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Over the past few weeks we have been gathering interviews from women all over the world, in different areas in tech, and with many different skill sets. We asked them questions about their careers thus far, how they arrived to their current position, and what they love about being in the tech/cyber security industry! Since it is Women’s History Month, we also asked about challenges they have faced being a woman, if they’ve ever encountered sexism, if they had any advice for women and advice for the men working besides them.
Suffice to say, we received plenty of insightful and inspiring answers!
We want to thank every woman who took the time to respond, they all have such an understanding of how to succeed in the tech world. Below I’ve highlighted a few of our friends at SAC and pulled my favorite quote from their interviews. We also will be showcasing a woman pioneer in the STEM fields daily on our Twitter and Facebook pages. Be sure to follow us to learn even more about the women who inspire us at The Security Awareness Company.
Founder of Binary Tattoo
‘The Girl with the Binary Tattoo’s mission is to educate people about the digital footprint they leave every time they step foot online! It can be daunting how much information about ourselves is owned by companies. Cat has a grip on it all and can be a major help on how to stay safe in such a world. Chatting with Cat was so easy and she only had nice things to say about SAC – she even mentioned how she has worn our t-shirt while presenting! She has a great understanding that while sexism in the workplace is not always intentional, it is something that hinders a person’s career and own confidence.
“Infosec is for all people, regardless of gender, age and ethnicity. I think when we make a real point of saying someone is a minority in a field, it makes them question their place. I know after years of my own parents saying I was a FEMALE engineer, it made me wonder if I belonged, rather than know I had a place there. We should stress to both boys and girls that jobs are jobs, not that they are “for” certain people. With the way tech has infiltrated all facets of our lives, infotech is a great space to be in!” -Cat Coode
Founder and CTO of Bulb Security LLC
Founder and CTO of Shevirah Inc
As if being the founder and CTO of two companies wasn’t impressive enough, Georgia Weidman is also a published author. Her book, Penetration Testing: A Hands-On Introduction to Hacking, was released in 2014 by No Starch Press. If you want to test your security for weaknesses Georgia is the woman to hire (or to learn from!) It’s obvious, from reading her interview, that despite anyone telling her “no” or “you can’t” she hasn’t stopped once to achieve success in the tech industry. Georgia, like her own mother, is an example for any young girl or woman who wants to make a name for herself in this world.
“My mother received her PhD. In computer science when I was 2 years old. Seeing her in her cap and gown is, I believe, my first memory. So the idea that “girls don’t computer” or that technical fields were not open to women never occurred to me until much later.” -Georgia Weidman
VP Enterprise Onboarding at KnowBe4
Suzanne has been in the information security business for years; her resume alone could inspire generations! She’s a great friend to us at SAC and has been integral in helping with the onboarding of SAC’s content onto KnowBe4’s platform. After reading her interview there were three quotes that stood out to me because they all spoke to huge theme throughout the tech industry. They all concluded that the tech field is constantly evolving and there is a constant need to learn and teach yourself new things to keep up with the changes.
“Parents, this is an amazing career for your girls. They will never be bored, they can shoot for the stars and go as far as their dreams and desires take them as long as they want to put in the work because this field is so fluid they need to constantly learn.” -Suzanne Gorman
Managing Director of Cyber Security Capital
Jane Frankland has built a bridge between cyber security and business. Not to mention, she started with a degree in art and design! Now she owns her own business, writes, and is about to publish a book early 2017. Women in Cyber Security: Standard not Exception – The Book! will take a look at why, despite being a fast growing industry, tech has dwindling numbers of women in the workforce. She makes a great point: women see risk differently than men and can make a huge impact on the security business. Sign up to be alerted when her book comes out so you too can understand more about how women affect the business of technology.
“In security, I’ve only ever seen advantages to being a woman. You get to stand out so much more, and I’ve used this positively. People remember you. For example, when I was at a CREST conference a few years ago, I was the only woman in the audience. I didn’t notice, as it was very normal for me. However, one of the speakers did. He told me recently, when I was presenting at AISA. He said, “The first time I realised we had a problem with the low numbers of women in the industry was at that conference, when the only woman I saw was you!”” -Jane Frankland