SHe CISO Celebrates International Women's Day with a brilliant team of female leaders;

Updated: Mar 30, 2019


Nisa Vithana.


Nisa Vithana

1. Tell us about what you do

There are a lot of work we do these days. Specially with the SHe CISO Exec. program, we are getting ready for our London Event. It always makes me enthusiastic doing work for the SHe CISO Exec. It’s fun exciting and the best part about is hearing it from the participants and our community. It is a well-crafted give back project which needs a lot of our attention.

In my day job at Meta Defence Labs we are currently looking for expanding our cybersecurity services to the South-East Asia. Cybersecurity work is also as exciting as the social work we do.

2. What drew you to work in the tech / cybersecurity industry?

Smiles. It’s my school friend Chani. I haven’t seen anyone so passionate about work. Chani is a wonderful friend, great mentor and brilliant cybersecurity expert. Working in telecommunication and IT industry for more than 15 years, she inspired me to choose a career in cybersecurity. I’m currently learning to gain my first cybersecurity qualification. Well never knew this work is as exciting as it sounded.


3. What does Women's Day mean to you and what changes that are needed as a woman in this industry?

Women often play several roles in a lifetime. Daughter, sister, mother, aunt, grandmother, leader, colleague, friend and the list goes on.. These roles are unique from each other. Nearly every day we read inspiring stories about women beating the odds ad paving the way for our generation to break through the glass ceiling. Yet women rarely take time to appreciate their own accomplishments and reflect on how important our own struggles have been. International Women’s Day is to remind rest of the world that women needs t be respected and a day to talk about women rights and equality. But we often forget the women who never make to the show circuit, who haven’t made to the c-level, who haven’t written the best-selling novel yet they are there to support the rest of us.

Cybersecurity in particular is a male dominated industry, only few women have made to the top. Our project She CISO Exec. is specially focused to empower emotionally intelligent cybersecurity women leaders to bridge the diversity gap in information security field.


4. What message would you like to give to the younger generation?

I would say follow the pieces of advice you get from your elders, mentors and from anyone who has more experience than you. The work we do is a social experience. So, the younger generation is exposed to technology more than ever before. Be safe online, make friends and be always open for constant learning and evolution.


5. As an advisory member what are your thoughts on SHe CISO Exec initiative?

SHe CISO Exec. is a thoughtful program which combines, cybersecurity, leadership, emotional intelligence and women empowerment to provide the best knowledge and experience a one can receive. It is a unique model where participants can be benefited in many ways including training and mentoring and further qualifications along with career guidance. It’s a brilliant program founded by Chani Simms and the team.


Jacqueline Hinds


1. Tell us about what you do

I am an Emotional Intelligence Coach & Leadership Consultant running my own consulting business.


2. What drew you to work in the tech/ cybersecurity industry?

I got contacted by Chani Simms, Founder & CEO of SHe CISO Exec. to explore how Emotional Intelligence and Leadership can work seamlessly within the Cybersecurity world, especially within the SHe CISO Exec Bootcamp and, more importantly the edification and development of the participants on the Bootcamp who are the future CISO leaders.


3. What does IWD means to you and what changes that are needed  as a woman in this industry?

IWD means a lot to me especially as a woman I have worked in organisations that have senior leadership positions taken up and the organisation driven by mostly men.  The disparity within this picture was, at the time soul-destroying because there didn't seem to be any clear cut pathway that led women who were equally qualified and experience to those leadership positions.  I'm glad to see that the landscape is changing and a lot more women are stepping up into those positions but, we still need to keep pushing on the doors to ensure we women have an equitable seat at these board and leadership tables.


4. What message would you like to give to the younger generation? 

I would say to the younger generation, don't give up!  Look for creative and innovative ways of getting 'up-skilled' and fully equipped for these roles, tap into your emotional intelligence or get training, get a coach and most importantly, keep learning new things.


5. As an advisory member what are your thoughts on SHe CISO Exec initiative?

I think it is a wonderful initiative and foundation stone for women and men to gain further knowledge on an equitable platform of learning, empowerment, motivation and acceleration.  The knowledge pool of trainers on this initiative is invaluable and the participants walk away with far more than what they envisaged and, once they have undertaken this training they become part of a wider community and knowledge hub; here they will be connected to previous participants and can share best practices to enable further growth.



Maria McDade



1. Tell us about what you do

I’m the WW business unit executive for Storage and Software Defined Infrastructure for IBM Systems Lab Services


2. What drew you to work in the tech/ cybersecurity industry?

My dad. He got into tech when the personal computer age started , and in 1981 , bought a ZX81. I took it apart and put it back together again for a school project, minus a couple of completely unimportant screws .....


3. What does IWD means to you and what changes that are needed  as a woman in this industry?

IWD to me is about inclusion, diversity and balance. I firmly believe in equality in all things , and IWD , especially when related to the tech industry, is a platform to raise awareness that we’re not there yet


4. What message would you like to give to the younger generation? 

The same message my dad gave to me - you can be anything you want to be , but it will take work and it won’t always be easy.


5. As an advisory member what are your thoughts on SHe CISO Exec initiative?

I’m only involved as Chani gave me a put your money where your mouth is ultimatum ;-)

On a serious note, anything that encourages and enables conversations around the future of technology, the tech industry, and the people who will be part of it, is something I am invested and interested in. Being a member of this diverse and global SHeCISO team builds a model for future collaboration across both tech and non tech, which is ultimately what we , as human beings, need to move forward.



Diana Moldovan



1. Tell us about what you do


I am the UKI Cyber Operations Lead working for Aviva. I am leading the vulnerability management and the incident response / threat hunting teams with the overall objective of protecting our 33 millions customers.


2. What drew you to work in the tech/ cybersecurity industry?


I always said Cyber security chose me. I started to work in this industry by luck, however after one month I knew it is be the best career for me. It’s one of those domains where you simply cannot get bored and your work has a good impact on your company and customers.


3. What does IWD means to you?


International Women’s Day is a celebration for women and also a great occasion to commemorate the achievements of all the amazing women around the world. It’s also a time to recognise that we still face gender inequalities and talk about what we can do to combat them.


4. What message would you like to give to the younger generation?


Go for it! Fight for what you want and don’t be afraid to fail. Give it a try even if sometimes that means not succeeding as it will be a great lessons learnt that will help you grow and improve. Find something you like and don’t forget to have fun!


5. As an advisory member what are your thoughts on SHe CISO Exec initiative?


I supported the initiative from the first minute it was presented to me because I love the idea of teaching others.

SHeCISO Exec is an amazing programme because it is not only a cybersecurity course, but one that also brings something we often forget to focus on: leadership and emotional intelligence.

SHe CISO Exec. is  a Giveback Initiative Managed by Meta Defence Labs

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