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Trustwave Blog

Trustwave’s Continuing Celebration of Women’s History Month

Trustwave is celebrating Women’s History Month with a series of blogs that highlights our incredible staff and shines a light on how they came to work in the cybersecurity field, their thoughts on their jobs, and the advice they have for other women contemplating a move to the cybersecurity field.

As Oriana Vogel, Trustwave’s Chief Human Resource Officer noted in a previous blog, Trustwave is hyper focused on breaking down barriers to create a more inclusive and welcoming environment where everyone can make an impact.

So, please take a moment to read a few of our stories and don’t forget to check back as Trustwave continues its celebration of Women’s History Month with additional content throughout March.

DOC_19701_picture1Alexandra Lloyd-Edwards, Director of Channel Sales (UK)

How did you end up working in the cybersecurity industry?

As a proof point that you don’t necessarily need a degree in cybersecurity to land a job in the cybersecurity industry, I did not have a technical or a cybersecurity background. When I started out, I didn’t know what a firewall was, but I knew how to sell, and I knew how to learn.

When I landed my first cybersecurity sales job, I spent a lot of time asking questions and educating myself and building my network. After a few years, I realized I wanted a career change within cyber and was fully supported by my leadership team to move into Partner Alliances. This change was the best thing I did as I found my niche in an area of the business that, I really enjoy working in.

I joined Trustwave for the opportunity to grow and manage a diverse Alliances & Channel team and I’ve been lucky enough to meet an incredible network of women in the alliances and partner ecosystem along the way.

What advice do you have for other women who may be interested in cyber?

For women looking into cybersecurity, I’d say first and foremost, don’t be intimidated. It’s an incredibly exciting and innovative industry and there’s a role for everyone. Have confidence in yourself and understand the best ways to highlight your unique skills and what you personally can bring to the table. If you have the right attributes, and attitude as an individual, the rest can always be learned.

Within that vein, be ready and willing to learn. Seek out mentors, leverage the knowledge of others, and ask questions. As you start out, try and learn the basics. There are so many resources out there, from webinars to company blogs to trade shows. Have the confidence to put yourself out there and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how this industry responds.

19705_1673252202096Lisa Burgess, Executive Account Associate (AUS)

How did you end up working in the cybersecurity industry?

When I finished high school, I didn’t know what path I would take. I made a decision to take a year out and go travelling, my first stop was Australia. When I returned home to Ireland, the recession had hit badly and finances weren’t going to support my university journey, so I went for an interview for a sales and marketing role. It turned out to be a 100% commission job, knocking on actual doors convincing people that they should move from one electricity provider to another after the energy market got deregulated.

I loved it and thrived working autonomously and meeting new people every day. After about nine months I was running my own franchise; I recruited, taught, and trained everyone up until I was about 22.

I was regularly tweeting about “kicking goals,” “ringing the bell,” and “smashing targets.” One of my Twitter followers was a manager at IBM, and he reached out and said that IBM was always looking for good salespeople. Before I knew it, I was working for one of the largest American multinational technology companies and I loved it. About three years into my journey there, curiosity had me moving to a job to a company in London that had an arm of their business focused on security. From that role, I gained a mentor who offered me a role in Sydney as Channel Manager.

Why would you recommend cyber security as a career path?

I believe as we get older, it is more important to know your “why” and the reason behind what you do daily.

My “why” is helping people, I believe that’s why I am on this earth. Over the years of following the bouncing ball, reading the signs, and going through the doors that opened in front of me, I feel blessed to have the opportunity to work in this space.

Cybersecurity is not about selling something more advanced or at a better price, it’s about enabling our customers, who at the end of the day, are all human beings to grow their knowledge, make smarter choices, and focus on running their own business.

The double-edged sword working within this space is that the bad guys are trying to stay one step ahead of us, so I have always believed in the power of not being complacent. If there is one thing that the pandemic taught us, it’s that we are not always in control of what comes next, we need to be adaptable and agile – working in cybersecurity is the same. My conversations in this space used to be about hardware and testing – now we get to offer our customers fully managed services, advanced continual threat hunting, and still take care of the BAU testing. If you like to live life in the fast lane, keep learning, and help people along the way – I would absolutely explore a career in this space!

19706_1602003527356Gabrielle Brown, Manager of Global Service Management (US)

How did you end up working in the cybersecurity industry?

I initially worked for IBM starting out as just a technician on different customer accounts. Then I went and transitioned into the cloud side where I was exposed to different customers and learned about different environments. Then one of the IBM directors in the cloud section came over to Trustwave and asked me if I wanted to learn more about the opportunity. I’ve now been at Trustwave for two years.

Has the industry improved its ability to attract women into cyber for the past few years?

Yes, absolutely. And I can even say this is true for Trustwave itself.

When I started there were no women in MSS that had any kind of manager or director role. That was eye opening, but then my current director was hired, and I was promoted to manager. We probably went from five or six women to a significant number of women just in the MSS department.

So, now there are managers in the more technical GTO area, which is great because when we go to Denver and Chicago, there are other women to talk and relate and bond with on a personal level. In a similar vein, Trustwave has employee resource groups and being able to connect with other women in the industry has been great.

19707_1545685489013Katie Dean, Associate General Counsel (US)

How did you end up working in the cybersecurity industry?

I have been with Trustwave for almost seven years and previously worked as a lawyer for a company in the telco field. I had no prior experience with cybersecurity, but once I came on board and saw what Trustwave was doing, I was intrigued and have been ever since.

Trustwave is an exciting place to work, and I feel very fortunate. I also believe that the industry in general and Trustwave in particular are moving in the right direction as it relates to hiring more women, non-binary and trans people, and people of color. It's important to have a diverse set of opinions. It makes us a better organization. There are studies that prove that point. Not only is it beneficial for the cybersecurity field to diversify, but also, a background and cybersecurity gives you such competitive edge, so it’s even more important for women in both legal and other professions to have these same opportunities.

Why would you recommend cyber security as a career path?

Being surrounded by so many smart people is just really inspiring to me. There are many job opportunities in privacy and in cybersecurity and I think that's going to continue to grow. It's not stagnant and the legal framework continues to push industries to focus on cybersecurity.

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