16 Aug Wendy Thomas: A Mission To Secure Human Progress
New CEO at Secureworks on women in cybersecurity
– Steve Morgan, Editor-in-Chief
Sausalito, Calif. – Aug. 17, 2021
Secureworks, a global leader in cybersecurity, announced on Jun. 3 that the Secureworks Board of Directors unanimously appointed Thomas, Secureworks’ current president of Customer Success, as the company’s next president and CEO, effective Sep. 3, 2021.
“Careers just kind of take a path of seizing opportunities when they come along,” says Thomas, in a recent profile produced by Cybercrime Magazine. “This industry (cybersecurity) was non-existent in its current form when I was in school, and early in my career. While I was in business school, I wanted to be in a company, in an industry, that was technologically focused. Cybersecurity is interesting, important, emerging technologically, and frankly lets you do something that’s pretty important to the world each day.”
Thomas is one of many role models who will appear in an upcoming documentary aimed at girls in K-12, and college, as well as women of all ages globally who want to learn about technology and cybersecurity and explore careers in our field.
“It is great news that we’ve come, since 2013, from about 10 percent of cybersecurity jobs being held by women, to 25 percent today,” according to research from Cybersecurity Ventures, says Thomas. “I would call that excellent progress without perfection, because we really want our industry and Secureworks’ employee base to reflect the global population at large.”
Diversity and inclusion is important to Secureworks, and Thomas. “We serve a global customer base, we fight a global threat, and it’s important that we look like the arenas in which we operate,” says the newly minted CEO. “I think there’s a lot of opportunities for us to make cybersecurity as a career, and it’s not just a gender thing, that it is not only accessible to people, but one that they view as exciting.”
The cybersecurity industry is suffering through a severe worker shortage. Cybersecurity Ventures predicts there will be 3.5 million unfilled jobs in our field by the end of 2021, up from one million openings in 2014. Hiring experienced workers is a challenge for all vendors and service providers in our field, including Secureworks.
“For us,” says Thomas, “mission really matters.” That message resonates in a highly competitive market. “So if you want to work somewhere where you know that what you’re doing is making the world a safer place, we talk at Secureworks about our mission is to secure human progress. When you think about hospitals, and vaccine makers, and schools, and oil pipelines that are under attack, if you’re a part of the team of heroes that save those organizations, or frankly, prevent those (cyberattacks) from happening in the first place, I think the interest in this as a career path really starts to get a little more exciting.”
Thomas first joined the Secureworks finance team in 2008, quickly expanding into leadership roles across strategy, operations, product, and customer success, and she most recently held the titles of chief product officer and before that SVP of Product Management.
Stay tuned for the documentary to watch more on Thomas and women in cybersecurity!
– Steve Morgan is founder and Editor-in-Chief at Cybersecurity Ventures.