Alumni

Women in Tech - Laura Hartley

There is a gender gap in the tech industry and we're hoping to help change this by launching an ongoing ‘Women in Tech’ series which will shine a spotlight on female-identifying alumni working in this industry. Today's feature is Laura Hartley (Associate Student, 2010), Manager, Enterprise Security Advisory & Awareness at National Australia Bank. 

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What did you study at Queen Mary and what are you doing now?

I completed the final semester of my Bachelor of Arts at Queen Mary while on a study abroad program. I studied mostly law and political science subjects while I was in London. I then returned to Melbourne, Australia and completed a Masters in Criminology at the University of Melbourne.

I joined the graduate program for National Australia Bank and discovered the Cyber Security team - I’ve been here almost 10 years so far. I lead a team dedicated to empowering our employees, customers and the community to protect themselves from cyber crime and fraud.

What is it like to be a woman working in the tech industry?

I am lucky to work in a team with many talented women. Having a non-technical background and a different perspective has been really useful to me in my career, especially for communicating cyber concepts to non-technical people. However, there is a lot more work to do across the industry generally to achieve gender balance and have women (and other groups) properly represented.

I am very vocal in encouraging other young people, especially women, to consider a career in cyber. It’s rewarding, challenging, and always changing. It’s a great career in a field that’s only going to grow in importance.

What or who inspired you to pursue a career in the tech industry?

I never intended to pursue a career in tech, I’ll be honest! Like many people, I fell into it by accident - through my network of former graduates. But now I am very vocal in encouraging other young people, especially women, to consider a career in cyber. It’s rewarding, challenging, and always changing. It’s a great career in a field that’s only going to grow in importance.

Why do you think there is a need for more women/diversity in the tech industry?

Cyber criminals don’t play by the rules. We need diversity of thought, experience, gender and background to help us protect our communities from these threats. We have a real talent shortage, so bolstering our workforce by encouraging people from a wider pool to join us is critical. And it’s fun!