E27 - Gemma Moore at Cyberis26 September, 2023
On today’s episode of the Women in Tech spin-off series, we’re joined by our host Eve McKenna and special guest, Gemma Moore the Director at Cyberis Limited. During today’s episode, they discuss how she initially got into the tech/cybersecurity industry and some of the challenges she’s faced along the way. Gemma also shares a pivotal moment that she had during her career that really changed her mindset and how she continued on in the field.
Gemma’s initial start into the world of technology was, in her own words, an “accident.” She confessed to being a science geek during her younger years, a desire that naturally led her to pursue science-related subjects for her A levels. As she approached the decision to choose her university degree, she found herself wanting something different.
Gemma made the choice to shift roles and went into a computing program at university. Upon earning her computing degree, she wanted to explore opportunities beyond computing roles. It was during this job hunt that she saw an advertisement for a trainee security consultant position. The job description spoke about hacking systems, and uncovering vulnerabilities, which she found fascinating. Despite having limited experience in the field, she wanted to explore it.
As Gemma went into the world of cybersecurity, she realised her want for more knowledge and growth. She decided to join a larger consultancy firm in London, where she could collaborate with a bigger team. Over the course of several years, she had a vision of more independence and control over her career. Together with a group of like-minded peers, she made the decision to start their consultancy firm, Cyberis, in 2011.
One of the most pivotal moments in her career was when she got the role of a Check Team Leader, a position that initially seemed beyond her reach due to the nagging doubt of imposter syndrome, which is an issue that resonates with a tonne of individuals in the field. When the opportunity to become a Check Team Leader came up, Gemma questioned her abilities. Having self-doubt, she would’ve hesitated to take the next step if it weren’t for her manager at the time who saw potential in her that she couldn’t see in herself.
Her manager’s approach was unconventional but effective. Instead of asking Gemma if she wanted to pursue the challenging exam at CESG at GCHQ in Cheltenham to become a Check Team Leader, he made it clear that she was going for it. This decision showed his belief in her potential, a belief that she had yet to fully embrace. Remarkably, Gemma did take the exam and passed.
Encouraging women in technology
The importance of having more women enter the cybersecurity industry cannot be overstated. Gemma highlights that cybersecurity is an ever-evolving field that requires solutions to tackle threats. When women bring their unique perspectives and experiences to the table, it broadens the range of ideas and approaches available for addressing cybersecurity challenges. Diverse teams are often better at problem-solving because they consider a wider range of potential issues and solutions.
Being a business owner
Running a business comes with a unique set of benefits and challenges. Gemma shares the upsides and downsides of being a business owner: One of the biggest advantages of being a business owner is the control it provides. You have the final say in every aspect of your business, from the company’s culture and values to its strategic direction. This control allows you to shape the business according to your vision. But with full control comes full responsibility. Business owners have the responsibility for the success or failure of their team.
Gemma shares some valuable pieces of advice for women looking to enter the field. Confidence is a powerful asset. Believe in your abilities and the value you bring to the table. Remember that your questions are valid and valuable. Direct communication is often appreciated. Don’t hesitate to ask questions or express your thoughts clearly. Being direct can help you get your message across and make you more impactful in your role.
Tune in on the 19/09/2023 to hear the full episode!
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