In September 2021, Girls Who Code partnered with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to develop pathways for young women to pursue careers in cybersecurity and technology. This partnership seeks to tackle diversity disparities by heightening the awareness of cybersecurity and technology careers and working with employers to build tangible pathways for young women, especially young women of color, to get hands-on experience in the private sector and the non-profit sector or government.
Our first collaborative initiative is a series of features of women who work in the cybersecurity field, including the exciting work CISA employees are doing. Today, we’re spotlighting Heather Abbosh, an Associate Manager in Accenture’s Cybersecurity group.
How and why did you pursue a cybersecurity career?
Following a job in the service industry, I decided to go back to school for a degree in Informatics, which is the study of business and technology at its core. When I joined, I wasn’t sure what technology I’d focus on, and my first project was in an Information Security practice, where I was able to use my problem-solving skills and develop my understanding of technical operations. As time passed, it was clear that Cyber Security was a natural fit for my range of skills and interests.
Can you tell us about your job? What’s your day-to-day like?
I’m the day-to-day lead of a major implementation to replace a critical security tool with a more modern solution. I spend equal parts of my day in meetings making group decisions, working independently to document and test solutions, and keeping my leadership up to date to ensure project progress and success.
What are your favorite aspects of your job specifically, and working in cybersecurity generally?
The cyber security and threat landscape is always changing, so having a home in our information security practice means that I will always be solving unique problems and learning something new.
Why do you think young women should consider a career in cybersecurity?
As a woman working in STEM, I find a huge amount of value in working for women, with women, and mentoring the next generation of women technologists. My day-to-day teams are gender diverse, and my leadership values diversity, but that isn’t necessarily reflected in senior leadership. As the women I am working alongside continue to take on leadership roles, I hope to see more young women finding this space more welcoming because there is so much room for growth and potential for impact.