Facebook cybersecurity chief calls out sexual harassment at hacker forums

At the 2016 DEF CON event, for example, women attendees heard male counterparts ask them to expose themselves. Other women at the 2012 DEF CON reported men grabbing them by their crotches.
By Lila Alexander | Jul 30, 2017
The cybersecurity can do a lot more to foster gender diversity, Facebook chief of security Alex Stamos said during a keynote speech Wednesday at the annual Black Hat cybersecurity convention in Las Vegas. He pointed out the complexities of keeping ahead of cybersecurity challenges and suggested that building a more "inclusive" IT community where all would feel welcomed would be a necessary step toward developing better solutions.

"It's not just about diversifying our community. It's about building the ability for us to address these problems over the next decades," he said. "Things are getting worse. We don't have enough people and we don't have the right people, and a lot of that starts here."

Stamos told Forbes earlier that he finds the cybersecurity industry to be weak in the area of diversity--especially gender diversity. Numerous women attending industry conferences in the last few years have experienced harassment.

At the 2016 DEF CON event, for example, women attendees heard male counterparts ask them to expose themselves. Other women at the 2012 DEF CON reported men grabbing them by their crotches.

Stamos told Forbes that attendees at any events must respect each other and must call out any unacceptable behavior. On top of that, he added, the industry as a whole must foster a more gender diverse workforce and leadership.

Stamos cited his and Facebook's work in these areas. He announced new scholarships to bring more women and other people of diverse backgrounds into IT. And he noted that women constitute nearly half of Facebook's management and leadership positions.

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