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.
Dr. Jacqui Taylor, CEO of FlyingBinary
What does your job role entail?
I set the strategy to deliver on FlyingBinary’s vision of inclusion…leave no one behind. I also architect the technology services our clients need. Every day is different. I am an Expert Advisor to the United Nations, the European Commission and the UK Government and a member of the Cabinet Office Open Standards Board. I work a rotating 3 timezone schedule to deliver the CyberSafe technology services which have won many awards across the world. Never a dull day, and often a hugely exciting one.
How did you get into the cybersecurity industry?
I am an aerospace engineer and have had an entrepreneurial career over 30 years, delivering secure technology across many sectors and countries. I co-founded FlyingBinary in 2009 to create the DeepTech services which are needed for the Industrial Internet of Things. An appointment in 2012 as an Independent Ministerial Advisor to the Minister of the Cabinet Office led me to developing the UK’s Smart City policy: I am the world’s first Smart City Tsar today advising 180 governments. Smart Cities are a unique Cybersecurity challenge in the Industrial Internet of Things. I was part of the UK team that developed the National Security Strategy for Smart Cities as a sector of the UK’s Critical National Infrastructure. FlyingBinary has built Smart City CyberSafe services that don’t just protect the UK but are built to enable better outcomes for citizens who live or visit that city.
What is one of the biggest challenges you have faced as a woman in the tech/cyber industry and how did you overcome it?
As an aerospace engineer, my whole career I have been the only woman in a male world. Cyber security is improving but at the nation-state level, it is still male-dominated. FlyingBinary is a global but mighty SME, we have positively impacted over half the world’s population. The biggest challenge has been from Fortune 500 companies who are often in competition for the client work we do. I have faced everything so far in my career on my journey to deliver inclusion. Harassment, bullying, espionage, public criticism of our work or me personally, and our mission from those within our industry with large budgets and even larger egos. I have (or can get) the data that shows how to create growth which is CyberSafe for any sector in the Industrial Internet of Things. The worst one was a Fortune 500 company that stole our IP, it cost us a 7 figure sum. I’ve overcome every challenge by refuting the challenge directly with data and the Web Science FlyingBinary has pioneered, supported by over 34 million citizens across the world.
What are your top three greatest accomplishments you have achieved during your career so far?
- Co-Founding the data journalism that brought the world, Panama papers, Paradise Papers and Pandora papers and the means of challenging the misinformation which is undermining democracies across the world.
- Speaking at Davos in 2019 about the future of the Cyber Security industry, the reality our industry faces today.
- Being recognised by Computer Weekly in 2021 as #15 Top UK Technology Influencer
What are you doing to support other women, and/or to increase diversity, in the tech/cyber industry?
This is our daily mission. Three of the Founders I have mentored are unicorns today. I have developed a network of over 100 million entrepreneurs in 170 countries who I have welcomed to the Empathy Economy I founded in 2016 in response to the Brexit referendum. I run a weekly Town Hall on Clubhouse mentoring on CyberSafe growth. I am currently preparing the Empathy Economy Online membership to support 1 million entrepreneurs to build CyberSafe Empathy Economy businesses as we move our global economy from the Sharing Economy.
What is one piece of advice you would give to girls/women looking to enter the cybersecurity industry?
For the last 20 years, I have pioneered the Web Science research which explains the changes which GenZ and GenAlpha bring to influence our society. This pandemic has accelerated that change. The Cyber Security industry needs your talents to deliver that promise for us all. It is the most interesting and impactful work you will ever do. Come join us now and be part of the change the world needs to see.