Katie McMillanWhat happened next for Katie McMillan?

In this ongoing series, we speak to our winners about life after winning a TechWomen100 Award.

Now in their sixth year, the TechWomen100 Awards recognise and celebrate the achievements of women in tech – the emerging tech talent and role models for the future.

We spoke with Katie McMillan, who won a TechWomen100 Award in 2021.

My role is an Information Security Manager at Agilisys Ltd.

I have a real passion for my role, which is great as I’ve always professed, we spend so much time working, I’d much prefer to work doing something that I enjoy with like-minded people. If ever I get that dreaded Sunday night feeling, I would know it was time to move on.

My personality lends me to working well with others. I am a fixer and find helping others a natural trait of mine. So much so, my family were convinced I’d end up in a caring profession. As it happened, I found IT was where I felt most at home. I find my attitude and drive to fix problems, identify gaps and help others works as an advantage in this sector, especially security. I think there is a caring aspect to my role and as the Infosec Manager for the NHS I can protect systems and data for millions of people.

My career started with less focus on strategy and more a mixture of ‘give it a go’ and sheer determination. I started in IT where many of us did, working on a helpdesk and fixing peoples machines. I like to challenge myself and quickly became ambitious. I worked in my own time to learn the infrastructure, how it worked, and how to fix it. I moved into management where I managed IT estates within college and University settings. I led the team, managed a portfolio of projects, developed strategy, and plugged security gaps which had been glaringly open for several years. This all led me on the path to discovering my passion for infosec.

The key driver within my career is the ambition to succeed. I have been offered a lot of wonderful opportunities. Every one of these I have worked hard and put all my effort into achieving both my aspirations and best results for the customer. My focus will always be to provide the best service I can.

I am a mentor for women in tech through mentorXchange. This gives me the opportunity to mentor women who are starting out on their career journey. I am an enterprise advisor for CIPD where I will be matched with and work alongside a school to enhance their careers programme.

How did you feel when it was announced that you’d won a TechWomen100 award?

When I found out I had won a TechWomen100 award I was amazed. I am my biggest critic in the most part and actually winning an award for something just wasn’t on my radar. I was humbled and also felt like I was in very good company with the other 99 winners. What a powerhouse of strong successful women!

Please tell us what has happened in your career since winning the TechWomen100 award?

My career has progressed a lot since winning the award. Internally it was featured on our teams channels, intranet, company LinkedIn process. I was invited to take part in a panel for international womens day. I was promoted to a lead role and more recently have passed my CISSP exam. I’ve continued to mentor women at the beginning of their journey into tech, which makes me feel I am giving back and using my experiences for good.

What advice would you give to someone else going through the award’s process?

Believe your own hype.

You deserve to win this award because otherwise you wouldn’t have been nominated.

Remember all your achievements and shout them from the rooftops. You never know who you might be inspiring.

What tips would you give to our other members to enhance their careers? 

I would suggest drawing on the experiences of the strong women around you, both in person or remotely. I was lucky enough to have some great supporters. Also, look at getting into a mentoring programme and network with like minded people through in person sessions or through LinkedIn.