Exploring Exciting Careers in Tech this International Girls in ICT Day
26 Apr 23
Cyber SecurityCareersInzpire Culture
26 Apr 23
Cyber SecurityCareersInzpire Culture
Today is International Girls in ICT Day; a chance to encourage girls and young women to pursue science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) careers.
We’re always eager to raise awareness of the exciting opportunities that exist within STEM. In our blog today, we hear from three talented women who work at Inzpire, within our cyber and IT teams: Yasmin Ahmad, Clare Foster and Caitlin Madin. Their career paths are all different but they’re keen to share their experiences to inspire girls that jobs in tech are attainable whatever your background.
Yasmin and Clare work within our Cyber Division as cyber exercise planners. Before joining Inzpire, Yasmin spent her formative years working as a solicitor in the legal industry and Clare was a Royal Air Force provost officer and personal trainer specialising in strength and conditioning.
Clare and Yasmin support a recent CyberFirst event
Yasmin: In 2018, I’d qualified as a solicitor and was working my way up the corporate ladder. However, I began to realise that, perhaps, my career of choice wasn’t aligning with my personal values or skillset. I’d always had a real interest in defence, I just wasn’t sure which element piqued my interest the most. I began my online search to see what career change options were out there, and I found myself becoming engrossed with cyber intelligence.
Clare: My interests have always involved being outside and being active which led me to run my own business in personal training for six years whilst bringing up a young family. Prior to and after this, I followed my degree of criminology and criminal justice to join the RAF Police, where I worked in various roles but primarily special investigations. Later in my career, I designed and developed courses delivered at the RAF Officer Training Academy, before realising with age and experience that I now had more to offer outside of the armed forces.
Yasmin: After enrolling in and completing my IT and cyber exams with an online learning provider, I began searching for jobs. Whilst 80% of Inzpire’s workforce are ex-military, the company regularly recruits from a talent pool of individuals from all walks of life and all backgrounds and, as such, has given me the opportunity to prove myself as a motivated and driven career changer. If I had to say one thing that drew me to Inzpire, it would be the company spirit.
Clare: My experience in criminal investigations has given me the skills to absorb a multitude of information in complex situations; to ask questions and to look for alternative methods and avenues to explore. Managing multiple casefiles meant multi-tasking and prioritising actions, and not being afraid to make decisions. All of which is useful within my role at Inzpire now, as is the skill of balancing work/life, ensuring I remain physically fit and mentally agile to best deal with the stresses and strains when things get busy.
Yasmin: The best thing about my job is that every day is different. I help to produce and support the fictitious scenarios used during the cyber exercises we create to train our clients. I then assist with drafting reports and documents after the exercises have taken place, so clients can see the outcomes. It's great that I'm included in everything from the initial meetings to execution, and the after-action reporting, so that I gain all the necessary experience to fulfil my role as a cyber exercise planner. I also research the latest security standards, new security systems, and updated authentication protocols.
Every day is different for Yasmin
Clare: Inzpire allows its employees to be innovative, and the company appreciates that every individual - no matter their age or level of experience - has a valid input, which is genuinely appreciated. It’s rewarding to see our work and ideas put into action and delivered to satisfied customers. The role is varied, and it gets my brain working, but I also feel that at 41 I’m still learning new and valuable skills.
Yasmin: I’m involved with the HOST CyberFirst events, which, in a nutshell, help young people discover the dynamic industry of cyber security and careers in this field, and generally encourages them to explore their passion for technology.
Clare: In talking to students at the CyberFirst events, we hope to show them first-hand that you don’t need to be overly qualified or experienced to get into cyber as a profession. Life skills, the ability to learn and listen, and being a good person can serve you well. Many people are also unaware of the many different avenues for specialism within the cyber industry, so I’m pleased to shine a spotlight on some of the opportunities out there.
Clare engages with students at a HOST Cyber Experience Day
Yasmin: I consistently work to ensure women and girls know that a career in tech is a viable option for them and as such, I’m eager to support Inzpire as it strives to ensure that more is done to encourage STEM at school level, in a bid to close the inequality gap in tech.
Clare: I joined the armed forces as I always wanted to do assault courses; I was aware it was a male dominated environment, but I knew I had the tenacity to see out any tough times ahead. I’d say the same now; if you want to do something, crack on and try, rather than forever wonder. Be confident in yourself and your ability as a person; things are evolving, but it will take time. My role with Inzpire allows me to manage full-time work (from home), a family of seven and a cat, and I love it. That was almost unheard of in 2005 when I joined the RAF on my initial officer training.
Caitlin always enjoyed IT, despite struggling at school. She joined Inzpire after completing a degree in computer science, where she was one of 20 girls out of 300 students on the course. She didn’t let that intimidate her though and she graduated with a first-class honour. Here’s what she has to say about working in Inzpire’s busy IT team, as project coordinator.
Technical and Strategic Services OBU
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