Diversity in security: How 3 organizations are making a difference—one relationship at a time

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Cybersecurity pro Michaela Barnett didn’t see people like her at DEF CON and the other security industry events she attended. Neither did her sister, Alexandria Barnett.

“We found that so many people had that experience of not seeing ourselves represented,” Alexandria says.

The twins set out to change that. Michaela founded Blacks In Cybersecurity (BIC) in January 2019 with the goal of highlighting and elevating the Black community in the security profession by offering a range of activities, from online forums and to conferences, meet-ups, seminars and group outings.

“We really strive to be that family of resources to advance people in the field, to create a network and to affect culture, because when you think of cyber, you’re thinking of a white man in a hoodie, you think of DEF CON, where you don’t see many people of color who are too often on the outside of that culture. We’re hoping not to have that schism anymore,” Alexandria says.

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