As a member of the RSAC AdBoard, you have a special relationship to Conference. What advice do you give to colleagues who are attending for the first time?
Take a look at the agenda and the speakers before you get to Conference, and highlight the ones of interest. When you put a schedule together of sessions, keynotes and networking events that are important for you to attend, be sure to reserve a seat to ensure that you don’t miss out. Your schedule will most likely change. To make sure the busyness of Conference doesn’t distract you from achieving your goals, have a list you can check off and know that you have a seat for those sessions you don’t want to miss.
What is the RSAC experience like for you onsite? Is there a program that you make sure to attend each year, or a speaker you can’t miss?
I’ve been attending RSAC since its inception. For me, it’s an opportunity to connect with old friends and meet people I only get to speak with over the phone. But most importantly, it’s an opportunity to gather the women attendees together at the Executive Women’s Forum Meet and Greet. By enabling the EWF to join forces with RSAC, our advocacy for women has really made a difference not only at Conference but for the industry as a whole.
Can you talk a bit about the networking you do at RSAC? Does it take a different shape than some of the other Conferences you attend?
RSAC provides an awesome venue to meet professionals from every industry vertical and specialty all in one place. As the CEO of Alta Associates, RSAC provides an opportunity for me to meet with industry leaders and experts, and gain perspectives about the greatest challenges they are facing and the types of diverse talent they need to achieve their goals. Through their continued support of The Executive Women’s Forum on Information Security, Risk Management and Privacy (EWF), RSAC creates a very unique networking opportunity for women attendees. By bringing them together at the annual EWF Meet and Greet, women are given the opportunity to get to know each other and become aware of programs and initiatives that we offer to strengthen women personally and professionally at every stage of their career. It’s critical for women to take advantage of this networking event to increase their sphere of influence and build relationships that will last long after RSAC. It’s also important for men attending to recognize how they can contribute to developing and retaining women leaders in our field.
How involved is your general team when it comes to RSAC planning?
The Executive Women’s Forum team is engaged in planning for the Meet and Greet. The main thing we keep in mind is, “What is in it for them?”. We want to ensure that every woman that attends walks out of the Meet and Greet with new knowledge, connections and a new-found confidence knowing that there’s an organization that will support them throughout their journey. To achieve this goal, we host an interactive networking exercise as well as feature a successful woman industry leader and provide women with tips on how best to leverage their time at RSAC. When women leave the Meet and Greet, they are armed with the knowledge that the EWF is a sisterhood of women who will embrace and empower them throughout their career. We also meet individually with men and women at our booth to find ways to turbocharge their diversity efforts and help them become better leaders.