This is part of a running commentary series for International Women's Day 2022.
Maya Gershon, Chief Revenue Officer at Vade shares her story and advice for women in cybersecurity:
“When I was screened to join the Israeli Defense Force Cyber unit, that changed the course of my life. I fell in love with tech and with cybersecurity in particular. I loved the fact that it’s a silent war between the good guys and the bad guys. I’m very good at math and coding so I figured I should go for an engineering degree. In my university, there were 5 women and 250 men in my year…but I never felt like an outsider.
Some geographies and some companies understand that diversity matters and gives you an edge that you wouldn’t have otherwise. I think companies should see it as a mission. I’m not saying they should hire less-qualified candidates just for the sake of diversity, but I do think that if there are equal candidates, companies should prioritize diversity. It fosters better team spirit, more interest at work and a more fun environment.
The life of women in this industry is not always easy. I need to be 100 times better. If it’s a technical discussion, I need to be 100 times more tech-y. Our CEO is a big promoter for diversity recruitments for the sake of diversity and I think that this is the most important initiative a company could have – that their CEO would push the teams and explain why diversity matters.
My advice to any women in the tech industry is, don’t think or talk about a glass ceiling. Ignore this thought and truly believe that not only it doesn’t exist but if it did exist, it would be your floor, or jumping board. Take any challenge as just a challenge. Not more. One of my best friends is a founding partner of one of the biggest VCs in Israel. She worked hard and got there by herself. She grew up in a Kibbutz in Israel, came from no money, and built herself up to be one of the most successful people in her field. I love the fact I can consult with her, in a non-victimized way, and just think about how to do things, overcome obstacles and see things as they are, even when it’s difficult.”