Chats on the Road to RSAC 2019 | Solving the Cybersecurity Talent Shortage | With Elaine Marino of Equili

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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.

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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 Elaine Marino, CEO of Equili and founder of LadyCoders. In addition to being a co-founder of this seminar, she’ll be on the second panel of the day, called The How: Retain and Recruit a Diverse Talent Pool, and the third panel, called The Who: Is This Responsibility Yours, Mine or Ours? Elaine joins me and my co-host Marco Ciappelli to give us a sneak peek into what she’ll be bringing to the table in this discussion, how she and Karen Worstell came to create this session for RSA Conference, and who should attend these panels.

In this conversation we touch on:

  • Inclusion is actually the foundational piece of creating any sort of diverse pipeline or diverse environment: It’s one thing to hire diverse talent, it’s another to make them feel included.

  • What does an inclusive environment look like and how do you build one?

  • Men have needs that are not being met in the workplace, too. For example, men are more active fathers than they used to be, but it’s still not socially acceptable for them to leave work early if the school calls because their child is sick.

  • The audience will walk away with 3 actionable tasks for HOW to hire underrepresented talent and 3 actionable tasks for HOW to keep them.

Resources mentioned in this podcast:

  • A study in Scientific American about why D&I is good for business – essentially, it forces your brain to cognitively take a step back. If you’re talking to someone who has already had the same experience, it’s actually much more difficult to have any new thoughts about it. So that is why diversity is important to team building and especially to problem solving.

  • A Boston Consulting Group study in which they quantified innovation and found that only companies with higher levels of diversity got new revenue from new products and services — but only if women made up at least 20% of their management team.

  • U.S. Board Study: Board Diversity Review on S&P 1500 and diversity

  • Melinda Gates’ article We Are Sending Our Daughters into a Workplace Designed for Our Dads

Especially for cybersecurity and tech, you’re building for all of humanity; you can’t just have one small subset of the human population solving for everyone.
— Elaine Marino

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 Elaine and remember: We’re better together.


About Elaine Marino

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Elaine Marino, Equili Founder, is spearheading an industry-wide movement to transform diversity in the tech space. When Elaine left the Fortune 500 advertising industry to become a Ruby on Rails developer, she experienced first-hand the tremendous diversity gap in software development: women and minorities were woefully underrepresented.

Elaine saw clearly how change could be made for the better, and she now has a unique perspective on the tech industry as both an insider and an outsider. During her tenure at Equili, she has been designing, implementing, and managing events, workshops, and content aimed at bringing more diversity into the tech arena. There is a sweet-spot where technology enhances the lives of people and communities — that is where Elaine thrives.

Find Elaine on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Find Equili on Twitter and LinkedIn.