N2K logoNov 21, 2022

The CyberWire's 2022 Women in Cybersecurity event was held on October 20, 2022 at the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC. Following welcome remarks and thank yous to our sponsors, the artist, Marcia Wolfson Ray, and art piece chosen to represent the 2022 event were introduced and unveiled. Marcia address the audience discussing her process and why she chose to answer the Call for Artists. The remarks conclude with Kathleen Smith, friend of the CyberWire and founding partner of this event, giving the champagne toast. The following is a transcript of the event.

2022 Women in Cybersecurity event: welcome remarks, artist presentation and toast.

Dave Bittner: Folks, come on in. Gather around. Let's get good and close so we can have our toast here. We've got a few thank-you's and just a few little bits of business that we're going to take care of, and we're going to get all the talking out of the way so that the rest of the evening can be all of you socializing and networking and getting to know each other and all of that good stuff. Welcome, ladies and ladies. It's a few gents - one or two very special invited guests. My name is Dave Bittner, and I am the producer and host of the CyberWire podcast. And I am delighted to see all of you here this evening. I'm going to be quick here with this part because it is my pleasure to turn the microphone over to the woman who is primarily responsible for this evening, and that is my dear colleague, Jennifer Eiben. How about a round of applause for Jen?


Jennifer Eiben: Hi, everyone. I just wanted to welcome you and thank you all for coming. I mean, every time we have this event, there are more and more people out here, and it just - it's wonderful. It's so great to see all of you here. And it's nice to see some of the men that we finally let come to the event as well. 


Jennifer Eiben: We want to thank all of the men who are here because they are all here because they're all champions for us. So we want to thank them as well. So as Dave said, we have a couple of thank-you's, and then we're going to introduce our artist. I'm not sure if you guys know about that, but since the beginning of this event in 2014, we have commissioned a piece of art to our theme, creating connections. And we've had a lot of interesting artists over the years. We've had some that were physicists, some that were mathematicians, all sorts of really interesting things. And the really cool thing about it is when our artist comes up, she'll unveil our piece and everybody gets to take a signed and numbered print home with them when they leave. So it's a really, really - it's a really great thing. It's a different way that we're creating a connection with the art community here in the area. So I'm going to hand it back to you, and you can thank our sponsors who helped make this evening possible. 

Dave Bittner: All right. Yes, we could not do this without our sponsors here this evening. Before I get to our sponsors, though, I do want to recognize the rest of our CyberWire team here who are all responsible for making this possible tonight. Now, before - thank you very - before you dig too much into the applause, I'm going to fall back on old habits here. If any of you are regular listeners of our program, I'm going to ask everyone who is a CyberWire team member, please raise your hand. 

Dave Bittner: Our amazing CyberWire team is Elliott Peltzman, Tre Hester, Brandon Karpf, Eliana White, Puru Prakash, Liz Irvin, Rachel Gelfand, Tim Nodar, Joe Carrigan, Carole Theriault, Maria Varmazis, Ben Yelin, Nick Veliky, Gina Johnson, Bennett Moe, Catherine Murphy, Janene Daly, Chris Russell, John Petrik, Jennifer Eiben, Rick Howard, Peter Kilpe, and I'm Dave Bittner. Thanks for listening. 


Dave Bittner: All right. This evening could not happen without the generous support of our sponsors. And I want you to just let me take you through that list and please - we'll thank them as we go. Our presenting sponsors at the very top of the heap - we have CyberVista. 


Dave Bittner: We have MindPoint Group. 


Dave Bittner: And of course we have Northrop Grumman. 


Dave Bittner: Our platinum sponsors - Cooley, Juniper Networks and Recorded Future. 


Dave Bittner: Our gold sponsors - BlackCloak, Exelon, FTI Consulting, Kolide, Resilience Insurance and T. Rowe Price. 


Dave Bittner: Our silver sponsors - ARES Cyber, CyberMaxx, Cyber Mentor Fund, DataTribe, Ingalls Information Security, Johns Hopkins University Information Security Institute, Lewis and MISI. 


Dave Bittner: Our women-owned cyber companies - ClearedJobs.Net, Edwards Performance Solutions and Katzcy. 


Dave Bittner: And our nonprofit sponsors - CAMI and the Women of Cyberjutsu. 


Dave Bittner: Please make sure that you visit the booths. There's all sorts of really nice giveaways. Everyone - but when - on your way out, there's a gift bag that'll have your art in it. It'll also have some stuff from our sponsors. And we do hope that you'll give them some attention in recognition of them supporting this amazing event. All right. I'm going to turn it back over to Jen now, and she is going to introduce our artist. 


Jennifer Eiben: This year, we were very, very lucky to work with an artist from Baltimore. Her name is Marcia Wolfson Ray. I'm going to invite Marcia over here. Marcia, we have a chair if you're interested or - you don't have... 

Marcia Wolfson Ray: No, I can stand. 

Jennifer Eiben: OK. Do you want to come up? Or - there's no steps. 

Marcia Wolfson Ray: Well, let's see. Give me your other hand. 

Jennifer Eiben: There you go. 


Marcia Wolfson Ray: Thank you. 

Jennifer Eiben: We - every year, we do a call for artists, and we had a large number of artists that answered this year. And Marcia stood out, head and shoulders, above the rest. I mean, we were unanimous. After we had met with a couple of finalists, we were like, oh, we know exactly what we want to do. And we all said - we picked Marcia. Everyone just, like, was so thrilled. So, I mean... 

Marcia Wolfson Ray: Oh, thank you very much. 

Jennifer Eiben: ...Your work is so beautiful, and you're just such a wonderful person. So thank you. We are so happy. 

Marcia Wolfson Ray: Thank you, Jennifer. I appreciate that. 

Jennifer Eiben: So if you want to tell us a little bit about yourself and a little bit about your piece, and then whenever you're ready, you can tell me and I'll take the cover up. 

Marcia Wolfson Ray: Oh, OK. Well, I want to thank Jennifer and the group that selected my artwork. I really appreciate this experience. I come, I would say, from a very different world in cybersecurity. And so it's really kind of a treat to see this world because I have not been introduced to it before. I have worked a lot in sculpture, and I started drawing a few years ago. A friend of mine, a really good artist - her name was Ruth Pettis (ph) - and she kept saying, you've got to draw, you've got to draw. But at that time, I was working part-time, teaching part-time and doing the sculpture. And it took up all my time. So I finally did start drawing. And the physical world has always been kind of my inspiration. And because I was working in sculpture, I just kind of gravitated to my sculptures out of organic materials, like bamboo, cornstalks, phragmites - all the things you see growing around in the winter and fall. I go around, and I have my cutters. And I go cut the stuff and I build things out of it. But a few years ago, I was laid up with a knee operation, and I couldn't get out of bed for a while. And I had some colored pencils laying around, so I just started using them. And I got more and more involved in them. And my work is still involved with the physical world and with - but it was nature. And what happened is I have varied interests, and I read things like "Quantum Physics for Dummies." I don't understand three-quarters of what I read, but the couple things I looked - they asked me why I applied to this. And I looked at my artwork, my drawings and even my sculptures. And I looked at it, and I said, well, what is the thing that connects it up with this? 

Marcia Wolfson Ray: And I realized that my artwork, especially - my sculptures, but especially my drawings, really are about intersection. Once you see it, you'll - I hope you'll understand why. And so I thought even more that, you know, in, like, particle physics - I might sound like I know something, but I don't want to give you a false impression. I don't know really anything. But they have - they try to collide the particles. And when they do that, from what I understand is they can create a new particle, and then the originals go flying off in different directions. And I thought, well, at this event, you all come together. You meet, you talk, and then you will disperse, going off maybe in a new direction because of this experience. So I was thinking that's maybe how my artwork connects up with this experience - that you are intersecting like, hopefully, you'll see in my pictures and coming away with possibly a new direction, a new experience, a new person that you met. And that's, to me, at the bottom of the creative experience. So I hope that made some sense. 


Marcia Wolfson Ray: Thank you. Thank you. I appreciate that. They are wonderful, and I really want you to know I appreciate it all for - thank you for selecting me. 

Jennifer Eiben: Thank you so much. 

Marcia Wolfson Ray: Sure. 

Dave Bittner: Thank you. 

Jennifer Eiben: Thank you. Dave, why don't you help her... 

Dave Bittner: Should I just... 

Jennifer Eiben: You want to see if she needs help? What? One more thing before we move on to our toast - you will see a couple of our CyberWire team members walking around with a big microphone. Tre, lift it up. Where is it? 

Tre Hester: (Inaudible). 

Jennifer Eiben: He doesn't have it. 


Jennifer Eiben: Never mind. We - if you are willing, we are collecting a few soundbites here and there that we're going to play on the podcast. So look for the guy in the checkered shirt and the woman in the flowers, Liz and Tre. They are collecting your soundbites. So please do see them. Also, please go over to our photo wall. Take some pictures. Between 8 and 9, we have some groups of sponsors that will be taking photos. So if you want to do it before or after, that'd be great. Thank you. 

Dave Bittner: All right, terrific. How about one more round of applause for our artwork tonight? This is amazing. 


Dave Bittner: And as Jen said, when you make your way out this evening, you'll pick up your gift bag, and there's a copy of that in the bag for each of you. All right, so before we move on to our toast, I was actually thinking that this is an amazing event and, as I look around to see all of your faces and all of these fabulous, talented, amazing women here, that somehow we have dedicated an event to all of you, and you still have to wait in line for the ladies' room. 


Dave Bittner: So here's what I'm going to do. If there's a line, use the men's room. Just do it. Just do it. All right. It's my pleasure to introduce Kathleen Smith. Many of you know Kathleen. Yes. Kathleen is one of the founders of clearedjobs.net, and she has been a part of this event since the very beginning. And she is going to lead us for our champagne toast. Kathleen. 

Kathleen Smith: Hello. Oh, come on. You can do better than that. We haven't gotten together in three years. Woo (ph). 


Kathleen Smith: So you're all beautiful. You're all just amazingly beautiful. And it's so great to see everyone. I was going to try to take a picture of you all, so hold on... 


Kathleen Smith: ...'Cause they've brought back the selfies. Haven't they? So I'm going to take a photo - excuse me - a video of all of you beautiful people. So here are the women of cybersecurity. Woo - awesome. I'm a woman, but I can't do three things at once in four-inch heels. So we haven't been together in three years. And when I got together with some women last week in Vegas - yes, I seem to be in Vegas a lot these days - one of the women said, we only grow in cybersecurity through crises. And I really reflected on that - that this last three years have been crises of so many different levels. We've had a global crisis. We've had companies in crisis. We've had our communities in crisis, our families in crisis. 

Kathleen Smith: And we've all grown in so many different ways that - I don't even think we've taken a breath to figure out what that growth has been all about 'cause we're too excited about going back into work and getting on a plane and going and doing something. So take a breath, and just reflect on all the crises that you've experienced since we gathered in 2019 and that growth that you haven't even acknowledged yet that you did. You're probably in a much better place than you were in 2019 because of the crises that you've lived through. So as we continue our networking tonight, maybe talk about how you grew over the last three years. And let's give a toast to the growth of women in cybersecurity. 


Kathleen Smith: Enjoy.