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Women of Cyber: Phanneth Wood, Global Distribution Director, Deep Instinct

Today, March 8, we celebrate International Women’s Day, especially as it relates to this year’s theme as “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow.” In fact, women make up just 25% of the cybersecurity workforce, according to a recent (ISC)² report. More often than not, the major difference between organizations that do cybersecurity well versus those that do it poorly comes down to having a diverse group of people who work well together.

In celebration of the women working to fight cybercrime, Deep Instinct’s latest blog shares a Q&A series asking several cybersecurity professionals about their roles in this industry.

Phanneth Wood, Global Distribution Director, shares her story:

“I didn't always know that I wanted a career in tech as I was initially working as a business development banker/lender for a financial institution before the collapse of the housing market leading up to 2007. This completely changed the trajectory of my career and led me to a position with Avnet Technology Solutions. The tech industry is more than just technical roles. I found that I excelled in the areas of leadership, strategic sales, sales ops and program management in the tech industry, supporting IT Channel Distribution in particular. I have leveraged relationships and experiences I’ve gained from each of my tech companies to expand and enhance each position I’ve had at Palo Alto Networks, Okta and now at Deep Instinct.

The tech industry has definitely improved its openness to welcoming women. I’ve been so impressed with the increase in awareness around women in tech roles for the women who are in IT now, and for the future generations that are being encouraged to explore IT roles through STEM programs in high schools and colleges. As a result, we’re seeing more young women go for tech roles they might have been intimidated to apply for 10-20 years ago. I’ve also been seeing more women move into leadership roles in the IT Channel over the years now, too.

Some advice I’d give to women who are looking to start a career in the tech industry would be to not box yourself in or box yourself out. Don’t assume there is anything you can’t do. Don’t be afraid to apply for the job you think someone else might do better than you and get out of your own way! Find a mentor who has overcome similar obstacles, make sure your performance and work ethic demonstrate persistence and perseverance, learn the technology and highlight your experience and expertise.”



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