Lopa Ghosha

WeAreTechWomen speaks to Lopa Ghosh, Associate Partner, UKI Cyber Leader, People and Culture Lead, EY, about her career.

Lopa is also one of our speakers at our upcoming WeAreTechWomen: The Future World of Work conference on 22 November. Lopa will be discussing cyber security and how to make it a habit, not a hassle.

Lopa is a leader in UKI EYs Cybersecurity practice, with a particular passion for the human centric behaviours and culture around cybersecurity. Lopa regularly advices clients on how to enhance security through their corporate culture and talent base, by thinking differently in engaging their organisation. Lopa is a strong advocate for diversity of all types in cybersecurity and leads EY UKI Diversity in Cybersecurity network.

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 in the civil service as a performance analyst and data scientist for the Legal Aid Board and unbeknownst to me, kicked off an going career in technology and defence. Whether it was legal, border, military or cyber.  Despite having a varied career path, through public and private avenues, working in cyber seems a perfect fit.  I drifted into in  cyber in my time in the US when I brought in to work on a large scale regulatory Cyber transformation, it was clear that technology and process alone were not enough to deal with the Cyber threat, people and culture were as important too.  This has lead to my current work in leading cyber culture and transformation for EY.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

All the time.  I used to be focussed on promotion and the “next step” and that got quite stressful.  Through a lot of challenging experiences, both work and personal, I’ve shifted my focus to outcomes.  What is it I want to be doing etc, that always comes first, and I’ve found the rest follows quite naturally alongside.

What inspired you to get involved with in motivational speaking?

As a female and a BAME female, I naturally found myself in a position of mentor.  As I have progressed through my organisation, I am still in the minority and people of all types, colours and gender have sought me out for guidance.  As I have done in the past, looking for people who look and talk like me, to learn from (there weren’t that many when I was coming up!).  It’s important to be visible and authentic.

Do you have a favourite experience from your career?

I don’t think I have one single favourite experience, but I do have a favourite aspect.  I’m lucky to be in a career where meeting a lot of people is normal and expected.  That’s my favourite part of the job, I learn new things everyday and meet all types of people, which if I had different career, I would not be able to do.

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

That there is a different way into working in technology.  Whilst I have worked on large scale tech and, now most recently, Cyber transformations, you don’t have to have a STEM background to work in the field.  Capability, culture, social engineering all have places in the tech world.

What are your top three tips for success?

  1. Ask for help, you don’t know everything.
  2. Be yourself, trying to be someone else is exhausting!
  3. Find your tribe, find the people you want to have around as success comes, you need friends.

What has been your biggest challenge during your career?

Getting through the door.  Until now, I had underestimated how hard I worked to get through the door and the effort it has taken to stay there.  There are many doors!

Which female role models are you most inspired by?

Floella Benjamin – growing up in the 80’s she was one for the few BAME personalities that was not sterotyped on TV, she just had a job to entertain children and didn’t have to put on an act to do it.

Queen – she has remained exactly who she wants to be throughout everything, she also knows when to take advice in order and doesn’t claim to have all the answers.

If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Parity, what would it be?

Allies.  It’s wonderful that there are so many programmes to developing women, but when we segregate out the issues into gender, we don’t provide the opportunity to educate others.  It should be a shared responsibility.

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

You’re doing ok


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