On this week’s episode of Women Talk Tech, we speak to Lisa Kearney who is the President and CEO of the Women Cyber Security Society. The Women CyberSecurity Society is a registered non-profit society based in Vancouver, BC and their mission is to advance and increase the representation of women in the industry and fill the skills gap that’s existing within the workforce. There is an incredibly low percentage of women in CyberSecurity in Canada which sits around 10%. The Women CyberSecurity Society offers mentorship with a focus on women and minorities to help them advance a career in cybersecurity career.
To learn more about the Women CyberSecurity Society, click here.
When Lisa finished high school, she wanted to become an interior designer and pursued a certificate in interior design. Unfortunately, the pay in this industry was not great and Lisa wound up working three jobs to make ends meet including working as a janitor at a school board office. One night when she was working, she encountered a gentlemen who was impressed by her attention to detail. He suggested she enroll in a new program called network security and engineering. It was a growing field with a lot of demand. Lisa got accepted and earned a Computer Science degree. She was able to leave her three jobs behind and entered the tech industry full time.
Throughout the podcast, Lisa takes a deep dive into one of Women Talk Tech’s main tenets for success – Mentorship. Lisa has been mentoring women in cybersecurity for over a decade and speaks about the mentoring program she has executed in her own organization. Her mentoring program is a nine-month cohort that begins in March and ends in December. The program accepts 50 mentors and mentees that are matched based on a number of factors including domains of interest, age, region, experience levels and mentoring style. We encourage you to read more about this incredible program here. We salute and thank Lisa Kearney and The Women CyberSecurity Society for their hard work and efforts to help women advance in tech, specifically in the growing and demanding field of cybersecurity.
If you are interested in Mentorship in your organization, Women Talk Tech has launched a 2020 Action Plan Report that helps you develop a program to advance women.
ABOUT LISA KEARNEY
Lisa has been serving the cybersecurity community for over two decades securing networks, systems and data for hundreds of companies around the globe. In 2009, she started her own cybersecurity consulting practice which provides technical and business expertise to Canada’s largest security providers while working with governments, academia and fortune 500 companies. Lisa has a degree in computer science, numerous certifications and is active within the cybersecurity community. She keeps up to date on the latest trends and attack vectors currently used to compromise organizations and breach data and uses that information for threat hunting exercises. She continues to developed new products, services and processes to address the increasing threat levels of targeted attacks which affects Canada’s national and economic security.
Early in 2018, Lisa founded the Women CyberSecurity Society (WCS2) which is dedicated to providing services and support for women and minorities interested in a cybersecurity career. Their mission is to #recruit, #retrain, and #retain women within the cybersecurity workforce. The R3TM program is a collaboration of industry players who recognize the need to build capacity for the next generation of cyber warriors and close the gender gap for increased diversity and inclusion. WCSS offers mentoring, coaching, scholarships, career development, and more to address the growing demands and provide much needed support to this underrepresented group. WCSS is growing its network of partners and collaborators which include government, technology providers and educators.
To further the mission of WCS2, Lisa founded a global campaign, International Women in Cyber Day (IWCD) with two primary goals; bring awareness to the unique challenges women face in this industry and celebrate the achievements of women in cybersecurity. Our efforts to have Canada and the United Nations recognize September 1st as IWCD is well underway.
Help Create Change
Change is only possible when likeminded individuals and organizations work together to achieve common goals for the greater good of this industry and society. You can show your support by signing our petition, sponsorship or becoming an IWCD Ambassador. http://chng.it/ZWMmnVtG