Societe Generale Is ‘THE VOICE’ Of Women’s History Month Today
For ‘Women’s History Month’ in March, APPG AI is collaborating with Rajinder Tumber, one of the members from the Citizen Participation Task Force, to launch ‘The Voice’ – The Women’s History Month Series.
In this series, women from some of the world’s most prestigious organisations will be making their voices heard, in the attempt to attract more women into the world of AI and cyber security.
Welcome to ‘THE VOICE’ series for Women’s History Month, produced to help encourage more women to join the cyber security and artificial intelligence industries.
Today’s edition of ‘THE VOICE’ features Alexandra Murgu, from Societe Generale European Business Services (SG EBS).
SG EBS was founded in 2011 to be the shared service center for Societe Generale Group and delivers high added value services in various fields of activity for worldwide entities of the Group (finance, accounting, human resources, IT and corporate operations such as KYC or back offices). The company is currently serving over 35 countries mostly across Europe for all major business lines of the Societe Generale Group.
Alexandra was interviewed in 2019, to share her experience of working in the cyber security industry. She is a Data Loss Prevention Analyst.
Alexandra is the point of contact for Societe Generale’s Data Loss Prevention tool and processes. She is responsible for ensuring that sensitive data is not lost, misused or accessed by unauthorized users.
Rajinder Tumber: Why did you join the cyber security industry?
Alexandra Murgu: Honestly, when I first heard about it, I joined because I thought it was cool. I did not know much about the domain and going to the interview was a quest to gather additional details. The entire process made me discover that this thirst for details is what lays the foundation of a good information security analysis.
Tumber: What do you feel you can contribute to the industry?
Murgu: I think I can inspire other women who come with a different background. As a graduate of foreign languages and philology, I was very much attracted to the IT side as well. Trust me, it does not matter what you study, it only matters what you are passionate about. Take the risk and follow your dreams!
Tumber: The ratio of men working in cyber security is significantly greater than women. What do you think women can bring to a male-dominated team/domain?
Murgu: I do not think that the skills required for this job are gender specific. Women are as autonomous and hardworking as men are. It might be a male dominated field, but as far as we can see, the ratio has changed in the last few years and it will continue to change. I am not stating that it will become a woman dominated field, I just think that women can provide significant value.
Tumber: Being a minority in your team, what (if any) challenges have you encountered?
Murgu: As surprising as it may seem, my team is made of more women than men 😊 The world has evolved a lot and adding into this context the Internet of Things, it makes no difference what gender prevents you from vulnerable activity.
Tumber: Would you say your career has been a smooth rise to higher positions, or has it had its dips and detours? Please elaborate.
Murgu: I have never been discriminated for being a woman if this is what the question points at. My efforts always paid well and if you do your best, it does not matter if you are a man or a woman.
Tumber: Have you experienced any difficulty with making yourself heard during your career?
Murgu: A difficulty in making ourselves heard is a reality in this area. One might say that being a woman makes it even harder. In the end, it’s not about the tonality of the message, but about the importance of the procedures. I would say that making people adhere to the policies is the hard thing and not being of a particular gender when applying it.
Tumber: Within the workplace, do you feel women are being treated differently because they are female?
Murgu: I have never witnessed such cases in my team or in the company I work for. We are working together towards achieving a goal and on the way to conquer that goal, there was and never will be a gender competition.
Tumber: Do you think more women should be encouraged to join the cyber security industry? If so, why?
Murgu: I think that more woman should be encouraged to understand that AI or cyber security industries are not male dominated, and they should give it a try if they are aspiring to develop a career in this area. Why? Because the activities with its variables push you constantly out of your comfort zone and, in the end, empower you to discover things that you might not know you are capable of.
Tumber: How do you think more women can be encouraged to join?
Murgu: If we want to engage more women to pursue such a career, we should raise awareness on the current gender discrepancy and change the perception that only men are suitable for this position. We need more women role models and we need to build a more flexible environment. Most women are also mothers and they are more involved in the child raising process. Maybe we can work on some arrangements so that this does not impact their career.
Tumber: Do you have any advice to share for female professionals who want to enter the cyber security industry?
Murgu: Never tell yourselves that something is hard! There is always a way to follow your dreams. Think about the fact that now we see a woman in most of police cars while 50 years ago it was something that made you wonder. It’s the same for cybersecurity. Step up, ladies, and push it to the limits because WE can do it!