Mentoring in the field of Cybersecurity

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Mentoring plays a key role in achieving success. And mentoring female colleagues in the male-dominated tech field is really important to build their confidence, overcome fear of failure, enhance their skills, and set achievable career goals.

Sherie Lee Leinse from Capgemini Netherlands CIS’ cybersecurity unit talks about Capgemini’s mentoring and training opportunities for its people’s professional and personal development.

IT is known as a man’s world but nowadays it is attracting more women. I never pictured myself in this field when I started my law degree, but the rapidly changing technology caught my attention. My interests lie in the rapid changes in this fascinating tech world and the associated challenges. I find the combination of the swiftly growing technological changes and the reaction of legislation to it incredibly interesting. I didn’t really think about the fact that women in tech are in the minority, so it never put me off either.

Law and tech go hand in hand

Growth opportunities and professional potential are important pillars that help me in the choices I make in my work. With a background in law and the rise of the GDPR legislation, a specialization in privacy was a perfect combination. I saw and see a lot of future prospects in the path I have now taken. It is a profession that is never boring and subject to constant change, which for me was the main reason to pursue my career in the tech field. After my studies, I ended up in the field of consultancy at a small legal firm. However, I was keen on expanding my knowledge on a technical level and therefore a step towards a tech company made sense.

I never thought I would work for a tech company like Capgemini with my legal background, but I am glad I did. I joined Capgemini at the end of 2018 as a business consultant at BTech. With my background and expertise in privacy, I was mainly concerned with the implementation of the new GDPR. In 2019, the company expressed its ambition and strategy to be the “Leader of Leaders” in the field of cybersecurity. A really smart move by Capgemini and it gave me an opportunity to transfer to the CIS’ cybersecurity unit at the beginning of 2020.

Diversity and mentoring

It may be coincidental, but in the specialism in which I work, the diversity within our team is very good. Nevertheless, that does not apply to Capgemini as a whole, so I am glad I work for a company that strives for a more diverse workplace. However, the fact that more men work at Capgemini Netherlands was never an issue for me. It maybe even gave me more energy to go for it and to show that a woman can thrive in the tech world.

Capgemini also focuses on your professional as well as personal development. From day one, I have been linked to a great counsel, in our CIS unit known as talent reviewer. My counsel has been a great mentor, gives good advice and tips. For example, he helped me to get the information that I needed to meet all the conditions to be able to get promoted to senior consultant. Within a large company such as Capgemini it is sometimes difficult to get certain information without help. Not only my counsel helped me arrive where I am today. Colleagues with more experience or who have worked at Capgemini for some time also played an important role. They helped me because I asked for it. A very easy question I asked colleagues during the first month that I started working at Capgemini is: “What can I do to contribute to Capgemini?” One of the tips I received was to take the lead of our CoP Privacy. And so I did. I am lucky to experience that within our small team we all mentor each other and help to be the best version of ourselves and grow on a professional and personal level.

Capgemini also offers a wide range of training opportunities through Capgemini Academy and Capgemini University. It is up to you to decide to what extent you want to use it. I am confident that at this point in my life, I can make the professional and personal growth I need in my career.

Learnings

You are an entrepreneur of your own career. So, don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice and speak up when you think you need too. Have a clear idea of where you want to go in your career and gather the right people around you who you think can help you. Don’t expect the people you need come to you by themselves – go to them. Be proactive!

Love your career. Ace your career.

I LOVE delivering continuous improvements to our customers and strengthening the compliance.

I ACE quickly understanding a problem and solving it in a practical way.

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