It’s time for one of my favorite days of the week – INSPIRE 20 podcast day! Today we are joined by the exceptional Tanya Janca, aka @shehackspurple, founder of We Hack Purple and Women of Security International (WoSEC). Never is this topic timelier as October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, of which Micro Focus is a proud Champion.
In her podcast, Tanya shares with us her experiences “crashing” Security events, what it’s like to be the zebra in the room and how she is working to create a safe and inclusive online network within in the InfoSec community.
So, you’re probably wondering how and why Tanya “crashes” events – that was my first question too, and her response is not only all too familiar but inspiring too. After attending a few Security/InfoSec events a number of years ago, Tanya continued to be the only female at the event, and felt that the other attendees would stare at her “like a zebra just walked into the meetup.” So, she took matters into her own hands and reached out to her network at WoSEC, only to find that the other women in the group had experienced similar situations.
The next time Tanya was invited to a meetup, she RSVP’d yes, then showed up with her group of WoSEC women – and it was a hit! Tanya and her WoSEC group have now “crashed” dozens of events, with some of the top events, like RSA, asking if they will show up each year because of the great representation they show for other women who work in the Security space. This approach also helped the male dominated meetup attendees also feel more comfortable about how to engage with their female peers and now Tanya and others are regular speakers at key InfoSec meetups and together the collective group help build a more diverse and inclusive community.
A community is born
As Tanya was building up WoSEC and We Hack Purple, she turned to creating an online community, and found that many women in the Security space were at a loss for mentors –Tanya knew she needed to change this. And so, Tanya created the now popular #CyberMentoringMonday, where mentors in the Security/InfoSec space share advice on their social media platforms and she helps to pair mentees and mentors together, both men and women who have made an impact in the InfoSec space. She has worked hard to create an online community that is welcoming and harassment free – be sure to check it out today!
Check out the rest of the podcast with Tanya Janca to hear more of Tanya’s stories, now available on Apple, Spotify, and SoundCloud. Be sure to check out more info on Tech Beacon and subscribe to the podcast today!