The IT Security Guru’s Most Inspiring Women in Cyber Awards aims to shed a light on the remarkable women in our industry. The following is a feature on just one of the many phenomenal women put forward for the 2021 awards. Presented in a Q&A format, the nominee’s answers are written in their own words with minor edits made by the editor for readability.
This year, the awards are sponsored by KPMG and Beazley.
Lisa Ventura, Founder of Cyber Security Unity
What does your job role entail?
My role involves raising as much awareness as possible of the growing cyber threat through specific project areas which include “women in cyber”, “equality and diversity in cyber”, “global cyber risk”, “skills, training and education in cyber” and “cyber security awareness”. I also run and manage events, webinars and interview key people in the cyber security space.
How did you get into the cybersecurity industry?
I joined Titania Ltd in 2009 as their PR and Marketing Director, having been in the entertainment industry working with Chris Tarrant of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” for many years.
What is one of the biggest challenges you have faced as a woman in the tech/cyber industry and how did you overcome it?
The main challenge I have faced is with regard to abuse and trolling both online and offline. Sadly, this is a common and regular occurrence and I have learnt to develop a thick skin, try to ignore it and rise above it, but I can see why many women choose to leave the industry due to a strong gender imbalance.
What are your top three greatest accomplishments you have achieved during your career so far?
- Launching Cyber Security Unity.
- Founding the UK Cyber Security Association – I’ve won many awards for this including ITV’s “Positive Role Model (Gender)” award in the 2020 National Diversity Awards.
- My books “The Rise of the Cyber Women: Volumes 1 and 2”.
What are you doing to support other women, and/or to increase diversity, in the tech/cyber industry?
Through my work with Cyber Security Unity, I am undertaking project work to help encourage other women to enter the cyber security industry, and I also work with minority groups to also encourage them to enter the industry. I have a strong interest in supporting those who are neurodiverse into careers in cyber, as I myself am neurodiverse and was diagnosed as autistic in 2018. I also act as a mentor for Capslock.
What is one piece of advice you would give to girls/women looking to enter the cybersecurity industry?
Network, network and network some more – and find mentors. A good mentor can provide invaluable advice on how to find your place in cyber security and facilitate networking opportunities.