On Thursday 11 March, Lorena Boix Alonso, Director for Digital Society, Trust and Cybersecurity in the Directorate-General for Communications Networks Content and Technology (DG CONNECT), gave a masterclass in celebration of International Women’s Day.
This masterclass was part of the #Women4CyberWeek for International Women’s Day, during this week, Women4Cyber hosted several events in collaboration with DG CONNECT.
During our masterclass, Lorena shared her experience as a woman in cybersecurity, discussed unconscious connotations and stereotyped ideas of the field, skills required, and future challenges and opportunities.
She started by stating facts about the skills shortage in cybersecurity and the reality of unemployment. We all know that there is a strong need for cybersecurity experts, yet cybersecurity struggles to attract people to the field. This is in part because the cybersecurity field is perceived as dark and impersonal, which is far from reality. It is a field where personal connections and cooperation is much needed, in fact, it is one of the most interdisciplinary fields, so it needs a wide variety of skills.
Lorena discussed her personal experience and challenges when she joined the cybersecurity field after a career as a lawyer. She gave several pieces of advice, including the recommendation of choosing a career based on your personal goals:
“Set your ultimate objective and find the best way to get there”
In her case, wanting to protect society from cybersecurity attacks, she joined the field of cybersecurity against some people recommendations based on stereotype ideas of cybersecurity.
“Have the passion follow the passion and don’t let anyone tell you what you can or cannot do”
Lorena’s presentation was followed by a Q&A session where topics included the European Commission’s objectives in the field of cybersecurity, what could be done at the EU level to get the right visibility, how to change perspectives and the message of cybersecurity, and so much more!
You can watch the full masterclass and the exchange, more advice and recommendations following this link