On 2 March 2018, the General Manager, Mr Kevin J. Scheid, met with the representatives of the Women in International Security (WIIS) at NATO to discuss on how to increase gender balance and empower women in the security, defence and technology sector.
So far, the cyber and technology sector has been largely a male-dominated environment. However, many talented women have joined the arena over the last decade and have emerged as skilled leaders. That said, robust barriers still exist in the industry that are preventing women from reaching their full potential and, hence, access to leadership positions. But not exclusively. As reported in the NATO Diversity and Inclusion 2017-2018 Action Plan, female senior leaders represented just 21% of NATO-wide Staff in 2016.
WIIS at NATO representatives shared their ideas on how to improve the situation. For example, the establishment of Leadership programs dedicated to women and the possibility to identify high potential and high performing women in the Organization to engage them in professional development initiatives are some of the suggestions proposed by the group. WIIS is planning to engage with the Human Resources Departments both at NATO HQ and the Agency to launch concrete projects and activities dedicated to women's empowerment in the Organization.
The NCI Agency is recognizing the need to step-up efforts in promoting diversity and inclusion. "It is critical that we keep gender balance high on the international agenda and continue to work to build more inclusive and diverse societies where the potential of all our citizens is valued ", stressed the General Manager.