[Owasp-board] Code of conduct for OWASP events

Noreen Whysel noreen.whysel at owasp.org
Fri Feb 27 21:42:52 UTC 2015


I was at that panel at the joint cybersecurity conference in Brooklyn. In theory, it was a good idea. Highlight five women who were Chief Security Officers at their respective firms. In practice, it was not so great. It was held during lunch in a noisy gymnasium. The previous sessions had gone over time and food had not been set up so the panel had to start during a lot of clanging and ongoing conversation while people were on line. To top it off the person who introduced them said something to the effect of "We are going to see why women would want to go into cybersecurity..it isn't a vey glamorous career."

The panel itself was very good. Quite impressive women with stellar backgrounds and a lot to say about strides they have made and the development of the industry itself. One of the women addressed the "glamour" question by stating that she felt it was indeed a glamorous field to be in, but I really took it as a calling out of the poor setup. By the end I feel that it had quieted enough to get something meaningful out of it, at least for me, but there were still many people who chatted with their lunch mates throughout the presentation. I blame the setting more than the introducer, btw.

That said, quotas are really hard. In the end it all comes down to who submits. Best to strive toward encouraging as many talented women (and people of color) as possible to present. Speaker mentoring can be extremely helpful also. A lot of us, male and female, struggle with Imposter Syndrome so any support is always appreciated. 

Noreen Whysel
Community Manager
OWASP Foundation

> On Feb 27, 2015, at 10:23 AM, Helen Gao <helen.gao at owasp.org> wrote:
> 
> Hi Andrew, Michael and the board.
> 
> I don't know what made me to speak out twice in one day even though I am not a board member. But I admire Andrew's effort of bring this matter to the boardroom. The question of the desired percentage reminds me of the 30% Club <http://30percentclub.org/>. It's launched in the UK in 2010 with a goal of 30% women corporate boards by end 2015. We shouldn't set a hard percentage risking the quality of speakers, but the success of 30% Club did show the effectiveness of goal setting.
> 
> BTW, 3 OWASP chapters in the New York metropolitan area are co-organizers of New York Metro Joint Cyber Security Conference 2015. There was a well received panel discussion of female CISOs in last year's conference. I expect to see more female participation this year.
> 
> Regards,
> 
> Helen
> 
>> On Fri, Feb 27, 2015 at 1:12 AM, Michael Coates <michael.coates at owasp.org> wrote:
>> Andrew,
>> 
>> (To address the policies comments)
>> Here are the conference speaker policies. These policies address most of your comments already.We just need to make sure the policies are visible on the conference website and not just on the owasp wiki and also in our terms and contracts.
>> 
>> https://www.owasp.org/index.php/Governance/Conference_Policies
>> 
>>  I'll fix AppSecUSA in just a moment.
>> 
>> (Regarding diversity of speakers)
>> Agree that more diversity in submission is better than less.
>> 
>> * Require conference committees to send out invitations to as many women speakers as possible there is diversity in submissions.
>> 
>> > I'm not sure what this means in practice. We're broadcasting out CFP far and wide. Perhaps the community can create a google spreadsheet with lists of ideas to advertise AppSec conferences. We can then make it standard practice for conferences to advertise CFP to everything on the list.
>> 
>> * We should also help with helping folks create solid CFPs that are more likely to succeed if submissions are to be chosen solely by merit. 
>> 
>> > Certainly not against it. If a group wants to provide tips and techniques to make better CFPs then that's great. I don't think this should be a requirement or expectation of the conference organizers. They already have plenty of items on their plate.
>> 
>> * what is the desired percentage of talks that should be given by women, how we will achieve that goal, and when shall we achieve that goal?
>> 
>> > Discussion is good. We should always select the best talks for a conference. We should also always encourage a wide range of people to submit talks and help them submit good talks. In addition OWASP has such a range of speaking opportunities from global conferences to regional and local events there are numerous ways for people to build their speaking skills This however is separate from target percentages which I don't believe would have the net effect you're hoping for.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> --
>> Michael Coates | @_mwc
>> OWASP Global Board
>> Join me at AppSecUSA 2015 in San Francisco!
>> 
>> 
>> 
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