Talks and Workshops

Hacking Diversity Las Vegas 2018 Talks and Workshops


Thursday, August 9th:


9:00am-10:00am – Opening Ceremonies


10:00am-11:00am – Keynote, Deidre Diamond


11:00am-12:00pm – Inclusion Everytime, Everyday, Eric Wesley

    Effective communication is critical for high performing teams. Research shows that the best teams recognize and capitalize on the different styles of their team members. How do they do it? Through cultural competence; helping diverse teams understand and overcome the communication challenges arising from different cultural backgrounds, communication, and work styles. Inclusion Everytime, Everyday aims to assist individuals to recognize cultural differences and provide skills to help teams build inclusive practices to collaborate and work together more effectively. In this session, we will discuss ways to better navigate cultural differences, such as direct and indirect, and egalitarian and hierarchical work styles. We will also examine team dynamics around listening, managing dominant speakers, talk time, and inviting introverted or quiet members’ input. This content is data based, relevant for today’s workplace, and immediately practical.


12:00pm-1:00pm – Strengthen Your SecOps Team by Leveraging Neurodiversity, Megan Roddie

    High productivity, extreme attention to detail, logical/calculated, passionate, and hyper-focused. These are all characteristics considered valuable in the information security industry. However, a certain group of people who exceed expectations in these skill sets are constantly overlooked for job positions. That group of people is the High Functioning Autistic (HFA) community.

    Individuals in the high functioning autistic community are often overlooked for job positions due to their social disabilities which makes them perform poorly in an interview and in their interactions with other people. However, if you look past their awkward behavior and social struggles, you will find these individuals are perfectly suited for roles in the information security industry.

    This talk aims to show the listeners that, as many tech companies have found, the HFA community is ripe with individuals who could be the best of the best in the security industry if given the chance. The audience will realize that a small investment in time, understanding, and acceptance can result in the addition of an invaluable member to a Security Operations team.


1:00pm-3:00pm – Career Village


3:00pm-4:00opm – Building a Diverse Community Using Purposeful Principles, Cecilia Marinier

    This session will explore how to successfully build and foster a diverse community in tech.  Using the RSA Conference (RSAC) Security Scholar program as an example, we will explore the steps used to develop, implement and foster a diverse community of future leaders.

Friday, August 10:


10:00am-11:00am – How to Find Poor Minorities with Rich Skills – Gregorie Thomas, Gregorie Thomas

    The talk focuses on analyzing why things are how they are, and collaborating on a path forward with racial diversity in the workplace.


11:00am-1:00pm – EQ: Grow Your Career, Deidre Diamond

    Did you know that Emotional Quotient (EQ) is capable of evolving over the course of your entire life? The studies show that it is EQ that determines success. So what is EQ and what are the soft skills that make up EQ? How can you leverage these soft skills to move up the Leadership ladder and how does the lack of EQ skills impact our communities job retention and happiness statistics? Learn the art of making and managing measureable agreements, win-win communication, and how to use lean language.


1:00pm-2:00pm – Career Village


2:00pm-3:00pm –  How to Fix the Diversity Gap in CyberSecurity,Chloé Messdaghi

  Women make up just 11 percent and minorities are slightly less than 12 percent of the cybersecurity workforce. Coming from a nonprofit background, which is an industry with a high diversity, to one where it is so unbalanced. It’s disheartening and disappointing. I’ve connected with persons who are underrepresented in the field, and many after spending years in cybersecurity are leaving the field. From their shared experiences as well as my own, it is clear that the cybersecurity space needs to get real about the lack of diversity in the space, and the necessity to make changes as we approach the estimated shortage of 1.5 million cybersecurity professionals in 2019. In this talk, we will discuss our brains and how we label and prejudge, hear experiences of underrepresented people in the space, what can be done to fill the gap, and how to increase and retain the number of qualified candidates in cybersecurity.


3:00pm-5:00pm – Men as Advocates for Gender Equity in the Workplace, Patrick Ford

    This workshop invites participants – all genders welcome absolutely welcome, though the focus here is on what men can do – to examine the current state of gender equity in the workplace, understand how we got here, and learn actions to take to increase the representation in companies and create more inclusive environments. This is a workshop, so you’ll be actively engaged with questions, discussions, group conversations, and come away with a personal action plan.


5:00pm-7:00pm – Men’s Talk Happy Hour, Esteban Gutierrez

    The idea is this: A group of men (male identified people) get together and meet up. We pair up and use some starter questions to talk to each other. The goals are for men to get together and build foundational intimacy skills with each other, practice intimacy outside the context of a sexual or romantic situation, develop and exercise the tools used to be able to do emotional labor and mindfulness, practice dealing with awkwardness & social discomfort, and to set and hold boundaries.

    This is not to delve into deep feelings, do therapy for each other, pontificate and debate on the state of sexism, etc. It’s to give each other space to be practice some basic tools. Space to practice listening, sitting with discomfort, identifying and discussing feelings, and taking in and watching another man tell his story and have feelings, etc.

    In essence, Man Talk Happy Hour is to give folks a place to have a conversation and get to know a guy. This can be awkward and hard, so we offer some structure and guidelines for how to do it.


Saturday, August 11th:

10:30am-11:00am – Diversify with Diversity: how to retain diverse security professionals, discussing both manager and employee perspectives.”   Alex and Julie Villegas


11:00am-12:00pm – “Are We There Yet?”: Getting There Is Only Half The Trip, Amélie Erin Koran

    We are now in the midst of the next wave of information security, with a more diverse and dispersed talent-pool, varying and more advanced threats, and millions of potential attack surfaces multiplying by the hour – are we in good hands, or do we need to hand over the driver’s seat to somebody else?  During this talk, I will highlight some of the things we actually have gotten right and should look to nurture and expand on, as well as some of those other turns we made, lost our way, and find us where we are now.


12:00pm-1:00pm – Security as Nurturance, Esteban Gutierrez

    The infosec industry is plagued with language borrowed from the military culture. We see this in many products and tools sold by security vendors, the processes we use to do security work, and the ideas and theories used to advanced and grow the discipline. I describe this as working under a metaphor: “Information Security is Warfare.” Unfortunately, we see infosec programs fail people and organizations time and time again. Systems are either not built or configured safely or don’t get patched, code develops vulnerabilities, people get phished, credentials get compromised, and people lose time, money, and sanity from having to deal with the fallout. I see this as the result of working under the influence of the warfare metaphor which causes people to see things in way that are adversarial, zero-sum, and controlling.

    This talk describes how a new metaphor, “Security is Nurturance”,  when used as a goal for a security team flips the traditional paradigms of the security industry and influences new outcomes.  When we use this metaphor to inform our approach to how we do security, security goals become less focused on locking access down, building DMZs & firewalls, or rotating passwords (and other adversarial methods) and more focused on processes to help grow the businesses and empower employees with knowledge and accountability.  I will talk about a few solutions developed by security teams that exemplify the metaphor, how this metaphor aligns with values focused on enabling people to do what is valuable to them and a call for change in the information security industry.


1:00pm-2:00pm – Being an Active Bystander Discussion, Rose Hindman

   Have you struggled to figure out how to react when you hear someone make a biased comment towards a colleague? Are there methods of intervention that you have found to be helpful in your own experience? Please join me for an interactive discussion about what it takes to be an active bystander in the workplace and in daily life.


2:00pm-3:00pm – Roll for Initiative: Invisible Illness, Disability, and the Quest for Success, Whitney King

    Disability is a wide umbrella that carries with it a broad range of impacts affecting a person’s ability to perform standard routines. No one understands these challenges better than the people that cope with them on a day-to-day basis. As a whole, disability tends to be met with a lot of misconceptions, judgement, and stonewalling from those lacking the understanding that ‘handicapped’ doesn’t imply incapable. When it comes to invisible illnesses, separate challenges present themselves entirely; these requiring explanations of our actions, generally met with accusatory replies like ‘you don’t look sick’.  Eventually, we become our own harshest critics, preparing for the worst, and counting ourselves out before someone else does; so much so that we avoid self-reflective tasks like identifying where we can make a meaningful impact and goal setting.

    When the challenges presenting themselves already drain your mental, physical, and social reserves, how do you handle them all; especially in a fast-paced, talent-rich, intimidating industry like technology? With a lens centered around character building in a table-top adventure, this talk focuses on discovering strengths, routines, independence, and confidence; and sets out to remind attendees that you can overcome obstacles even when you ‘roll a 1’.


3:00pm-4:00pm – Re-Born in a New IT Career, Lori Barfield

    Some of the most talented people we work with come into the IT profession orthogonally, after starting out in different fields at the beginning of their careers.  Or seasoned engineers who have always been in IT can get stuck in a rut, and need to shift to a different industry vertical.  Making a move after age 40 generates additional obstacles.  In all these situations, the challenge is finding out how to be re-born in a new IT career.

    Re-careering candidates are uniquely qualified to handle some of the hardest jobs in IT.  Yet, they all face the same hurdle:  How to get picked for their dream role if they are coming from a different background.  First they have to do battle with the notoriously cookie-cutter hiring guidelines in the IT Industry.

    Based on a successful non-profit career development program in Southern California, this talk addresses the big challenges with making IT engineering dreams come true:

     * What you should and shouldn’t do with your resume

     * What types of roles and employers you should target

     * The role of certifications and training programs

     * How to help recruiters help you

     * Sample language for hiring managers trying to justify a special placement


4:00pm-4:30pm – Diversity Training Is Useless Until You Make Unconscious Bias Conscious, Selena Templeton

    No amount of diversity training will help if your core beliefs are inherently prejudiced against a certain group of people, such as "girls aren't good at science.” You might believe that you’re the most open-minded person in the world – until you pull up at a stop sign, see two black guys standing on the corner, and lock your door. Or a friend announces she’s having a baby and you ask what the gender is so you know whether to buy a pink or a blue onesie. That’s unconscious bias in action – learned stereotypes that are automatic, unintentional, deeply engrained, and affect one’s behavior. The problem is that just knowing about these implicit prejudices doesn’t automatically lead to changes in behavior, which is why diversity training at companies or schools hasn’t fixed much. In this talk, I’ll walk the audience through recognizing unconscious bias in ourselves and how to make lasting changes by understanding the brain’s Reticular Activating System so that diversity and inclusion training actually works.


5:00pm-5:30pm – Closing Ceremonies