I Don’t Want To Hire A Bunch Of Stormtroopers

Originally posted on ITSP Magazine by Selena Templeton

Christina Whiting of Tevora chats with ITSP magazine’s Selena Templeton for Diverse IT about why diversity is so important in cybersecurity. Quite simply, she says: “I don’t want to be surrounded by a bunch of stormtroopers.”

Tune in to hear about the importance of role models who look like us (even characters like Wonder Woman and Black Panther if we don’t have any in real life), the mind-blowing reason why she did not finish her PhD dissertation, and the specific advice she gives to women who are facing the challenge of discrimination in the workplace.

“There are so many…young Einsteins that will never be discovered and given an opportunity because we’re not equipped to recognize what that looks like and help foster them.”

Christina grew up on Star Wars and comic books, so Princess Leia and Wonder Woman were her role models when there was no one else to inspire her to forge her own path. It’s crucial that little boys and girls see themselves and what is possible for them to be or achieve portrayed in popular media.

When it comes to why diversity is so important in cybersecurity, Christina says:

“I don’t want to hire or be surrounded by a bunch of stormtroopers. I don’t want the same mentality, I don’t want them to look the same, act the same, and have the same background. I want a bunch of Jedis, Sith Lords and Ewoks – because [they] all act and think differently.”

From her own experience and strategic mindset, Christina offers some very specific tips for women and minorities about how to deal with the challenges of working in a “boys’ club” organization; for example, what to do when you are trying to say something important at a meeting and are constantly interrupted.