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International Women's Day 2023

<time datetime='2023-03-08 00:00:00 +0000 UTC'>March 8, 2023</time>&nbsp;·&nbsp;3 min&nbsp;·&nbsp;Arjen Lentz

Diversity is Always Worthwhile

IWD2023 Women Diversity

One of my daughters got a statement from the bank about an old account that had just $10 in it. We all agreed that it was probably best to close that account, so the bank wouldn’t chew up those few pennies in fees (to its credit, but for unknown reasons contrary to its own policy, the bank hadn’t been taking out fees - yet).

Thinking Outside the Box

The conversation went on to how to get it out, and I figured the bank card plus photo ID would probably do it. Daughterling declared that the bank card in question had expired (fine, I didn’t think that would be a hindrance). Somewhat more problematic (at least for showing the bank): she’d cut up the card to pick a lock (of a door she did have the key for, really). None of my daughters is in IT or technology directly, this one is studying biological sciences.

Anyway, I thought: that’s my child. A dad is allowed, right? :-) But there’s more to this. A bank card has nothing to do with a locked door, yet she thought of using it - she may have seen it in a movie, fair enough, but then still one needs to park it in memory somewhere so that it comes up when useful, and be able to use it. And that’s what I liked about this situation.

Diversity of Thinking

In any workplace, but also outside of work, diversity of thinking is important. Different genders, orientation, cultural background, etc… these aspects all bring differences to the table, and it’s truly valuable for solving real issues. I always see such differences as assets, not hindrances.

Thinking in Boxes

Humans are “good” at putting people in one or more somewhat defined “boxes”. We do this to understand our complex world better. But what we also need to appreciate is that while we feel that need, the results are not actually that brilliant.

The reason is that for any two defined groups, the differences within each group tend to be larger than the differences between the groups. Try it yourself, you’ll see!

So, how solidly defined are the groups really … or is the concept faulty, and it shouldn’t be relied upon? In human history, whenever any group has been labelled as more capable, worth or valuable than another, there’s been grief. It’s just all wrong.

A Better Future

As we “celebrate” International Women’s Day 2023, it has to be acknowledged that much is still not optimal for women, including in our own country. It’s easy enough to point to Afghanistan and say we’re so much better, but we have a very serious domestic violence problem right here. Right? (you’d almost think the perpetrators are afraid - of what equality would even look like… and more.)

In reality, it’d be to our best advantage to work towards a truly equal and diverse society. It benefits everybody. And yes, that very much includes women in InfoSec. They bring a lot of value to every possibly role. Please keep in mind when hiring and even contracting, as I try to do: diversity rocks.