With 15+ years of experience in the cyber risk management industry and special expertise on topics ranging from leadership to technology, Dr. Diana B. Allen is an esteemed public speaker who has mastered the art of helping professionals develop both personally and professionally through her interactive programs. Her skills have made her highly sought-after among various organizations seeking guidance on these topics.
Diana proudly holds a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership, an MBA in Management, as well as a Bachelor's Degree in Information Systems. Furthermore, she has earned several industry certifications to demonstrate her expertise and knowledge base.
As the Director of Board Development & Strategic Programs for Black Girls in Cyber and a Volunteer for Certification Content Development at (ISC)2, Diana is an active contributor to both organizations.
Take a look at Diana's session "Leveraging Sponsors & Empowerment Strategies for Career Advancement"
Watch other inspiring sessions on our YouTube channel.
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⚡️ Save the date: Women in Tech Global Conference 2023 will take place on May 9-12!
Are you excited to speak at the Women in Tech Global Conference and what motivated you to join our community of 100 000 women in tech, minorities, and allies?
Absolutely! I am proud to be a woman in the tech industry and look forward to sharing knowledge, personal insights, and success techniques with others in the industry.
My motivation for joining the Women in Tech community is to serve attendees in a way that can help transform their interactions in the workplace and move the needle towards increased equity in the tech arena. I have perspective - from my lived professional experiences all the way through to my academic background- and I want to share it in order to contribute towards the growth and understanding of aspiring women building their careers or others who impact career journeys. Additionally, I believe it is important for allies to hear first-hand accounts of how their support positively impacts the careers of minorities and women.
Share with us about your background, your journey in tech, and what inspired you to develop your career in this direction.
I am a cyber security leader. My expertise enables my teams to implement and scale their technology solutions in a secure, compliant manner. I attended Howard University in Washington, DC, and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Information Systems and Analysis. I went on to obtain my MBA from the business school at the University of the District of Columbia and a Doctorate of Management in Organizational Leadership from the University of Phoenix.
When I graduated from college, I decided NOT to be a developer, engineer, or tester because those areas did not ignite me in college. My tech career really started out in consulting. My career progressively grew, I was an IT internal auditor, a Cyber Advisory Manager, and a Business Information Security Officer. Each one of those roles challenged me, expanded my knowledge bank, and positioned me for continued success in my career.
I am passionate about strategy and people. When I paired those passions with my strong writing ability and security knowledge, I found my purpose. So today, I work for an organization with amazingly intelligent people where we leverage technology and security to enable desired business outcomes.
Is it hard at times? Yes!
Am I having fun? Absolutely!
Would I want to be doing anything else? Not at all.
My answers to those questions let me know that I am in the right place -and THAT excites me when I wake up in the morning!
Why is the topic “Leveraging Sponsors & Empowerment Strategies for Career Advancement” important to you?
The title of my doctoral dissertation was "Empowerment and the Career Sponsorship of Women in STEM". My study explored the different types of career support available and honed in on sponsorship. I dug further into the actions and behaviors of effective sponsors in order to identify commonalities that contributed to the success of women in senior leadership ranks in STEM-related roles.
There are so many theories about why women are underrepresented in the senior leadership of various industries. I do not believe that there is a shortage of ambitious women and numerous research articles and studies support my belief. There is also a significant amount of research that dictates that organizations realize increased profitability- close to 50%, greater employee retention, and stronger innovation when women are represented in their leadership ranks.
Additionally, I believe women often elevate into roles and are left to navigate for themselves without adequate empowerment to be successful and thrive in their roles. The impact of this desertion leads to disengagement, burn-out, and most dangerously - women absent from senior leadership.
Sponsors have contributed greatly to my career however I recognize that is not everyone's experience. In my session, I hope to educate women so they recognize when empowerment is missing to know exactly what to ask for and I hope to motivate allies and mentors to elevate their support of women and become sponsors who empower.
Who would you advise to attend the Women in Tech Global Conference and why?
I would advise anyone, regardless of their gender, to attend the conference to learn about advancements in the tech industry and take advantage of the opportunity to engage in dialogue about what is top-of-mind for leaders from various companies while building their networks because there is strength in the community.