Chats on the Road to RSAC 2019 | Solving the Cybersecurity Talent Shortage | With Alicia Jessip of TEKsystems

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By Selena Templeton, host of DiverseIT

It has become an ITSPmagazine tradition to start our RSA Conference coverage with what we call Chats On The Road To RSA Conference. We connect with conference speakers, presenters, panelists and organizers to start the conversation way before anyone else does.

During these conversations, we get a sneak peek into what they are planning to share at the conference as well as a glimpse into their backgrounds and some additional insight on the topics they will discuss.

ITSPmagazine coverage, podcasts, webcasts, articles, and all our happenings during RSA Conference 2019 will be made possible by the generosity of our sponsors. We are ever so grateful for your support.

Have a story to share and want to join us for the journey? We invite you to discover the benefit of the full coverage sponsorship and let us know if you are interested in joining us for our adventures. We look forward to another exciting conference.

Kicking off conference week is “Solving Our Cybersecurity Talent Shortage,” an inaugural seminar from creators Karen Worstell, CEO of W Risk Group and founder of MOJO Maker for Women in Tech, and Elaine Marino, CEO of Equili and founder of LadyCoders. It’s at:

Moscone Center on Monday, March 4, from 8am to 12 noon.

This is a 4-hour seminar that’s divided into 4 different panels with an incredible line-up of panelists from major companies who will share their success stories around diversity and the cybersecurity talent shortage.

On today’s podcast, our guest is Alicia Jessip, Regional Inclusion & Diversity Manager at TEKsystems and Founder of Denver WIT. She will be the third panel of this session, called The Who: Is This Responsibility Yours, Mine or Ours?

Alicia joins me, Selena Templeton, and my co-host Marco Ciappelli to give us a sneak peek into what she’ll be bringing to the table in these discussions, including her unique perspective from working at an IT Services and Staffing Company, the idea of seeing DE&I as a business investment, and why a cultural change is needed before we can truly become inclusive and diverse.

In this conversation we touch on:

  • Have we seen any change in the industry in recent years when it comes to diversity, equality and inclusion?

  • It takes mindfulness, allyship, vulnerability and the understanding that it takes a village to really move things forward.

  • TEKsystems is an IT Services and Staffing firm, so she’s gotten a wide view of how different companies deal with diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

  • There is a war for talent, and if organizations don’t start to align with what their employees want, they’re going to leave.

    Diversity and inclusion is not about compliance; it’s that there really is a return on investment.

  • A cultural change needs to be made to retain the workforce – when your culture has truly changed and you’re really appreciating diversity, you’ll attract and retain great employees.

  • Everyone should attend this panel, because diversity, equality and inclusion is everybody’s responsibility. People will need to become vulnerable and will need to become reflective of where their organization is currently at.

Companies will take DEI more seriously when they see it as a business investment.
— paraphrased from Alicia Jessip

Be sure to register for this half-day seminar early, as it is going to fill up fast, and make sure you stay for the whole event as you will have the opportunity to speak to the panelists between sessions for networking/information exchange!

Register here for: Solving Our Cybersecurity Talent Shortage

More info about the seminar:

Join us to listen to our chat with Alicia and remember: We’re better together.

About Alicia Jessip

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Alicia Jessip is Regional Inclusion & Diversity Manager – West and Northwest, TEKsystems. Growing up in small town Iowa as a biracial first generation Afro-Latina American, Alicia has always had a strong passion for inclusion and diversity. As the first family member to attend University, Alicia learned early on her path was not only to build a more inclusive community, but to be a light and bridge for other underrepresented people to realize their personal and professional potential and goals.

Alicia has experience in higher education, marketing, and technology. She currently works at TEKsystems, the nation's leading IT Services and Staffing firm and understands the nucleus to how every company thrives: by emphasizing their people. With multifaceted experience and moxie, Alicia is here to help companies take a look at their current technical workforce, realize their talent opportunities and create plans that impact teams individually and organizationally.

Alicia has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa. She is passionate about giving back to the community and is founder of the Denver Women In Tech MeetUp, consisting of more than 700 members. Their mission is to provide women who live in the Metro Denver area with a community that is based on educating, empowering, and creating relationships centered along the theme of Technology.

Find Alicia on LinkedIn.