In Bloomberg Article, Akin Gump Partners Offer Ways for Women to Succeed in Cybersecurity

Natasha Kohne and Michelle Reed, co-leaders of Akin Gump’s cybersecurity, privacy and data protection practice, have authored the Bloomberg Law article “Women Can and Do Lead Cybersecurity Defense Practices,” an opinion column written in response to an earlier piece about the lack of female lawyers in cybersecurity practices.

Responding to that article, which blamed a stereotype of cybersecurity practices as being macho and male-dominated, Kohne and Reed write that law firms need to “identify opportunities for women to pursue leadership roles in cutting-edge areas such as cybersecurity.” They note that at Akin Gump “a combination of focused mentorship efforts, professional development programs and each lawyer’s own personal work and experiences has helped encourage women to seek out these leadership roles.” They also list some other ways in which women lawyers can foster their professional growth.

Kohne and Reed discuss their own experiences, mentioning that they both became privacy certified and had the support of firm leaders in becoming co-heads of the practice. They conclude by noting that it’s not wrong to talk about the lack of women working in the field, but that “this does not have to be the image…that endures.” Law firms, they write, “have the tools at their disposal not only to encourage their lawyers to overcome stereotypes, but also to instill a culture where women feel empowered and encouraged to pursue successful, rewarding careers, regardless of the field in which they practice.”