Happy Women\’s History Month. This month and every month, Dark Rhino Security celebrates Women worldwide who contribute daily to history, culture, and society. Throughout March, we\’ll shine a light on the incredible Women and female-owned Organizations that are making their mark all over the world! 2023\’s theme is media and story-telling, so Dark Rhino Security is committed to building our network & yours with our favorite female storytellers, media experts, business owners, writers, cybersecurity professionals, influential female entrepreneurs, and innovation thought leaders. Gain insights, connections, and advice from these women and organizations all month alongside us!
Here you can discover more about each person, support their organization, read their full message, and find ways to connect with them.
Here are the AMAZING Women we featured this month
Director of Marketing and Brand at Hacker Valley Media
\”As Women, we often know what we need to take care of ourselves, but we usually put those needs last because our team, our company, our families needs seem so much greater than ours. But that doesn\’t help us in the long term. Before I was a director of marketing I worked at google at the cloud security campus as a doctor of physical therapy specializing in women\’s health. And I worked with hundreds of women in tech with their issues with Pee, poop, sex, pregnancy, postpartum, and pelvic pain. and what I learned was that regardless of the problem they had, it always came back down to putting themselves first. To getting the sleep, the movement, the nutrition, the rest, the connection, the play, the boundaries that they needed to thrive. And I realized that if we don\’t take time for our wellness, we\’re going to be forced to make time for our recovery. I would love to see women in tech and in cyber live up and thrive and I would love to see our companies do a better job supporting us\”.
Learn more about Monika on her LinkedIn
Africa\’s Most Celebrated Female Cybersecurity Leader
\”Always remember that building a career in cybersecurity is not a sprint but a marathon. So pace yourself, keep momentum, give it your best even as you juggle other facts of your life. You’ve got this!”
Chief Operating Officer, Board Advisor
\”But I think the big challenge and it is one like women have everywhere is its kind of perception. You are constantly battling the perception that other people have of you because of your gender or because of your age and even if that other person doesn\’t have it you\’ve experienced it so many times that you feel it in every situation or at least I certainly do. The amount of people who have sat across the table from me and literally even said to my face ‘you’re very young to be doing this’ or you know and really what the really meant is ‘you\’re a girl and I\’m going to talk to the man next to you because I think that man will give me the answers I want’ and you know I think that\’s the perception we have. We know we\’re discriminated against. We know we face these challenges so you know we see that in all walks of life. All careers.
President and CEO at United Cybersecurity Alliance
\”Let\’s embrace true allyship, and the unifying force of collective action to empower new generations to continue breaking down the existing barriers. Gender equality is not just a women\’s issue, it\’s a human issue, and true progress requires a commitment from all of us to embrace equity, celebrate women\’s achievements, raise awareness about current issues, and take action to drive gender parity. Together, we can create a world where everyone is free to achieve their full potential.\” #EmbraceEquity #IWD2023
\”Inclusion is the foundation of true equality. Let us embrace diversity, celebrate achievements, and take action towards a gender-equal world where everyone\’s voices and actions count.\” #EmbraceEquity #IWD2023
Learn more about Carmen on her LinkedIn
Director of Experience at Hacker Valley Media
\”I\’m Jennifer Cochran and I\’m with Hacker Valley Media. I put my career on hold for about 3 years to be with my family during the pandemic so I definitely understand how daunting it can be transitioning back into the workforce. Especially in a complex field like cybersecurity. So, to all of the women out there that are feeling uncertain about transitioning back into tech and cybersecurity after taking time off I just wanted to say to you that your time spent as a mom and a caretaker is just as valuable as the experience on your resume so don\’t let that hold you back. Cybersecurity needs diverse perspectives, ideas, and thoughts, and you have something so incredible to contribute. I\’ll see you out there\”
Learn more about Jennifer on her LinkedIn
Author, Mother, Cloud Security Engineer
\”As a Black woman in cybersecurity who is also a mother, immigrant & changed careers, I know the challenges women face can seem overwhelming. But I also know that with determination, hard work, & support, women can thrive in this exciting and lucrative industry.
My message to women in cybersecurity, especially those from underrepresented communities, is to trust in your abilities & become your own biggest advocate. Ask yourself why you\’re in this industry, take risks, and pursue your goals with confidence. Connect with other women in the field, seek mentorship, network, and join organizations like WiCyS, Black Girls in Cyber, Black Girls Hack, and Women Society of Cyberjutsu to build relationships and create new opportunities for growth.
Be a mentor to someone starting out in the field, and advocate for diversity and inclusion in your workplace or industry. If you\’re changing careers, invest in learning new skills and gaining knowledge in your area of interest. Research the different cybersecurity domains, focus on what interests you most, and develop specialized expertise. Remember, it\’s never too late to start a career in cybersecurity if you have the passion and drive. Just stay current with the latest trends and technologies, as this field is always evolving.
We need different perspectives and diverse voices to address the complex challenges we face. You do belong in this industry, so pursue your passion and make your unique contribution.
As we celebrate Women\’s History Month, let\’s take action to inspire and empower other women. Share your journey & story to make a difference, you never know who might be inspired by your story!\”
CISO of Wabtec, Mentor
\”Girls. Girls are quicker to tell themselves no than to take chances and take risks. Calculated risks not– you know. But you– if you don\’t take risks, if you don\’t fail, because girls don\’t like to fail we\’ve been told we need to be perfect I don\’t know why I think it\’s ridiculous but we strive for perfection and we\’re super mad at ourselves if we\’re not perfect and if we don\’t get something the first time we do it, we don\’t do it again. We don’t take that failure and go huh let me try a different way and fail again and then OK now I\’m learning we\’re going to do it again and fail a different way right? That\’s– you learn from failure. But somewhere along the line, we\’re told if you fail, you\’re not perfect and you should just stay with the things that you’re good at and that that is why I\’m involved in multiple different organizations to help women grow but starting younger
Executive Director of Women In Cybersecurity (WiCys)
\”Cybersecurity is a fast-growing and dynamic field that anyone can enter – regardless of skill level or tech background. At WiCyS, we help women and other under-represented groups interested in cybersecurity learn and grow professionally through our thriving network of women, men, and allies. We are a community that will support your journey into cybersecurity in every way. Whether you are a student, an aspiring professional, or someone who’s already in the field, we welcome you to our community.”
CEO and Founder of Audience 1st, Podcaster
\”Hey there everybody my name is Dani Woolf and I\’m the CEO and founder of Audience 1st, customer research agency for cybersecurity companies. I think the one main recommendation that I will give anybody in tech is don\’t be afraid to ask for feedback. I think I\’ve been very blessed to be able to surround myself with people who have given me brutally honest feedback, constructive criticism, on how to do better. You know, having a growth mindset is super critical in the cyber security space, and having some skin in the game to get that feedback and get that constructive criticism I think is super crucial. Don\’t be afraid to ask. You know, there\’s so many people in this industry who want to help, who want to provide alternatives, who want to grow. I mean the industry is constantly changing. It\’s so dynamic. And so as people, we have to constantly change and be flexible and malleable. And so I\’d say, go out there. Ask for feedback. I have a list of people who are happy to help you and give you feedback. I\’ve again been super blessed to be surrounded by some pretty powerful women who have also given me feedback on how to grow in this industry as a woman in tech as well so just, you know, ask for that feedback. Don\’t be comfortable in your little cave. In your little echo chamber. I get it. Get out there and don\’t be afraid to fail because that\’s the only way we\’re gonna grow in this industry\”
Learn more about Dani on her LinkedIn
Dr. Wendy Ng
Principal Cloud Security Architect, Keynote Speaker
\”I’m delighted to be able to be part of Dark Rhino’s celebrations for Women’s History Month. For ladies who are contemplating starting a career in cyber security and have researched their options, I would like to relay a message I would have shared with my younger self. I wish I made the move to cyber security earlier in my career! The field is ever-changing and varied, and the chances are, irrespective of your background, you will be able to use your past experiences in the field.
My career in cyber security has allowed me to combine my knowledge from medical genetics and experiences from networking in a career where I can actively assist and advise organizations, both internally and externally. That’s a real privilege, especially in today’s competitive environment.
To those ladies considering a switch to cyber security, I would say, “Be bold”. Regardless of your background, however, varied, your experience can bring valuable perspectives in a diverse field. Don’t be discouraged by potential challenges, follow your strengths, passions, and the will to succeed\”.
CEO and Founder of EQ
\”For women, I mean there is a difference from a perception perspective. I want to say from a perception perspective, there\’s a difference between how business or how women and men are viewed in business. From a capability perspective, I don\’t think there\’s a difference. From an attitude perspective, I don\’t think there\’s a difference. I think from a perception there\’s a difference in that women are seen as emotional or you know can\’t be, you know, can\’t be in charge of large teams or aren\’t as good at critical thinking. Which I think is completely false. I think these are just myths that have floated around and people have bought into them but I think you know if I can leave anything with women you know who are looking to kind of advance their career I would say a few things.
Number one, I think it’s important to actually be yourself and not try to fit into a mold of what you think you should do and I think I fell into that trap early on. It didn\’t last long. It lasted maybe a couple of months where I thought Oh I have to look this way, I have to dress this way, I have to talk this way because that\’s professional and that\’s what\’s going to make people think I\’m serious. But when I realized, and I learned this at the Herjavec Group, was impact isn\’t heard: it\’s felt. So if you want to make an impact, let your actions show that you can add value. And then everybody will take you seriously\”
Founder & CEO of WomenWhoSecure, Senior Product Manager SecOps at OPSWAT
\”Celebrate every accomplishment in your life. It\’s important to celebrate yourself in every way possible. Being in an ever-changing career field can sometimes make you forget about the necessary wins in your life. Continue to do things out of your comfort zone, in order to grow. Continue to ask for help, in order to grow. Focus on these two factors and your personal and career goals will somehow align the way you want them to. Remember your purpose and keep going.\”
Learn more about Stephanie on her LinkedIn
Marketing Lead and Podcast Producer at Dark Rhino Security
\”Here\’s my bit of advice. I would say to take advantage of every opportunity given to you. There\’s– I mean even if you don\’t know exactly or 100% what it is that you\’re tasked to do, there\’s so many places you can go to get resources. My teacher used to always– when I was in at the Career Center, one of our video projects– we were learning how to use premiere at Adobe products in general. And we had to create a Claymation. Right. And then we had to edit it. And so, I remember everybody wanted to do something different with their Claymation. Right. They wanted to edit something, like, edit really cool stuff and I remember our teacher just saying, “before you ask me, ask Google”. And if Google didn\’t know she sure as heck didn\’t know. So, we would all go on Google, and we would find resources and links and websites and YouTube videos and tutorials and all this stuff where we could just watch it and learn exactly how to do it. So even though we didn\’t know how to do it we could always learn. There was always that room to learn and I think that it\’s so important to put that in your head instead of just going I can\’t do it. I\’m done. You know, projects over. I can\’t. That\’s not my idea. Shut it down. Instead of just…going for it.\”
Learn more about Emily on her LinkedIn
Co-Founder, President & Chief Revenue Officer of ERI
\”As a woman in the cybersecurity and tech realm, it is critical to share what you have learned with the next generation of professionals by mentoring other women. It is also hugely beneficial to pay your own experiences forward by promoting other talented women into leadership positions. At ERI, for example, some of our most valued roles and positions at the company – including my own role as President & Chief Revenue Officer – are represented by women. Our Senior Vice President of Human Relations, VP of Finance, VP of our Retail Division, and Chief of Staff positions have all been held for many years by talented and seasoned women. These positions are a direct result of our unwavering and long-standing commitment to gender diversity, which I believe is vital in our industry, and that I hope other tech companies will replicate. It is also important to embrace principles of social equality such as gender pay equity so that talented women are given a level playing field in which to excel\”
Learn more about Tammy on her LinkedIn
President and Founder of Outpost Gray, Author
\”What made me an extremely affective special operator within that space when I came to the civilian sector, and I had my first corporate America job in 2019 was very challenging for me. I didn\’t even really connect with the males in the in the space much less the women because I was what you would call like aggressive. But I wasn\’t I wasn\’t cussing. I knew better. Like I had worked in the civilian space for long enough. I had just not worked in corporate America. So, I knew you know having proper English was key. Having good communication skills. But what made me different is I was very aggressive. Very mission first. Very mission focused. I didn\’t have empathy. I didn\’t lead as a leader with empathy. I didn\’t have really any true emotions and once I started to learn like that\’s actually our superpower as women– yes, all women listening out there, it is OK to have empathy and be emotional it is a superpower. I think that\’s what makes you and I so unique, I started to realize Oh my gosh I can actually be myself, but I have to in a way shed who I was and what made me successful as an operator in that space and almost in a way become one new refined version of me. Not lose me. Just learn how to become a new refined version of Jax to be successful within this civilian space\”
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