Transforming the foundation of national security requires diversifying the workforce and shifting outmoded norms, assumptions, and power structures.
Decisions made in the name of national security have shaped America, defined who wields power, and determined the world order. From policy directives that shape industry standards around cybersecurity and artificial intelligence, to executive orders that drive diversity, equity, and inclusion as a national security imperative, to wars and spending that shift the global economy, national security affects everyone.
For over a century, women have remained underrepresented across the national security employment sector, hindering their economic and impact potential in this consequential realm. Of the many national security pathways, women presently represent only 24 percent of the cybersecurity workforce; 17.8 percent of CIA agents; 14.4 percent of active duty military; 28 percent of the STEM/Security workforce; and 14 percent of International Relations professors.
Impediments to the aspirations girls and gender minorities and women’s advancement include: lack of visible role models, lack of access to national security learning and training, outmoded social norms around the role of women in security, and systemic bias and discrimination.