News & Events
Girl Security Partners with Levi Strauss & Co. to Highlight Security Pathways in Industry
At Girl Security, we believe girls and women have a central role to play in leading our nation’s security priorities and helping address global security challenges across government as well as private industry. As we often say in our programming, girls are raised in a society that teaches them to fear everything but often fails to secure them from anything. It’s time to shed outmoded norms about the role of girls and women in security.
One way in which we are working to forge equity in national security is to demystify the many private sector pathways that shape and contribute to U.S. national security so girls can consider the breadth of opportunity. As part of this effort, Girl Security is excited to announce a new private sector partner — Levi Strauss & Co. This partnership is intended to highlight how businesses address security challenges, particularly around digital technologies and cybersecurity, as well as the many security career pathways girls and women from diverse backgrounds can consider with companies such as Levi Strauss & Co.
In the private sector, the term “security” covers a vast array of topics, from cybersecurity to consumer solutions to business resilience to workplace health and safety, and so much more. The role of the chief security officer (CSO), as one example, and the responsibilities of his/her/their team have evolved over the years to also include matters like the impact of geopolitics on logistics operations and the combination of cybersecurity and national policy. Security teams are playing an even more critical role across entire organizations, bringing new perspectives to ensure businesses are not only prepared for the current environment but are set up for future success.
Women — and especially women of color — have remained historically excluded from security’s many pathways, hindering both the leadership and economic potential of more than half the population in one of the world’s most crucial workforces. In fact, in the private sector, women represent only 14 percent of Fortune 500 CISOs and 24 percent of the cybersecurity workforce.
As the CSO role and other security careers have evolved, the path to leading a security organization has been on a much-needed transformation. For far too long, the entrance to public sector security has depended on experience in the male-dominated national security realm, leading to today’s diversity challenge in the industry. However, we’re seeing more women from diverse and unique backgrounds reshape the journey to becoming industry security leaders.
As Garrett Petraia, vice president of Global Security at Levi Strauss & Co., explained: “We have a long journey ahead to make our industry much more diverse and accessible, but through programs like Girl Security, we’re making progress to build the future we need. I’m excited about the future of our industry and am truly inspired as I see more opportunities open for women in security.”
So, how does we engage girls from diverse regions and backgrounds in private sector security pathways? How do we advance and prepare younger generations of girls for a security workforce where ethics and equity will be increasingly valuable principles? And perhaps most importantly, how do we create a supportive space for girls and women to lead with new security solutions to pressing challenges?
On September 2, Girl Security and Levi Strauss & Co. will host a two-hour learning, mentoring and networking event with friends from other great companies to provide girls with an opportunity to understand how security challenges impact private industry through a special simulation exercise. Participants will have the chance to explore the many pathways girls can pursue in security alongside leading industry mentors and their peers. Part of the reason we’re excited about this partnership is because Levi Strauss & Co. has long been vocal advocates for issues that impact the security sector, including diversity, equity, and inclusion; voting rights; gun violence prevention; climate change and sustainability.
Equity is at the core of Girl Security’s vision and mission. We believe that girls’ and women’s lived experiences are the most undervalued security strength. We’re forging a workforce that places girls and women at the helm of security leadership, decision-making and innovation, and we’re grateful to our partners who share a commitment to advancing a more diverse and inclusive security culture.