Emma Griffin

WeAreTechWomen speaks to Emma Griffin, Director, Group Deputy Chief Information Security Officer, Sky, about her career.

Emma is also one of our speakers at our upcoming WeAreTechWomen: The Future World of Work conference on 22 November. Emma is holding a session on her journey from ambulance dispatcher to security chief.

Emma is Group Deputy Chief Information Security Officer at Sky with responsibilities across all aspects of cyber security, including information security strategy, governance, risk and compliance.

With over 20 years of experience in security and technology infrastructure, Emma has worked across a variety of sectors including financial services, insurance and management consultancies. Prior to Sky, Emma has held numerous roles at Worldpay and Goldman Sachs leading and managing global cyber programmes.

Emma has a Master’s degree in Information Security from Royal Holloway.

WeAreTechWomen, the Technology arm of WeAreTheCity, is hosting its fourth full-day conference in London, aimed at over 400 women who are wanting to broaden their technology horizons, learn new skills and build their tech networks.

Our unique conference will include the opportunity for our delegates to learn about a variety of technical topics and get involved in Q&A’s, hands-on activities and interactive workshops. Our aim is to provide an environment where our delegates can upskill and grow their skills/networks for the future.

Can you tell us a little about your background? Where you’ve come from, where you’ve worked, how you got to where you are today?

I started my working life working for the London Ambulance Service. Covering North West London, including Heathrow airport and Wembley Stadium, I was responsible for managing normal 999 calls alongside hotels on fire, train accidents, emergencies with large crowds and aeroplanes landing with mechanical problems. It was both exciting and stressful and taught me the fundamentals of incident management that I still use today. I then embarked on a career in technology, spending most of my time in the financial sector and now work at Sky as their Deputy Group CISO responsible for everything cyber security.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

For many years I just bumbled along, working hard and hoping I would be rewarded and something good would come along. But I then realised I needed to own and drive my career and so literally sat down worked out what I wanted to do, formalised a plan and even wrote a script of how to have ‘the conversation’ with my manager.

What inspired you to get involved with in motivational speaking?

The important changes in my life and career have been helped by guidance and support from mentors and role models, I realise that not everybody has them, do think it is important to encourage and inspire the person next to you.

Do you have a favourite experience from your career?

The feeling of empowerment when I convinced my boss to help me change role when no role existed. I was terrified I would be out of a job, but so proud of my bravery and wish I had done it years before.

What do you think WeAreTechWomen guests will gain from your talk?

Hopefully they will feel inspired to take charge of their career, form a plan and act on it.

What are your top three tips for success?

  • Never stop learning / studying – life is changing around you all the time.
  • Take ownership of your career and drive it – don’t expect someone else to do it.
  • Build a great team – success is not a solo achievement, you need good company.

What has been your biggest challenge during your career?

I wanted to change role, but didn’t know what I wanted to do next, just that I wanted something different. Building up the courage to take a leap of faith, and just try something new, that may not be successful.

What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?

Don’t be shy – Learn to promote your skills and successes, it’s not boasting.