Calls for nominations are now open for new women-led cybersecurity recognition awards

Cybercriminals are always at least one step ahead of everyone else, so why not encourage as many people as possible to enter the cybersecurity field?

That’s the idea behind a new recognition program for women in Canada who have made a significant contribution to the cybersecurity industry, and the call for nominations starts this Sunday, March 8.

Developed by the Women in Security and Resilience Alliance (WISECRA) in collaboration with IT World Canada, the initiative aims to raise awareness about the role women play in cybersecurity while encouraging more women to enter the profession.


A 2019 report from the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) and independent industry analyst firm Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) says the global cybersecurity skills shortage got worse for the third year in a row.

According to cybersecurity publication Security Intelligence, in the U.S., women make up only about 20 per cent of the cybersecurity workforce. In Canada, the numbers are worse, with women representing roughly 10 per cent of the workforce.

“We’re looking for women who have advanced the industry and shaped the path for future generations,” said Bonnie Butlin, the founder and international coordinator of WISECRA, a global network of female cybersecurity professionals. “We see them as the role models who will be instrumental in building the future.”

Once nominations close in May, judges will review them and select women for the honoree list. 

The organizing committee is pleased to announce the following cybersecurity heavyweights who have already committed to being judges for the awards program:

  • Le Ha Hang, VP Global Security, CGI
  • Francoise Gagnon, CEO of ADGA Group Consultants Inc.
  • Rima Aristocrat, President & CEO, Willis College
  • Ali A. Ghorbani, Director, Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity
  • Sharon Polsky, President & CEO, Privacy & Access Council
  • Robert Beggs, CEO, DigitalDefence 
  • Suzie Smibert, CISO, Finning International
  • Franca Palazzo, Executive Director, Internet Society – Canadian Chapter
  • Terry Cutler, Founder & CEO, Cyology Labs Inc. 
  • Namir Anani, President and CEO at Information and Communications Technology Council

For more information, contact:

Bonnie Butlin, International Coordinator, Women in Security & Resilience Alliance, Email: [email protected], Phone: 613-266-8048

Steve Proctor, VP Communications and Marketing, ITWC,  Email [email protected] Phone:  416-578-5014

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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