VP, IT and Intelligence at Digital Shadows - published author and professional speaker - 2016 Security Champion of the Year, Women in IT Awards
The ‘Answers to Thriving' is an ongoing interview series that takes a look at the women who have created a life of success. We uncover key moments, lessons and habits that have influenced the life they lead today.
YOU can’t start the day without:
A latté! I'm thinking about enrolling in a barista course this year - it's a little out of control!
A favourite quote is:
You don't know, until you hear "no", so ask!
One wellness ritual you do regularly:
Try to get a full night's sleep, but the 1-year old isn't getting in on the plan yet!
A PODCAST you love:
I've recently found; Women and the Art of "How to Own the Room" by Viv Groskop. I have loved the first few episodes for the variety of women that Viv has interviewed. There are a lot of different voices, with a lot of different experiences to listen across.
A recommended read for personal growth:
I had a close friend recommend "Turn the Ship Around!" by L. David Marquet and despite my initial hesitation to dig into what I perceived to be a "military book", I found it very relatable for myself, as well as my team.
How do you go about self development?
At a snail's pace! I always seem to have to take the longest way, across the worst planes of self-doubt and pothole-ridden routes. I am my own worst critic.
Which business or person inspires you right now and why?
I met an amazing CISO almost a year ago who told me it was ok to be myself and that I should seek out the places and roles where I can be myself - I think about her advice often and it has most definitely inspired my decisions since.
I met an amazing CISO almost a year ago who told me it was ok to be myself and that I should seek out the places and roles where I can be myself
What has been the most defining moment in your career to date?
Making the decision to move to the UK to accept a role with a bank here back in 2008. It changed everything - my career AND my personal life!
Who has helped you progress in your career the most and what did they do to support you?
I was fortunate enough to meet an amazing VP at a global telecoms company 15 years ago who informed me that I was "over qualified and under paid" and immediately offered me new job with a $30k raise. She was the first one to point-blank help me understand where I stood as a woman in infosec at the time and how to take more control of my own career.
Everyone needs this sort of mentor/truth-teller in their careers!
She was the first one to point-blank help me understand where I stood as a woman in infosec at the time and how to take more control of my own career.
A fear you've had to overcome to pursue your ambitions:
That I do actually know what I'm talking about and it's ok to act like it! It only took me to my mid-40s to figure that out...
An achievement you're most proud of:
I was a certified instructor for the SANS Institute for over 10 years - I worked hard to get there and even harder to do the teaching, on top of my full-time roles at the time.
Life/career advice you wish you had been given in your early 20s:
If you wait (sometimes even for just a few seconds!), the surge feelings of anger /disappointment/fear/jealousy will fade and then you can deal with the issue in a more rational manner.
For women who want to make a positive change in their life but don't know where to start, what advice would you give them?
Pick one thread. A lot of times the projects I am faced with feel daunting when taken at face value - I find if I just pick one item and start on that, it helps to create order for the rest. And if I pick the wrong one? I try to realise that quickly and then pick another one to start on!
What does thriving mean to you?
Feeling invigorated, passionate and in tune with my work life. I am fortunate in my personal life to be happily married with 3 beautiful children - I have my personal loves and inspiration right there. Between that and my work, I am blessed to be truly thriving.
Anything else you would like to share with the Thrivhers community?
I've recently started an infosec-focused podcast with an amazingly brilliant lady by the name of Dr. Victoria Baines - please do come give us a listen and let us know what you think! You can find us on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/CyberWarriorPr1 or @CyberWarriorPr1.
JOIN OUR COMMUNITY OF WOMEN AND LET'S THRIVE TOGETHER!
Check out our next online workshops to thrive by:
Wellness: We prioritise our wellness to become best version of ourselves
Wealth: We ensure our money is setting us up for the life we live today and the future
Work: We follow a career path that we are choosing to be on