Eliza Lozan

Director, Deloitte United Arab Emirates
Eliza Lozan is a Director at Deloitte and the Privacy Business Leader for Deloitte Middle East with a background as a lawyer with great experience working with privacy compliance in both Europe and the Middle East. She is a member of Deloitte’s Global Women in Cyber Advisory Council and Deloitte’s Women for Ethical AI Network.

What does a typical day of work look like for you?

On a typical working day, I wake up around sunrise and meditate for 20 minutes before I start my day followed by a morning swim with a Burj Khalifa view. This view inspires me, since it symbolizes everything is possible and shows how far this incredible nation has come. Then it’s calls back-to-back, client visits, emails to reply to and client deliverables to review. I try to end my day on a relaxing note by golfing or doing yoga to ground myself and reflect on my lessons learnt for the day. Most working days are very different and exciting, leaving me with the feeling that I’m making an impact that matters for our clients and my colleagues and contributing to a greater community purpose.

What aspects of your career journey have taken you by surprise?

Definitely the part where I unexpectedly relocated to the Middle East and became the first female Director in our Middle East Cyber department and was given the responsibility to lead the privacy practice across the region. Didn’t see that coming when I was living in the small capital of Copenhagen, Denmark living a very simple life. I relocated to a new region, adapted to a new different culture, built new relationships and created a new life for myself in a place I now call home and can’t imagine ever leaving. I am very proud to work for an organization that fosters talent growth, gives you an incredible learning curve and the possibility for international career opportunities.

Tell us about the cyber project you're most proud of working on in your career.

Early on in my career, Deloitte let me explore my innovative side and I started developing new service offerings and enhancing our market reach. My drive for innovation led me to the creation of Deloitte’s Data Privacy Officer (DPOaaS) offering which enhanced our privacy market position and resulted in revenue growth. Landing our first DPOaaS engagements has had a long lasting effect on me, since there was great meaningfulness in the work safeguarding the human rights that protect our societies, and the fact that I was contributing to the organization’s growth in this way is something that I am very proud of, especially given my young age and limited work experience at the time.

How has public perception of cybersecurity changed over the course of your career, and how do you predict in the future?

Cyber was a very unknown niche area when I started my career within the field. Now, cyber is everywhere and all organizations are trying to get fit for the digital age. Data has become the most valuable commodity and the cyber and privacy market is growing worldwide and will continue to grow over the next coming years, especially due to emerging technologies such as blockchain and AI and the countless regulations being adopted to regulate this uncharted area. The demand for cyber and data privacy is increasing in the world, and organizations stand with huge challenges towards cyber hygiene and adapting to the challenges in the new era of privacy and cyber. We live in a time where cyber and AI is the future and women are missing a huge opportunity if they don’t consider tapping into this area and see the many opportunities within reach. According to Deloitte’s forecasts, the global workforce was lacking over 1,8 million cyber talents in 2022.

Tell us about your first job (can be anything!) and one lesson you might have learned from it.

I knew early on in law school that I wanted an international career, which is why I applied for a job at the Danish Embassy in Tokyo. This was a life-changing experience and getting lost in translation was what I needed.
My job was centered around providing strategic consulting advice within Big Data projects for smart city solutions, welfare robot projects as well as researching and analyzing technology trends. All of these opportunities in a futuristic focused country opened my eyes to the endless possibilities of our future use of technologies and data, which laid the path for me entering the cyber world.
I learned many lessons from my time in Japan, but the most important lesson was to be curious about new topics outside of the typical legal domains and not let predefined career paths define your unique path in life.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give your younger self about getting started in cyber?

Don’t be afraid to say yes to new opportunities. Especially the ones that challenge you the most and take you out of your comfort zone. You never know where they might take you and they will give you the greatest potential for growth. You shape your own career and being innovative in your thought process and adaptable to change in your organization and market is important. Cyber is not necessarily a matter of technical coding capabilities. There is much more to it. Many women don’t choose this path because they are nervous about missing a specific technical skill or ability. But the truth is: if you are ready to learn, have an innovative mindset and willing to take on a wide range of tasks, you can easily succeed and have a fruitful career within Cyber. We need to break down the common misconceptions about the type of work that exists within the cyber space and the required experience.

Tell us about a role model or mentor who has helped shape your career.

My professional growth story goes to show that the polishing of talent is highly dependent on the people who choose to invest in you. I believe it is essential for everyone to have a mentor who pushes you in the right direction, out of your comfort zone and helps grow and cultivate your skills. In my opinion, every person has several talents, but you need the right people in your life to make you realize you have them. Early in my career, a partner at Deloitte saw the potential that I did not know I had and chose to invest in me. He helped shape me into the professional I am today. A truly inspiring man that I try to mirror in my own leadership style. He is the type of leader I can only aspire to become one day.

A meeting gets canceled and you have a surprise 30 minute window of free time — how do you spend it?

I try to optimize my to-do list and prioritize time to check in with my team. I work with the most hard working and passionate people and dedicate a lot of time to growing these talents further and building close relationships.

What are the ways you stay grounded and take care of yourself?

In my life, like millions of other people, I have had a lot of hardship and had to overcome great losses that I never thought was possible. I wasn’t lucky enough to have a large family or strong community around me to find comfort and support. This has in many ways defined my life and is also one of the reasons why I focus on embracing the beauty of life and practice gratitude daily. I stay grounded and take care of myself by meditating daily and practicing yoga frequently. This gives me balance in life and makes me stop and smell the flowers on my path. I travel the world any opportunity I get. I love exploring new countries and cultures. Although my projects are very time-consuming and I find great pleasure in my work, I believe that it is important to have an identity outside of your professional career and to have an inner balance to help you navigate the hectic demands of everyday life.

When you think about your personal legacy as a leader, what do you hope people will remember?

The greatest legacy I can hope for is to be remembered as a leader who left a positive imprint on the people I met throughout my professional career. That I inspired them for greatness, to reach their full potential and supported them in cultivating their talents and seeing their path clearly.
I strive to promote gender diversity in cyber and change the narrative around career within cyber – so when girls are asked ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ the answer will include roles like ethical hacker, data privacy professional and cyber strategist. Cyber can be a natural career path for women. I aspire to be remembered as a leader who led the path for other women in a field that is currently predominantly led by men.