Spotlight Series: Dr Emma Walker, Principal Workforce Exercising SME, Immersive Labs

Dr Emma Walker


We're shining a spotlight on the fantastic Dr Emma Walker, Principal Awareness Consultant at Immersive Labs. Emma chats to us about her role models, what she's most proud of, and shares her advice for other women in tech.

Dr Emma Walker is Principal Workforce Awareness Consultant at Immersive Labs.

She is a Chartered Psychologist and behavioural scientist by background, completing her PhD at Cardiff University before moving into applied research roles in the public, private and academic sectors.

Did you (or do you) have a role model in tech or business in general?

Professor Debi Ashenden has long been a source of inspiration for me. Her pioneering work in integrating social and behavioural sciences into cybersecurity has always stood out. What strikes me most about her approach is how she rationally applies academic insights – bridging the gap between academia, the industry, and government sectors.

Her dedication to ensuring the human aspect of cybersecurity isn’t overlooked is something I deeply admire. It’s her unique ability to make complex research accessible and applicable to real-world situations that I find particularly remarkable. This skill of translating academic findings into practical solutions that resonate with various stakeholders is quite exceptional.

Dr Emma Walker

What are you most proud of in your career, so far? 

One aspect of my career that fills me with pride is challenging the notion that humans are the weakest link in cybersecurity. I believe in empowering individuals, both in their professional and personal lives, to enhance their security. It’s essential to recognise that the boundaries between work and home are often interconnected; vulnerabilities in one sphere can affect the other.

In my role, I’ve focused on creating an environment where people feel supported and educated to manage their security, encouraging a culture where cybersecurity is a shared responsibility. It’s not just about avoiding mistakes but fostering a supportive atmosphere where individuals feel comfortable discussing security issues openly.

I’m proud of fostering a culture where support and proactive communication about cybersecurity are paramount. By promoting understanding and preparedness, we empower individuals to contribute positively to their own security and, by extension, the security of the organisation.

What does an average work day look like for you? 

My typical day revolves around leading and developing our Workforce Exercising product, ensuring that this meets customer needs and supports organisations to build positive and resilient security cultures. This includes considering the role of artificial intelligence in the workforce, especially how it may be leveraged in an effective and secure way across a variety of roles and how we can support and embrace that.

I have a background in research and education, and I am fascinated with human psychology and behaviour, so I actively try to bring that into the blogs I write for Immersive Labs. The aim of these blogs is to refine complex concepts into engaging and insightful content. My experience in these areas enriches my daily work, allowing me to blend educational methodologies with innovative content strategies. This synergy helps in crafting narratives that not only inform but also inspire and engage our audience.

Has anyone ever tried to stop you from learning and developing in your professional life, or have you found the tech sector supportive? 

Throughout my journey in the tech sector, I’ve encountered moments that tested my resolve. The experience of often being the sole woman in various professional settings brought its own set of challenges, from being overlooked to having my expertise questioned. Even at cyber events, I’ve been mistaken for waitstaff rather than an academic.

But even when encountering hurdles, my approach has always been to let my work speak for itself. My focus has never been on the recognition I will get, but rather on the impact my contributions will have.

The tech industry has indeed made strides in embracing diversity, but the journey is far from over. There’s a continued need to empower women at every career stage, ensuring the field is accessible and rewarding for them.

Have you ever faced insecurities and anxieties during your career, and how did you overcome them?

Whilst less of an insecurity or anxiety, a challenge I’ve faced (and still do now) is managing my endometriosis. It was really important for me to find a role that provided support and flexibility, which I luckily found at Immersive Labs.

My condition is just one of many that underscores the importance of providing flexible and supportive work environments. We should encourage positive and inclusive work cultures which support work-life balance and allow women to make contributions to the cyber industry.

Entering the world of work can be daunting. Do you have any words of advice for anyone feeling overwhelmed? 

Don’t undersell yourself – know your worth, be confident in your contributions, and don’t be afraid to reach for the skies. No matter what age you are, there’s a place for you in the cyber industry.

You may encounter individuals who will disregard you, however, don’t be afraid to make your voice heard and combat stereotypes. It’s important to recognise your own worth and not allow the insecurities of others to diminish the amazing work you do.

Also, make sure to take full-use out of initiatives set up to support women in cyber. Great initiatives such as ‘cyberfirst’, encourage women to get involved in cyber and give them the opportunity to develop their interest and skills.

What advice would you give other women wanting to reach their career goals in technology? 

Go for it! The tech world is vast, with numerous paths where a variety of skills and insights can drive innovation and change. The sector thrives on diversity, benefitting immensely from different viewpoints and experiences.

It’s crucial to align your career with your interests and what you seek to achieve. Engage actively with the community and various initiatives within technology to spark your curiosity and broaden your network. Your voice is important; never hesitate to express your ideas and stand firm in your convictions.



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