Empowered to speak up because I'm considered different as female

Speaking to Maranda Cigna, IT security manager at FIS, today at the Rapid7 United 2013 security summit, she shared her story so far as a US female in the security industry.

Some people may be surprised when she tells them she works in technology, and even more so when she says security, but encouragingly she’s yet to experience any roadblocks herself.

In fact she believes it is “empowering” to be considered different and a benefit to be a female in the male dominated world of IT: “I’m empowered to speak up more because I’m different and bring a different set of ideas.”

She made the good point that some gender roles may be “implied” or “assumed” but that she has not experienced anything to turn her off working in the industry.

“I would encourage other women not to shy away from technology and to assume that you won’t do well here. It can only work in your favour; because you are considered diverse you may even be given more opportunities that your male counterparts may not.”

Cinga had not considered a career in technology until she studied for her degree. She started with finance as her major, however she didn’t want to “hitch her star there.” She was advise to try her hand at programming and instantly “caught the programming bug.” Cigna ended up graduating with a double major in both finance and programming after discovering her new love for technology and programming.

She started as a programmer after she had graduated before moving into security an area that she “can’t imagine not working in anymore.”

“Each day is so different and the world of security is continually changing,” she said.

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