaders and organisations.

This month, our ‘cyber spotlight’ features Louisa Partridge and Louisa Vogelenzang who co-founded Women Speak Cyber – a social enterprise that equips Australian women with the essential public speaking training and skills they need to present at cyber security conferences.

To register for the upcoming ‘Cyber shift’ event (held on 21 July) mentioned during the podcast, visit https://bit.ly/3gcEe9j

Note: This podcast episode deals with serious and potentially distressing and triggering topics. If you feel at any time, you need support, please contact your local crisis centre or visit https://bit.ly/3imBWaz.

This episode, as part of our commitment to enacting change, our speakers share tangible actions to help strengthen culture and diversity:

  • If you see someone finding it difficult to express their ideas or to be heard in meetings, help support by amplifying their message and offer to mentor.
  • If good people are leaving your team, talk to them to learn what you can do to improve and do something about it!
  • Take a chance and hire two people at the same time who have different backgrounds and show good aptitude and attitude.
  • Ask – when I look at my team, does their diversity reflect the world outside and the clients or business partners we engage with, or do they look like me? 
  • Put in place meaningful and tangible programs around diversity, equity and inclusion that provide a measurable benefit to women in your organisation. As part of this, get men on board! Sadly, some men do feel threatened by DEI programs and in fact, some have even blamed these programs for why they themselves may have missed out on a promotion. It is critical to disarm this continuing myth that DEI programs will harm their careers. 
  • While capability is important, character and attitude is everything. Create a culture of success and a constructive can-do attitude.  Reward hard work and displays of great attitudes with the recognition that people deserve.  Instill an attitude that anyone in the organisation can be a leader. If they see poor conduct, call it out the right way and help the individual be a better person.
  • Acknowledge, name and deal with toxicity. Hoping that things will ‘fix themselves’ isn’t on – hope isn’t a strategy. Be prepared to make the tough calls. 
  • Empathy is your antidote to toxicity – as the old adage says, ‘People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care.’ If you’re a leader, your team needs to know that they're supported emotionally. That will require you to listen, walk the floor, and validate and recognise their contributions.
  • Correct culture problems before they metastasize – weed out the misunderstood geniuses in the interview process, coach empathy, and encourage and role model positive behaviour.