Hannah Parvin

Senior Manager, Deloitte UK

Cyberattacks are the number one business risk in most of the world, according to a 2022 study from the World Economic Forum. Not all cyber threats are alike, and diverse problems require diverse solutions. Yet, the cyber industry is predominantly led by men. How can we solve this significant threat to the business world with only half of the population? Fortunately, the women who make up that percentage are some of the fiercest in the greater technology industry. In this series, The Female Quotient and Deloitte are putting a spotlight on 25 women at the forefront of the cyber revolution, amplifying their career advice and sharing their insights on how the industry will evolve in the future. Their stories are proof that behind every functioning society is a woman in cyber.

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

My typical day is a mix of client work, work related to the initiatives that I am running and coaching/mentoring sessions. Each day is different, which is one of the best things about my job.

What's a common misconception about women in cyber you'd like to debunk?

That putting one woman in your team or in a leadership position solves the lack of diversity problem in the industry. Diversity comes in many shapes and sizes, and the important part of this is the inclusion aspect.

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

I didn’t have a traditional career route. I started with Teach First and trained as a science teacher. It was a big leap switching careers. The most surprising thing is how much I use my teaching skills: meticulous planning, interpersonal skills, the ability to meet deadlines and condense complex ideas into simple concepts.

What's your superpower as a woman in cyber?

I think my social-emotional intelligence is my superpower. Being aware of my own emotions and other people’s has been incredibly beneficial throughout my career!

What's the most challenging component of your job today?

As consultants, there’s a danger in thinking that we should have all the answers, all the time. We need to be able to work through client’s challenges, help them navigate them and provide insight where we can.

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

I worked with a great team on a project with a global retailer for a couple of years. We worked incredibly closely with the client and built small teams in six different countries to manage their customer data. It took two years to bring the right people into the company, train them, establish processes and integrate them. I am proud because we also delivered this project based on their values of togetherness and caring for people.

What's one must read, watch or listen for women wanting to work in cyber?

Ditching Imposter Syndrome by Clare Josa.

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

Women now have a seat at the table when something goes wrong! I would like to see a change so that we have a permanent seat at the table and that all the people who are seated at the table have an understanding of the organization’s cyber and risk landscape.

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

Be patient and keep following your passion. Have a love for the work!

Who are some women working in cyber today that you admire?

The amazing women I work with every day on our cyber team. Also, we cannot forget the female codebreakers who were the cybersecurity pioneers of their time.