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SheCanCode Spotlight Series: Madeline Howard, People Centred Security Lead, Sage; & Chair at Cyber Cheltenham

Madeline Howard, People Centred Security Lead, Sage; & Chair at Cyber Cheltenham

ARTICLE SUMMARY

Madeline Howard has a degree in geography and until leaving university had never considered a career in technology, let alone cyber security!

Madeline wanted to be a weather girl. After finishing university, she landed a role in a small Cyber Security Company in a marketing role. She began to sponge information from her colleagues around cyber security practices, the advice they were giving companies, the threats they were seeing and how to defend against them. She never really stopped asking questions.

From here Mads found her passion for communicating security in a relatable and accessible way. She wanted people to feel confident that they have the knowledge and the knowledge to defend against attacks they might face in their personal as well as business lives.

Mads joined Sage during the COVID-19 Pandemic, it was her first role at a large global corporate, and was also the first time the business had recruited someone in to look at Security Culture. She adores my job, her team and the impact they’re having in the business.

IN THIS PIECE, SHECANCODE CAUGHT UP WITH MADS ABOUT HOW SHE LANDED HER CURRENT ROLE, HER ROLE MODELS, & HER WORDS OF WISDOM FOR OTHER WOMEN IN TECH.

HOW DID YOU LAND YOUR CURRENT ROLE? WAS IT PLANNED?

I took a leap of faith when applying for my role at Sage, I didn’t think I had enough experience, but I applied thinking this is going to be great interview experience. I was over the moon to be offered the role and have never looked back!

WHAT ARE THE KEY ROLES IN YOUR FIELD OF WORK, AND WHY DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR CURRENT EXPERTISE?

I work in the security culture and behaviour change space, it’s really a relatively new area to the cyber security space with normally 1 or 2 people working on it in big organisations. It’s such a fun space to work in as I engage with our technical colleagues and security colleagues and help demystify cyber security to colleagues.

WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF IN YOUR CAREER, SO FAR?

Not quitting when things were difficult!

HAS ANYONE EVER TRIED TO STOP YOU FROM LEARNING AND DEVELOPING IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE, OR HAVE YOU FOUND THE TECH SECTOR SUPPORTIVE?

So so supportive! Start learning and never stop! Always ask questions.

HAVE YOU EVER FACED INSECURITIES AND ANXIETIES DURING YOUR CAREER, AND HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?

Yes, as a young female I have had some negative experiences, but speaking to colleagues and building a support network was so important to overcome these! I now feel unstoppable!

ENTERING THE WORLD OF WORK CAN BE DAUNTING. DO YOU HAVE ANY WORDS OF ADVICE FOR ANYONE FEELING OVERWHELMED?

Turn to your friends and your peers. Sharing how you feel is really important and, from my experience, people want to help you. Don’t feel alone.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE OTHER WOMEN WANTING TO REACH THEIR CAREER GOALS IN TECHNOLOGY?

Be bold. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t achieve your goals. There might just be a trickier route to getting there!

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