International Women’s Day: Celebrating women in data protection

Today is International Women’s Day. To mark the occasion, we asked women in the data protection and cyber security sector: What is the best thing about working in this particular industry?

Hellen Beveridge, Privacy Lead, Data Oversight Ltd, said:

“The best thing about the privacy arena is spending time in constructive positive debate with so many erudite women, all of whom have a powerful voice and are given the space and energy to use it.”


Ivana Bartoletti, Privacy Lead, Gemserv and Founder of the Women Leading in AI, said:

“There has never been a better time to be involved in privacy! Technology changes rapidly and while we embrace it, we must also ensure it does not undermine the values of personal dignity and autonomy European privacy law is built on. Privacy and ethics by design will become more and more crucial and this makes our profession so relevant.

Charlie McMurdie, Former head of Police National Cyber Crime Unit (until 2013) Senior Cyber Crime Advisor PwC (2013 – 2017), said:

“For me, within cyber security, it’s the constantly evolving challenges and the need and opportunity to work with partners to deliver an informed, intelligent and appropriate cyber security response.”


Karima Noren, Director, Privacy Compliance Hub

“The sector needs changing so that all innovation protects people’s personal information.  The industry needs to drive that change by promoting a culture of privacy compliance to the benefit of everyone, particularly our children.  Women in my industry are well placed to drive such change and that is something that I am happy to be part of.”


Rowenna Fielding, Data Privacy Lead, Protecture, said:

“The combination of opportunities to get nerdy and technical but with a pragmatic human-centred philosophy! Data protection is based on human rights – so not only do I get to geek out but in doing so, I’m helping to bring about a less discriminatory and unfair world.”


Tash Whitaker – Senior Consultant – Whitaker Solutions Ltd

“It’s one of the only industries where having an equal gender balance of speakers at conferences is the norm.”



Sheila M. FitzPatrick, President & Founder, FitzPatrick & Associates, said:

“I am absolutely passionate about the fundamental right to privacy and have been fortunate to work as a global data protection expert for almost 40 years. I get the opportunity to work in an area that has been driven by the expertise of women around the world. I work in all industries and all geographies helping to influence the ethical use of data and influence change in a world where technological advances have pushed aside the right to privacy.  Helping to build the recognition of privacy into these advances is incredibly challenging and rewarding at the same time.”

Thanks to all the contributors for their insight into the sector. You can hear some of these women speak at the EU Data Protection Summit on June 3rd in central London, where they will deliver top-level content and insights into the current issue sand trends in data protection and privacy. For more information, visit the website.

PrivSec Conferences will bring together leading speakers and experts from privacy and security to deliver compelling content via solo presentations, panel discussions, debates, roundtables and workshops.

For more information on upcoming events, visit the website.

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