As a woman in the dynamic world of technology and cybersecurity, I'm often asked about my experiences and challenges. From this, I want to share my journey as a woman in tech working within cybersecurity in a financial institution. While my path may have been paved with obstacles, I want to shed light on the incredible opportunities and growth I have experienced, which have defined my career.
From the moment I stepped foot into the doors of my organisation, I was met with an atmosphere that encouraged diversity and empowerment. The value placed on diverse perspectives inspired me and reflected the organisation's forward-thinking approach to cybersecurity. The organisation's commitment to fostering an inclusive environment, irrespective of gender, was pivotal in bolstering my confidence as a woman in this male-dominated field.
When I left school at 18, I had an insatiable curiosity for technology and applied for an apprenticeship in software development. As I delved deeper into my education, cybersecurity captivated me. The idea of safeguarding sensitive data and protecting organisations from malicious threats ignited a fire within me. Although I questioned whether I belonged, I often needed to remind myself that my work speaks for itself. My organisation was very supportive of my wanting to move into cybersecurity, and they were able to accommodate this.
Whilst working in cybersecurity, I have the respect and trust of my colleagues and superiors (who are predominately male). We have formed a cohesive team committed to securing the institution's digital infrastructure. One of the essential aspects of my journey into cybersecurity has been the support I received from my colleagues and mentors. Within the team, there is a strong emphasis on building a supportive network where collaboration and knowledge sharing are thriving. Engaging in mentorship programs and attending industry events has allowed me to connect with inspiring women who have overcome similar hurdles and triumphs in their careers.
The world of technology is ever-evolving, and cybersecurity is no exception. With new threats and challenges emerging constantly, it's been invigorating and stimulating for me. Every day, I'm presented with exciting opportunities to learn and grow, continually honing my skills to stay one step ahead of cybercriminals. I learned early on in my career that investing in my growth and continuous development is vital to expand my skill set and remaining relevant in an ever-changing landscape.
Working for a financial institution, I have realised the profound impact my role as a cybersecurity professional has on safeguarding sensitive information. Ensuring data confidentiality, integrity, and availability is not just a job; I hold this responsibility with utmost pride. The opportunity to protect countless individuals' financial assets and personal information brings me a truly unparalleled sense of purpose and fulfilment.
While it is essential to celebrate our progress, we must also acknowledge that there is still work to be done to achieve gender equality in the tech industry. As a woman, I see it as my responsibility to be a role model for aspiring female 'techies'. I actively engage in outreach programs to inspire young girls to pursue careers in technology.
Working in technology is an exhilarating and rewarding journey. Despite the challenges, I have grown personally and professionally, fuelled by a passion for my craft and a commitment to positively impacting. I am grateful for the opportunities and support networks that have enabled me to thrive in this dynamic industry. As more women embrace careers in tech, I am confident that our collective contributions will shape a brighter and more inclusive future for all.