On Friday 26 March, Phédra Clouner, Deputy Director of the Centre for Cybersecurity Belgium and Founding member of Women4Cyber, gave a masterclass in our monthly W4C Masterclass with a Role Model Series.
This masterclass was part of the #Women4CyberWeek for International Women’s Day, during this week, Women4Cyber hosted several events in collaboration with DG CONNECT.
uring the 5th W4C Masterclass with a Role Model, Phédra Clouner talked about her experience in the building and development of a Cybersecurity agency and how she became Deputy Director of the Centre for Cybersecurity Belgium.
Like many others in the cybersecurity field, Phédra does not have a cybersecurity or IT academic background, far from it Phédra studied literary history and has a master’s degree in ancient Greek history (Archimedes was her hero 😊)!
Not convinced by the career options presented to her she decided to do one more Master’s degree, in Information & Communication Technology at the Free University of Brussels (Université libre de Bruxelles – ULB), and she started her career as IT Project Manager. Soon after, she found out that while, in her opinion, information management is great, securing it is more fun. She became CISO at the Belgian Ministry of Justice until she found her dream job: Deputy Director of the CCB.
“The feeling of helping citizens is the reason why all my life I have worked in the public sector”
The Belgian Cybersecurity Center (CCB) is the Belgian national cybersecurity agency and is under the direct authority of the Belgian Prime Minister. This agency exists since 2015, with Phédra being one of its creators, and in just over 5 years has grown from 2 employees to more than 50 and has started numerous projects that have as a goal to make Belgium one of the least cyber vulnerable countries in Europe.
She was hesitant to apply for the position in the first place, given that she didn’t meet all the requirements, but as we know today she overcame the confidence gap, so common among women, and landed her dream job.
Her position at the CCB is very versatile, as there are many different skills she needs to run such an agency, but Phédra is not one to shy away from a challenge!
To learn more about the development and mission of the CCB and about Phédra’s impressive career and amazing personality, watch the full masterclass here! Her presentation was followed by a Q&A session with many interesting questions you don’t want to miss!