Security News

International Women’s Day: How To Break Into The Cybersecurity Industry

Rachael Espaillat

In honor of International Women’s Day, CRNtv hosted a panel discussion on how three women in cybersecurity each built their own path into the field.

In honor of International Women's Day, CRNtv hosted a panel discussion on how three women in cybersecurity each built their own path into the field.

March 8 marks International Women’s Day. As we recognize this day and celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women, there is still much more work to be done, especially when it comes to getting more women into the tech industry.

To this day, women account for less than a quarter of cybersecurity professionals. But, the good news is there are so many different routes to make your way into the cybersecurity field.

And a technology degree or background isn’t necessary to make the transition.

In honor of International Women’s Day CRNtv hosted a panel discussion with Jeannette Lee Heung,

channel chief of Burlington, Massachusetts-based Aqua Security, Julie Talbot-Hubbard, SVP and GM of cyber protection and identity at Denver-based Optiv, and Kimberley St. Pierre, who is the director of strategic accounts at Kirkland, Washington-based Tanium.

The conversation focused on how each of the women made their way into cybersecurity, why this is a perfect time to make the switch, and the transitional skills necessary to make a successful career shift.

Here’s some of the Q&A’s from the CRNtv panel discussion.

Why is this a perfect time for women to enter the cybersecurity field?

“If you just to think about the purpose and you think about cybersecurity, you’re helping

not to just protect an organization, you’re helping protect consumers. You see advancements in care, like there’s so much cybersecurity required around all of the medical devices. Now, I think that individuals can get behind that,” Talbot-Hubbard said.

What are some skills that you think could apply to any industry that also apply to being in the cybersecurity field?

“I think adaptability is probably the number one skill that somebody needs to possess. What we are seeing every day is constantly changing the way in which companies are attacked, the way in which they’re protected. Every to and fro is really changing. So, if you’re not able to adapt or adjust or be agile, there will be challenges,” Lee Heung said.

When we look at women that are in cybersecurity and then we look at like the C-suite level and these leadership roles. It gets slimmer, right? What is your advice to help women get there?

“I think sometimes you need to elbow your way in. If you’re waiting for a space at the table, it’s not going to happen. I think we need to be our own advocates. We need to build and develop ally relationships and we need to be a bit of a mouthpiece. And I don’t mean in a disrespectful manner, but if we’re doing something that we believe is a really good contribution to either our employer, our society or a peer groups, we should share that and we should make sure that that’s being recognized.” St. Pierre said.

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Rachael Espaillat

Rachael Espaillat is a multimedia journalist who joined CRNtv in December 2021. She interviews CEOs and other IT experts to deliver stories that matter most to channel partners. She can be reached at

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