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How Non-Techie Women Can Break Into Tech in 2020

Posted By Career Karma, Tuesday, July 21, 2020

How Non-Techie Women Can Break Into Tech in 2020

It’s no secret that the tech field has shown significant growth over the last couple of years. Most people consider switching to a tech career because of the high salaries offered. According to a recent survey from Indeed, 89% of people who switch to tech jobs are doing it because of the high-paying job opportunities. Besides this, working in the tech industry allows you to be able to work remotely. Most tech jobs are future-proof professions, so learning these skills can provide you a spot in the future of work. 

That said, what’s the current career landscape for women in tech? Although there are great opportunities for women in the industry, a salary gap still exists. Beyond this, finding a work-life balance is a little more complicated for women than it is for men, and it may seem even harder for women with no tech skills. So what should women without tech experience do to land a career in tech? Let’s find out.

Identify Your Transferable Skills

The first thing you should do is to identify the career niche where you’d like to work. Most people dive into a tech career that they don’t enjoy only because of the salary. They’ll invest in bachelor’s degrees or bootcamps that don’t connect them with their interests. If you already have some non-technical skills, you could be able to apply them in a tech career setting.

Let’s say, for instance, that you have a bachelor’s degree in economics. You could enroll in a Data Science Bootcamp or get a bachelor’s degree in data science. Data science utilizes many of the same career skills, like analytics and statistical math. Those with a degree in marketing could take a short-term course on digital marketing and adapt their skills to be applicable in a tech field.

What Careers Are Available without a Computer Science Degree?

Although people may think that the only way to break into tech is through a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science, women still have plenty of career opportunities without one. Here are some of the most in-demand tech careers for women without technical experience:

Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is broad and covers a lot of ground in the tech industry. Digital marketers manage social media content, explore new strategies for hitting marketing goals, analyze data generated from social media, and deal with customer service operations. It’s a fundamental role in every modern company. 

According to a recent survey from the Digital Marketing Institute, women are, on average,  11% more proficient in digital marketing skills than men. However, there is a shortage of women in the digital marketing arena. 71.7% of employees in the digital marketing workforce are men. This is a challenge that women could face in the tech field. However, daring and challenging the system could create more female representation in the digital marketing industry. 

Project Management

Project Management involves managing projects from beginning to end. If you work as a project manager you’ll be in a leadership position and have the responsibility to make sure everybody is in the right place doing the right things. You’ll make sure everybody is performing well, working towards the project goals, and making sure they meet deadlines. Most importantly, you’ll facilitate communication for everybody on the team.


Sales is another great field where you could work in a tech company. Sales managers have good salaries and a dynamic job that few find boring. Sales managers could make up to $117,344 in a tech company according to TechRepublic. You must have good communication, performance management, and coaching skills. If you combine your sales talent with development skills you’ll be able to create amazing experiences for customers in websites such as adding a functional shopping cart to a website

Find a Tech Job through a Tech Bootcamp

Studying a new skill through a bachelor’s degree is great because it gives you some prestige when applying for job positions. However, universities don’t always have a focus on employment. 

Bootcamps, on the other hand, have a high employment rate because they often partner with companies to show them their most outstanding bootcamp graduates. They also have up-to-date curricula, which is something that not all universities do. That’s why many bootcamps have a money-back guarantee when you don’t find a job within six months. Women, in particular, have a higher employment rate when graduating from Coding Bootcamps according to a survey conducted by Career Karma. In this survey, women experimented 82.7% employment rate, which was higher than men’s who got an 80.6% employment rate.

Overcoming the Pay Gap

In the same SwitchUp survey, women reported lower salaries in comparison to men. This is a major challenge that most women in tech are facing right now. It’s no secret to anyone that the salary gap is real, but it doesn’t mean you can’t overcome it. Before applying to a job try to find out about the company’s gender culture. Today there are companies that are currently defeating the salary gap by implementing fair payment methods. 

When you are applying for a job position, make sure they’re honest with you about how they handle this pay gap. Today we have great resources to find out if a company’s working with a salary cap, and Glassdoor is one of the best. To overcome the pay gap make sure the company has already taken the Equal Pay Pledge on Glassdoor. 

You could also check the reviews in Glassdoor that other people have left about that specific company. If they have a good track record when it comes to salaries then you could consider it a good fit. Don’t be afraid of negotiating as well. Find out online what’s the average salary for that job and negotiate your salary so you’re not paid less than the standard amount.

Don’t Be Intimidated

Although you don’t have tech skills, this should not stop you from applying for a job in a tech company. So don’t feel intimidated from this fact. And you never know, you could transition your non-techie skills to a tech career. Sometimes you’ll even learn on the way, and you can see if tech skills like coding are for you.

Find the Right Help

You should know that you’re not alone. There are organizations that are here to help you find career advice as a woman in the tech industry. Some of those organizations are She Can Code, Girls Who Code, and MarketHER, which is for women who are trying to find career advice in the marketing field. 

Tags:  cyber  nontech  womenincyber 

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Women Unite over CTF!

Posted By Mari Galloway, Saturday, November 2, 2019

On November 2nd 2019, over 1000 women participated in a world wide cyber competition hosted by Women's Society of Cyberjutsu, WoSec, WomenHackerz, Gatebreachers and Point 3 (Escalate Platform Sponsors). Through generous donations from Synack, Remediant, and MAGIC, the winners of the competition were able to take home a

  • 1st place - full paid trip to Defcon,
  • 2nd place - 6 month subscription to Escalate
  • 3rd place - Raspberry Pi

Additional partners opened up their physical locations to host women on-site in Baltimore at Point 3 offices, College Park Maryland at Cybrary and in San Francisco at Synack. 

Beginners had the opportunity to practice their skills in our reverse engineering challenge while the advanced crowd were be able to venture through all the challenges the ESCALATE ecosystem has to offer!

Even though we crashed the system with over 1000 sign-ons at once, the event got going the competition was fierce. Marcelle Lee, WSC Chief of Competitions said "The #WomenUniteOverCTF event is so cool! I tore up all the #PCAP challenges but now I'm at reversing and my roll has definitely slowed lol!"

The amazing Nada provided tutorials for the challenges to assist those new to competitions and the platform, while representatives from the participating organizations discussed their mission and goals with everyone. 

As the event came to a close, Jaime Lightfoot was crowned the winner! She racked up over 1500 points to take home the 1st place prize of a free trip to Defcon. The ladies did an amazing job!

All in all the event was an amazing way for participants to get in and learn something new about hacking and cyber competitions. These type of events will continue to be a part of the Women's Society of Cyberjutsu programming as we love to play! Be on the look out for a few cyber competition workshops coming up! 


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Posted By Administration, Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Check out this dissertation on underrepresented women and minorities in cyebrsecurity. 


The demand for cybersecurity jobs in the United States is growing at a rapid rate, but despite the high demand for cybersecurity professionals to fill these positions, females remain significantly underrepresented in the cybersecurity profession. The purpose of this qualitative multiple-case study was to explore the underrepresentation of females in the cybersecurity profession by examining the factors that contribute to the interest, hiring, development, advancement, and sustainability of females in this profession within the United States. The overarching research question asked, “why is there a disproportionately low representation of female workers in the U.S. cybersecurity industry?” This research question was answered by employing a multiple-case study approach that surveyed three distinct groups of individuals. Semistructured interviews were conducted with participants representing each of the three cases, and then within-case and cross-case analyses were utilized to generate themes from the data.

The study’s target population consisted of individuals that are affected by the gender disparity in the cybersecurity profession. The sample included individuals that accurately represented the three cases chosen to explore the phenomenon: (a) female cybersecurity professionals working in the field, (b) female cybersecurity students intending to pursue a career in cybersecurity, and (c) male and female hiring managers responsible for filling cybersecurity positions. Thematic analysis of the interview data was conducted both within the individual cases and across the cases to achieve an overall impression of the phenomenon. Five themes emerged from the data analysis, and these five themes demonstrated that (a) cybersecurity professionals’ confidence levels vary based on gender, (b) stereotypes and biases negatively impact females working in the cybersecurity profession, (c) marketing images and terminology associated with the cybersecurity profession are not gender inclusive, (d) early exposure to cybersecurity is key to increasing female interest in the profession, and (e) males hold the majority of gateway positions that influence entry into the cybersecurity profession. These findings can be used by scholars and practitioners to improve the recruitment, hiring, development, advancement, and retention of females in the cybersecurity profession in the United States.

Download File (PDF)

Tags:  cybersecurity  minorites  phd  underrepresented  women 

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Women Orgs Take over RSAC 2019

Posted By Mari Galloway, Sunday, March 10, 2019

ICYMI, Last week (March 4 - 8) the WSC family left its mark on San Francisco at the @RSAConference with various activities and events. We kicked the week off with #SheSpeaksSecurity hosted by the fabulous Jessica Gulick (@cyberrisklady), VP of WSC, CEO of Katzcy Consulting in partnership with @EWF, @WISPorg and @WICYSorg. #SheSpeaksSecurity was a 1/2 day seminar prepping women to gain confidence speaking and submitting to speak at conferences.

This event culminated with a panel discussion by all previous speakers on how to stay resilient in the male dominated arena and how to build confidence when presenting.

Speakers included:

  • Joyce Brocaglia, EWF @joyce_brocaglia
  • Elena Elkina, WISP @el0chka
  • Mari Galloway, WSC @marigalloway
  • Andrea Little Limbago, Virtru @limbagoa
  • Bobbie Stempfley, WSC @BobbieStempfley
  • Cameron Over, WSC - Panel Moderator

Details of each presentation here

Short Video Clip here

The evening finished up with the Women in Leadership Reception which had a packed house!! It was refreshing to see so many women, minorities, and allies in the room supporting each organization as major announcements were made. WSC made the announcement of a new CEO, Mari Galloway, marking the first transition of leadership since 2012. We also welcomed our 6 #cyberjutsursactribe pass winners to the family and got to meet a few of the ladies!

By Wednesday, we were Amping up our AM with Katczy and friends! The breakfast, hosted at the amazing Thirsty Bear was included a build your own mimosa bar and various sweets and treats to get your day going. Great conversations were had and new friendships were born.

We concluded the week Thursday with an Introduction to Capture the Flag (CTF) hosted by SANS Institute. With over 40 women in attendance to play SANS Netwars, fun was had all around! Thanks Max and Cecilia!

Despite all the rain that San Francisco had through the week, I would say that RSAC was a success. Partnerships were created, sponsors joined the WSC family and we had an all around great time. Special thanks to the WSC volunteers that stepped in to help set up, chat with table visitors, and break down all the 'stuff' we had for the conference. WSC is built on the backs of volunteers and we wouldn't be where we are today. 

Mansi @mansimusa (WSC COO), Fiona (WSC AMBASSADOR), Susan @v33na (WSC DC LEAD), Liz @city4liz (WSC SOCAL LEAD), Merissa (WSC PARTNERSHIPS) and so many more, THANK YOU!! You make my job easier!

Last but certain not least, thanks to Vince Vong for coordinating and organizing logistics and scheduling and all things D&I related. This was made possible because of his desire help change the game. 

Materials from the seminar will be available soon so please check back!

~Mari, CEO

 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  empowerment  propel  RSAC  shespeakssecurity  womenincyber 

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SANS Women Academy Graduates are First Time Speakers at RSAC 2019

Posted By Mari Galloway, Saturday, March 9, 2019
Updated: Friday, March 8, 2019

@RSAconference in San Francisco continues to bring fresh new faces to the conference circuit and cybersecurity industry each and every year. This year, with more focus on women and diversity in the program, it's no surprise that 1st timers Carlota Bindner (@CarlotaBindner) and Xena Olsen (@Ch33r10) made their speaking debut. Both ladies are graduates of the SANS Women's Immersion Academy, a multi week training program free to women looking to pursue a career in cybersecurity.

Bindner demonstrated common misconfiguration of U-Boot and strategies to harden embedded devices on Tuesday and Olsen spoke at several events throughout the week on the dangers of embedded devices as well as tactical threat intelligence. Before attending the Women’s Immersion Academy, Bindner worked as a technical researcher and Olsen was a real estate agent.

#Speaking at #RSAC was the highlight of my year! I really enjoyed the collaborative nature of my speaking engagements and I'm grateful for the people that participated in my talks and provided value with their sharing. Despite being new to the infosec industry, everyone was welcoming, kind and most of all embraced me as one of their own," said Olsen on her experience speaking at RSAC.

Today, Olsen is a Cyber Threat Intel Analyst for Fortune 500 financial services company, while Bindner is a Security Associate at Rapid7. WSC is pleased to partner with with SANS and the Women’s Immersion Academy initiative to increase gender diversity in cybersecurity by providing women with a passion and aptitude for cybersecurity the opportunity to learn in-demand cybersecurity skills, earn GIAC certifications, and start a career in cybersecurity. Women in the program are graduating, recently graduated, unemployed, or career changers.

Through this partnership, all women that are selected are granted a one year membership with Women's Society of Cyberjutsu. WSC membership allows women to build of community of supporters and find her #cyberjutsutribe. Members also get discounts on training, access to previous training recordings, access to the job and more.

Congrats ladies on your accomplishment! We look forward to hearing more from you. 

For more information on the SANS Women's Academy, please visit:

Tags:  cybersecurity  empower  lead  RSAC  sans  shespeakstech  womeningcyber 

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PAID INTERNSHIP with the Las Vegas Sands Corporation in Las Vegas NV!!!

Posted By Mari Galloway, Thursday, January 25, 2018

BEFORE YOU APPLY – BE SURE their RESUME HIGHLIGHTS any relevant coursework, certs, degrees, & cyber competitions.

See the ATTACHED FILE for more details on what the position and requirements are. Don't be discouraged when applying. We are looking for more women to be in the internship program. 

For questions, please reach out to

Download File (PDF)

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Tips and Tricks to Negotiating a Better Salary

Posted By Mari Galloway, Friday, May 12, 2017
Recently, I got an email from a close friend talking about how a manager told her she wasn’t getting paid what she is worth because she wasn’t a male, the bread winner. So basically the manager insinuated that because she was a women she couldn’t be the bread winner thus the lower pay. Well what if she was a single mother or what if she was a widow? How does one justify saying these types of things in the work place? 

So I got to thinking, why are women often paid less than their male counterparts even if they have the same or better qualifications? I went back to my first contract job many years ago and realized, some women don’t negotiate their salaries from the jump. I DIDN’T. I just wanted to get the job and start getting that hands-on experience, so I took the first offer and that was it. I undervalued my skill set because I didn’t feel that it was up to par to what I THOUGHT the guys in my all male team had. That was a mistake that could have cost me higher salaries throughout my career. Learn from your mistakes and don’t make them again!

Salary discussions can sometimes get awkward because you shouldn’t really talk about it in the workplace. I had a job working for a young adult clothing store as an Assistant Manager years ago and we fired folks if we found them discussing what they were getting paid. It creates this environment of distrust between employees and management. What folks get paid should be kept between that person and the boss. But when you start moving away from those hourly jobs and into a salary position, it is sometimes hard to not talk about what you make. There are many different resources like Glassdoor and that provide pretty specific information on folk’s salaries. There is no hiding what someone in the same job as you is making across the country. But for those jobs where the salary ranges aren’t readily available, what can you do?

Salary - a fixed regular payment, typically paid on a monthly or biweekly basis but often expressed as an annual sum, made by an employer to an employee, especially a professional or white-collar worker. 
Here are a few of my tips to help navigate the world of salary negotiations. These can be used for getting that raise that you deserve as well.

1.      Know your value. This is very important. If you are fresh out of college with no experience, don’t go in with guns blazing asking for $150,000 unless you are like a super genius or a rocket scientist and even still that is a stretch. Research salaries for the job you are applying for. Make sure to take into account, your education, skills, and other experience you have. This is includes unpaid experience as well. Be realistic in your expectations but don’t undervalue yourself.

2.      Don’t be first to disclose a number. You want to know what the company is offering. Ask them what the range is for the position. If they are hard pressed to give that to you, have a range in mind (discussed next). Don’t give the bottom of your range though, because that may be lower than the position the position offers and you may miss out on the extra money.

3.      Have a range. You want room to grow at your company but you also want to get what you are worth for that position. The bottom limit of your range should be at least 10% higher than your current salary, if you have one. This limit may be higher depending on what you are bringing to the table. The upper limit should be 10 to 20 thousand higher. This range is for you to know when to walk away and when to pull out a counter offer. These are your limits. As a side note if you are moving to another location for a job, make sure to do some research on that job market. A good place to start is the Bank Rate. This site helped me make the decision to move across country and leave the government.

4.      Be direct with what you want. The difference between some men and women here is that men just flat out say “I want to make X amount of dollars.” While women tend to beat around the bush and not come right out and say what they want. I was guilty of it. Again, just trying to get in the door. Make it known what you are willing to take. Don’t imply anything as this may cause you to get less money. This is where knowing your range helps out tremendously. Go with the higher of the range and work backwards.

5.      Be willing to walk away. Sometimes, an employer just won’t budge on the salary they are offering. Know when to walk away from that opportunity. One common mistake that is made is accepting the first offer. You don’t have to do that. Remember your salary range!

6.      Negotiate beyond salary. Once the base salary is determined, the rest of your compensation should be discussed. Things such as moving expenses, transportation expenses, food allowances, student loan repayment are just a few examples of things to discuss with the employer before making a final decision. Benefits are not always firm and can be negotiated if you have the right information.

7.      Ask questions. Above all else, ask questions. If you are curious about the salary or the benefits, ask those questions. Get answers to make an informed decision. Starting a new job is hard work. Do go into blind.

There are tons of articles and information out there for negotiating salary. The internet is a powerful tool that should be utilized the effectively negotiate your entire compensation package. These are just a few of my top tips and what I used to get the job I am in today. Great pay with even better benefits! Women, negotiate your worth and don’t settle because it is the first offer on the table. Men you can use this information too!!

If you have tips and tricks to negotiating salary, let us know! Sharing is caring.

Tags:  job  negotiating  salary  tips  tricks 

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Shmoocon Ticket

Posted By tennisha martin, Friday, January 13, 2017
I've got a ticket to shmoocon (starts today and goes through this weekend) but i had surgery on my back and can no longer go. $100 amazon gift card gets you a barcode.

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My First Cyber Competition

Posted By Mari Galloway, Thursday, November 10, 2016

My First Cyber Competition

For whatever reason, cyber competitions have been on my mind. So, I thought that I should share my experience as well as provide a few resources to those on the fence about participating in these cyber competitions.

Cyber competitions are a great way to gain valuable hands-on experience in various areas of cybersecurity such as pentesting and digital forensics. There are various types of competition in a few different varieties: Challenge-based, where you answer questions/challenges to gain points; Attack-Defend, where you must defend your 'castle' while trying to attack others; and Wargames which are online CTF competitions.

My first competition was back in 2013 with Cyberjutsu Women at the Global Cyberlympics, a competition hosted world-wide by EC-Council. This competition is an online team-based competition consisting of 3 qualifying rounds (Forensics, Penetration Testing, and Computer Network Defense (CND)) and a final round (Capture the Flag) usually hosted at the annual HackHalted conference.

Going into this competition, I had no freaking clue what to expect or even how to begin. The team consisted of 6 women lead by Lisa Jiggetts, the founder, CEO, and head Cyber Ninja for Women's Society of Cyberjutsu. We went into a conference room and immediately started the first round. We weren't organized and none of us knew what was going on but we trekked through it, together.

See with this competition, you can only have one person logged into the scoring server which meant that this person either had to perform all the tasks for each round or we had to figure out a way to collaborate quickly and efficiently to get the points. Even though we started off scrambling, by the end of round 1 we had found our groove and started racking up the points. Mind you, Lisa was the SME of the group and she had to provide a lot of insight.

I was scared because I didn't want to fail but was relieved to know that we were a team. We advanced to the next round. By the end, we all walked out of the room a little bit smarter and with ideas to help with round 2.

Fast forward a few weeks, we made it past round 2 but not without a few bumps in the road. I think round 2 was harder than the 1st one and for good reason. EC-Council wanted to make sure that people knew what they were doing. We spent that Saturday afternoon moving through challenges and troubleshooting and praying we get enough points to advance to the finals. When we recieved news that we made it to the final competition, we were beyond ecstatic. We were the only all women team (All cyberjutsu competition teams are all women) to advance to the final competition. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the Final event due to work, but I learned a lot about myself and my love for this field. We all love a little challenge here and there. And, the prizes are definitely a motivator to participate in these types of games.

For me the Global Cyberlympics was the start of something great. Participating in and winning competitions gives you confidence in your skills and boosts your ego a little bit. Although, I haven't won a competition, I have participated in a few of them each year (both on a team and individually). They are a lot of fun. You learn a lot of things by doing them. If you are interested in participating in these games but don't know where to start, don't fret. There are numerous resources available to help you get your feet wet and prep for success. Some of my favorite individual games include SANS Netwars (paid), OverTheWire (free, online), and Enigma Group (free, online). These games force you to research topics and try new things, some of which can be used in the real-world depending on the job that you do. Some of these competitions are even at various conferences and are free to participate in.

So, get to it and start refining your skills!

For more information or to participate in team based competitions, join the WSC Competition Group at

Additional links with good information: - lists competitions going on around the world and you can join teams

Capture the Flag Competitions - Basic info on CTF's as well as different ones for each type

Tags:  competition  CTF  cyber  cyberjutsu  cyberlympics 

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Know Your Value

Posted By Tammy Torbert, Saturday, December 26, 2015

The holidays give me a chance to catch up on reading.  I happened across a book "Knowing Your Value: Women, Money and Getting Your Worth", by Mika Brzezinski.  It's one of these easy reads, a business book told mostly as interviews with successful women in a variety of industries.  There are also interviews with successful men that talk about the difference between men and women in industry.  

 I wish I had this book when I first started my career.  It discusses the way that women shoot themselves in the foot and don't get what they want.  The book won't tell you how to negotiate a better salary, but it might show you the things you are doing that cause our own failures. 


Happy holidays!

Tags:  career  value 

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