Quorum Cyber supports the Empowering Women to Lead Cyber Security programme for the second year running
As our Security Consultant Jessica Auld takes on the Empowering You programme, find out about her experience so far…
My Quorum Cyber journey so far
Thinking back to when I joined Quorum Cyber in March 2022 it’s incredible how much the company has changed; keeping the culture and community intact, it’s been an amazing experience to watch the growth and evolution of the company. In the past, the companies I have worked for have mostly been larger than Quorum Cyber. Working for a smaller company has many advantages, I’m thoroughly enjoying it here as we have a great environment where everyone wants to help out and share their expert knowledge and experience – I find this very refreshing.
I was thrilled to have secured the position of Security Consultant within the Advisory Team whilst still in my fourth year of university studying cyber security. My time so far at Quorum Cyber has been great, as has moving to an advisory role. I have been helping the team work on different aspects of advisory, engaging with the clients and working on internal processes, which I’m loving so far.
Everyone is in the same boat
When first being told about the Empowering Women to Lead Cyber Security programme I was convinced I wasn’t qualified enough to take part in this type of event, especially since I’m new to the world of cyber security and not currently in a leadership position. But I couldn’t pass up this amazing opportunity, so I decided to give it a go and apply.
Coming into the programme I was quite nervous, I had imagined the event would be filled with intimidating and important women and I thought I’d stick out like a sore thumb, but thankfully it was completely the opposite. Everyone at the event, including all the organisers, was welcoming and friendly, no matter how successful and far on in their careers. You couldn’t tell who was a CEO and who had just started in their career, everyone got stuck in and acted as equals. One thing I did learn is that imposter syndrome never truly leaves you, even women who had been in their careers for 20 or 30 years still, deep down, can feel out of place. It was refreshing to find out that everyone is in the same boat, I felt very at ease chatting with all the attendees in the programme.
Held at the new Abertay University Cyber Quarter in Dundee we have completed the first of two two-day workshops, which included listening to different speakers, one of whom was our very own Head of Client Services Sandra Maclean. There were a lot of tasks in which self-reflection was required and deciding what is important to us and what our values are – not being a very reflective person I found this hard but very interesting. Opening up to people I have just met was strange to begin with but the environment was very comfortable with everyone taking part in all the sessions. Our next two-day workshop takes place in late October with our final ‘graduation’ in November.
At this halfway point I have already learnt and taken away so much, from discussing how to have more confidence in myself, to how to handle different situations, it’s been a beneficial experience so far. A takeaway from the experience is the network aspect as there aren’t a lot of women in cyber security, having the opportunity to build relationships with like minded, successful women in different areas of security and technology is both encouraging and invaluable.
Finding a sense of security
There is a clear need for women in cyber security and technology roles, and these events and programmes are very important for bringing everyone together to create a sense of security and community. Even in a personal capacity, I have made many friends from the event with whom I have been able to connect to and network with. Hearing their stories shows you can do it too, it’s inspiring to see.
I’m thankful to be a part of a company and a culture that recognises that there is a lack of women in cyber security and is actively doing something to try and tackle it. I can’t wait to take part in the second half of the event and see what more I can learn.
If you would like to know more about the Empowering You programme you can visit their website. Last year our Head of Engineering Kerry Finlayson took part in the ‘Empowering Women to Lead Cyber Security’ programme – you can read about her experience and find out more about Kerry and her journey at Quorum Cyber on our careers website.