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Backstory...

Our founder, Christina, originally met Michaela as a mutual on Instagram. One day, Michaela posted that she was in Las Vegas for DEFCON 27. DEFCON is a cybersecurity convention for hackers of all kinds. It was hosted in Las Vegas, Nevada that year. Since she lives in Las Vegas, Christina decided to meet Michaela in person.

Although a spontaneous meeting, way outside of Christina’s comfort zone, it definitely was a wonderful decision on her part.

They were able to meet for coffee and get to know each other, and soon, Michaela invited Christina to her party for Blacks in Cybersecurity.

Blacks in Cybersecurity, or BIC, is an “all encompassing professional networking/development group for Black people in Cybersecurity“. Michaela is the founder and CEO of the organization.

Christina was very impressed with seeing the amount of turnout BIC got at the party. Michaela expressed that she expected about 10-20 people. However, the turn out was around 80+ people.

Not only was the turnout impressive, the vibe of the event was very culturally relevant and casual, promoting energy that made it easy to get comfortable and connect.

For Christina, our founder, it was refreshing and comforting to be surrounded by so many fellow blerds.

Check out the Blacks In Cybersecurity party promo video, made by Sour Lemon Media, below.

 

Christina has been a raving fan and supporter of Blacks in Cybersecurity ever since that day.

Continue reading to learn more about Michaela!

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Q: Your @ is computersciencebarbie, do you think your more stylish appearance contributes to any misunderstandings in your work related interactions? If so, what happened?

A: The way I present myself can cause others (typically male) to take that as a means to not thoroughly think through what they may say to me. Especially, in more technical interactions.
By presenting more casually or embracing my feminine touch on looks, I find that at times I can see preconceived notions appear in interactions.

Q: What’s an upside to being a woman in tech?

You not only get to bring a unique aspect or viewpoint to a project/team but, also that in providing a fresh perspective you are making a mark on what you work on.

I believe every woman in technology is a catalyst and a role-model (even when they don’t think anyone is watching!) and seeing this change in the technology culture and the development of community around being a woman in technology inspires me.

I love seeing other women find my page and ask about majoring in Computer Science or how to start learning about Cybersecurity.

 
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Q. Why did you choose to create Blacks in Cybersecurity?

Blacks In Cybersecurity was formed around a need in the ever expanding Cybersecurity community. In my experience navigating this field I wanted to help create a unique space where culture, backgrounds and common ground collide with interest and experiences in Cybersecurity.

Q: Any closing remarks?

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1. Show up for you first.

2. Stand up for what you believe in.

3. Don’t be afraid to be a little bit of a trouble maker.

4. Stay curious.

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Thank you for reading!

Follow @computersciencebarbie for cybersecurity best practices and fresh kicks!