Women leaders in security recognized

Thoughts and reflections from the 2012 EWF Women of Influence winners

1 2 Page 2
Page 2 of 2

Sandra Hughes has over 25 years of managerial and executive experience at the Procter & Gamble Company in variety of leadership assignments in the US, Germany and Belgium. Since 2001 until retirement in June 2012, she was responsible for developing global strategic programs for Information Governance & Compliance Risk Management, Privacy & Data Protection, Ethics & Compliance, Social Media Policy and Competitive & Technical Intelligence.

How are women making inroads in security professions today? What more needs to be done?

As the number of women with technical degrees continues to increase, I think we will continue to see greater strides in women leading security professions. However, another way for a woman to make inroads is through broadening her scope to interface with hot topic areas like Privacy and Information Governance which statistically tend to be more gender balanced professions. Then, as more corporations think strategically about their total risk universe —with security/privacy/information governance/ethics & compliance ranked right up there with the risk of missing financial projections for example —women with a scope broader than security may have more opportunities, or at least more options, to advance their careers.

What valuable advice have you received along the way in your career?

Of course the big pieces of advice we all know resonate the most, for example: be yourself, work hard, be your own boss, practice 'effective' listening, be positive, and don't burn bridges. However some additional ones that helped me were: never make a job decision based on who your boss will be; always find something to at least like in your job no matter how much you hate it —you will be better for it; life is about choices —if feel you have chosen wrongly, learn from it; and finally, as people do good for you, 'pay it forward'— help others.

What has your personal mission been in your career? Have your accomplishments lived up to your expectations for yourself?

This was a tough question! The philosophy I have followed as stated on one of my Facebook accounts, is 'live for today, plan for tomorrow'. As I reflect on the past and how I think about the future, I believe a more complete answer is that I strive to 'embrace life while making a difference'. In this first half of my life, I have to say that while it was far from easy I am very proud of my accomplishments —not only in my career and external pursuits but also in raising two healthy, intelligent, independent, beautiful children (now adults and off our payroll!) who appear to have the same ambition. I know that I have been successful because some time ago, when faced with a potential airplane crash and my life flashed before my eyes, I felt peace and had no regrets! That's a great feeling. I run that exercise through my head every now and then as a 'check', especially when I have to make a tough choice.

What goals have you set for yourself for the future?

Now that I have retired from Procter & Gamble and I am empty-nested, my ambition remains to experience all that life offers and to make a difference —but now I will have more time to 'give back'. I am fortunate to be in at a point in my life where I can try new things and choose what I work on and with whom. Other than opportunities that look 'fun' and allow me to grow, my focus will be to continue to help develop the professions I belong to, and the young people who are beginning their careers in those professions. In addition I hope to use my extensive experiences, skill set and passion to help organizations, especially those benefiting women and children, with their strategies to make our communities and the world a better place.

Public Sector: Aimee Larsen Kirkpatrick

Aimee Larsen Kirkpatrick is the former Director of Partnership Engagement & Strategic Initiatives for the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), a public-private partnership dedicated to helping citizens stay safe and secure online. Ms. Larsen Kirkpatrick developed strategies and programs to fulfill NCSA education and awareness objectives and increase the number of engaged stakeholders to participate in NCSA's mission. Among her many accomplishments, she spearheaded a national public service campaign to develop a unified message on Internet safety for all citizens. Known as the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. campaign, it was declared the national cybersecurity awareness campaign by the White House and is supported by Fortune 500 companies, several government agencies and is currently being rolled out globally.

Aimee was unavailable to answer questions.

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

1 2 Page 2
Page 2 of 2
Get the best of CSO ... delivered. Sign up for our FREE email newsletters!