HomeCyber BalkansMIWIC2024: Jan Carroll, Managing Director at Fortify Institute

MIWIC2024: Jan Carroll, Managing Director at Fortify Institute

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In 2024, the Most Inspiring Women in Cyber Awards, organized by Eskenzi PR in media partnership with the IT Security Guru, aimed to highlight the remarkable women in the cybersecurity industry. Among the Top 20 women selected by esteemed judges is a woman whose journey into cybersecurity started with a strong foundation in technology and education. From being an apprentice electrician to studying electronics and eventually finding herself in a role in computer services at a college, she embarked on a path that led her to create and deliver quality cybersecurity training and education.

Her job role entails working with training providers, organizations, and individuals to offer professional diplomas, postgraduate diplomas, and industry certificates in collaboration with partners such as EC-Council and Cloud Security Alliance. Additionally, she actively supports the cybersecurity community, participating in ENISA ad-hoc working groups and business growth committees, while also pursuing a Professional Doctorate to investigate challenges faced by micro SMEs in cyber resilience.

One of the biggest challenges she faced as a woman in the tech/cyber industry was balancing career growth with raising a family. To navigate this, she transitioned into teaching when her children were small, allowing her to prioritize her family while staying engaged in the industry. As her children became more independent, she founded Fortify Institute in 2022, offering flexible training solutions and empowering others in the cybersecurity field.

To support other women and increase diversity in the tech/cyber industry, she actively mentors women in cyber/tech, writes blogs encouraging women to consider cybersecurity careers, and collaborates with organizations to recruit more women through various initiatives and scholarships. She is also a member of WiCyS UK & Ireland and invests in female-founded tech companies through AwakenAngels, demonstrating her commitment to empowering women in the industry.

Her advice to girls/women looking to enter the cybersecurity industry is to dive in with enthusiasm, explore diverse roles, embrace challenges as opportunities for growth, and focus on showcasing strengths and passion for the field. She recommends reading “Invisible Women” by Caroline Criado Perez and encourages others to do the same to raise awareness about gender disparities in various industries. By leading by example and emphasizing the importance of continuous learning and adaptability, she serves as an inspiration to women aspiring to enter the cybersecurity field.

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