N2K logoNov 9, 2019

Mandy Rogers, Operations Manager, Engineering and Sciences for Presenting Sponsor Northrop Grumman

Mandy Rogers, Operations Manager, Engineering and Sciences for Presenting Sponsor Northrop Grumman sharing her perspective at the CyberWire's 6th Annual Women in Cyber Security Reception, Thursday, October 24, 2019, at the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC.


Dave Bittner: [00:00:10;16] From Northrop Grumman, please join me in welcoming Mandy Rogers.

Mandy Rogers: [00:00:16;26] Thank you Dave. Northrop Grumman is proud to partner with the CyberWire for the third consecutive year as a sponsor of the Women in Cyber Security Reception.

Mandy Rogers: [00:00:26;14] This is an amazing event to network with like-minded women, so take that opportunity, be intentional, meet at least ten new people tonight. This is awesome to be able to celebrate our role in the profession that we are all so passionate about, Cyber.

Mandy Rogers: [00:00:46;22] I'm honored to be here tonight and excited to spend the next few minutes sharing a little bit of my cyber journey, discussing the importance of women that have played a history in cyber's role as well as the women who will play in its future.

Mandy Rogers: [00:01:02;27] As I began brainstorming my remarks for tonight, I really couldn't help but think about the women who blazed the trail for us to be here today. Analysts like Agnes Driscoll who played a pivotal role in helping us crack the encryption codes of our opponents during World War II. Grace Hopper, who'd helped develop the COBOL Programming Language the and invented the first compiler.

Mandy Rogers: [00:01:25;24] One of the things that I really loved when I heard about Grace Hopper and her history is that she was working on a computer called the Mark 2 and it shorted out. She invented the term computer bug when they realized that a moth had infiltrated that computer and caused that short circuit. So, thanks to Grace and her team, we now have the term that us in the computer science field like to call debugging a code.

Mandy Rogers: [00:01:54;03] As you can see, we've come a long way and there's still work to do to grow in our profession, specifically, the number of women working in it. It's no secret that there's a cyber talent shortage. Global predictions indicate that there will be a cyber talent shortage of nearly 3.5 million people by 2021, just two years from now.

Mandy Rogers: [00:02:14;27] As we become increasingly dependent upon digital technology, it is critical to ensure that we have the cyber train workforce to meet this demand and remain secure. So, how do we address this challenge? One way is getting more women to enter this profession. We talked about everybody bringing at least two additional people here, get them excited about cyber, they don't have to know anything about cyber, we'll tell them everything about it.

Mandy Rogers: [00:02:41;06] Did you know women account for over 50% of college graduates and only represent 20% of the entire cyber workforce worldwide? That's not enough. It is up to us in the room, in government industry, academia and the non-profit sector to bring this number up. The security of our nation and our allies depend upon it. No matter what domain you operate in, we're facing an increasingly complex persistent and well funded cyber foe. If we don't have women continuing to pursue this field, we're missing out on an entire pool of candidates who will be instrumental in helping design solutions to combat the next cyber threat.

Mandy Rogers: [00:03:23;06] So, where do we find innovation in how we recruit people in technology? Diversity and inclusion drive innovation, it's really that simple. To stay ahead of the rapidly evolving cyber threat, we need a workforce that brings with it, diversity of thought, education, experience and problem solving skills. We need artists like our own artist here tonight, technologists and those who have unique backgrounds to help us solve what we once thought was impossible. Diversity not only drives innovation, it also breeds success.

Mandy Rogers: [00:04:00;28] If you haven't had an opportunity to listen to yesterdays CyberWire podcast where I talk about my background and how I got exposed to cyber and technology coming from a farm town, I invite you to do so. David's wonderful to talk to and we had a great conversation which is now available to the world to listen to.

Mandy Rogers: [00:04:20;24] I've worked for Northrop Grumman for the past 10 years. I've held roles in the cyber intelligence domain that varied from program manager, software engineer, systems engineer as well as an innovator. I had the opportunity to come into work every single day and innovate in the way that we do cyber and intelligence analytics.

Mandy Rogers: [00:04:41;04] We partner with the University of Maryland College Parks Advanced Cyber Security Experience for Students which is an honors program specifically for cyber talent to grow the next pipeline. We also partner with the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, for the Cyber Scholars Program. We also have our Global Cyber Patriot Program for middle and high school students and with more than 21 million dollars in support of cyber education at the US Naval Academy. So, we are sincerely helping to grow that pipeline and help close that gap of that 3.5 million shortage over the next two years. We're also upscaling experienced professionals, some who may want to take a career break whether it's caring for elderly parents or taking a maternity or paternity leave. Or those who might just be interested in doing something totally different. Maybe their background isn't in cyber. We have opportunities to in-house train and learn about cyber and what it could do for their career.

Mandy Rogers: [00:05:37;06] If you are interested in a new career, I encourage you to talk to one of our amazing Northrop Grumman colleagues back at the Northrop Grumman table.

Mandy Rogers: [00:05:50;25] I'd like to leave us this evening with a quote from the amazing admiral of the cyber sea, Grace Hopper. "People have an enormous tendency to resist change. They love to say we've always done it this way, I try to fight that."

Mandy Rogers: [00:06:05;13] I'd like to encourage everyone tonight to be the community that changes how we recruit, retain, inspire and innovate in the workspace. And be more intentional about our mentorship of the next generation. Imagine what our community could look like two years from now if we each took the time to mentor one or two people and get them exposed to the cyber domain. Thank you.