04 June 2021

Courageous Women: Time to Unmute – let’s continue to talk, ladies! 

Jennifer Bennett

Synack’s Courageous Women in Security initiative was developed to bring female security leaders and executives at all levels together to empower each other to use our great talent to have a bigger impact at our organizations and in our  industries, while also having balance in our lives that all humans need. These events, while previously held in person over lively conversation and a glass of champagne in one hand, pivoted like the rest of the world to virtual over the last year. 

Although our lives shifted dramatically during the global pandemic, we made sure to continue the impactful, engaging and thoughtful conversations centered around women, first and foremost, and our careers in cybersecurity.

Igniting a new conversation, our most recent Courageous Women’s event centered on the future of work and how women can help drive change to build a more inclusive work environment and honing in on the current WFH environment. 

Joined by our very own Aisling MacRunnels, Chief Business & Growth Officer and the ladies at Synack, we explored discussions around the pros and cons of disciplined routines, and shared thoughts and brainstormed solutions together while discussing the future of work and how women can help drive change to build a more inclusive work environment.

Women’s roles during the pandemic have made media headlines. I am the prime example. An urban mother, wife and dedicated to my career, the burden placed on women during the pandemic across the country with the majority of schools being closed for nearly a year certainly caused an uproar and exodus (even I contemplated moving to Texas!). 

Bringing women together from different parts of the country and even a few from Europe, we all shared a common belief that although this year was challenging, it pushed us all to varying levels of growth. It challenged us to communicate better with our families, be more vocal and intentional in our security careers, and understand how we thrive as individuals – and how we do not. While WFH opened doors for a few, some yearned for the glory days of office culture and collaborating with teams in person. The daily commute of course was the least missed! 

I personally yearn for the days of yesterday, and although this past year has brought challenges as well as triumphs, I just can’t wait to be back in an office setting, brainstorming ideas in the conference room and connecting with other Synackers over lunch or walking past their desk. I miss the energy, the camaraderie, and flow of information and learning. While it’s been nice to be home, the dog barking when my nest doorbell goes off, limited childcare options in San Francisco (literally the last to open in the Bay Area) and no escaping the fog during my office commute has made me feel like the spark inside me has dimmed. 

Others echoed this sentiment. Shared during our conversation from an attendee “I don’t want for anything and yet I’m missing something” spoke volumes and you could see the head’s nod in approval. 

I applaud the Courageous Women in our network who rose to the occasion and every single woman in our network deserves a medal of perseverance and grit in their professional lives and personal lives. Women need and should continue to have a voice around the future of work and lead the conversation. 

With the COVID-19 vaccine rollout well underway and companies like Salesforce making headlines allowing some employees to return to the office, we can’t help but wonder what this means for us… as women, as leaders, as mothers, as partners, as humans…

Conversations about disciplined routines and distributed work will intensify in 2021. Now’s the time for us to speak up if we want to make an impact for the future of work as Courageous Women and lead the conversation within our cybersecurity industry. 

I look forward to our next event where we will hone in more on a cybersecurity topic with one of our guest speakers and reconnect with a lot of the women in our network. Time to unmute – let’s continue to talk ladies! Join us on LinkedIn