Featured image for International Women's Day article titled "#IWD2024: Women Breaking Boundaries in Cybersecurity" showing a shadow figure of a women's face with the hashtag #inspireinclusion.



Cytek Security provides state-of-the-art cybersecurity solutions, delivered by the world’s top cyber experts. This includes advisory and implementation services, managed security services, and capability building.

Cybersecurity is vital in safeguarding our data, privacy, and digital infrastructure in today’s rapidly advancing digital landscape. For years, this sector has been dominated by men, but it’s important to recognize the women who have been breaking barriers and making exceptional strides in this space. On this year’s International Women’s Day, we wanted to spotlight Susan Onyekachi’s journey to become a Server and Information Security Analyst at Cytek, emphasizing her resilience and determination.  

Susan’s Unconventional Path to Cybersecurity 

Susan’s interest in cybersecurity may have appeared simple initially, but her decision to explore the field revealed a hidden passion. “When I first heard about cybersecurity, honestly, nothing was out of the ordinary. The only interesting thing about it was that I had never heard of it before then.” she shared. But after looking into it, her interest peaked. 

Despite warnings about the challenges of being in a male-dominated industry, Susan faced them head-on. “I was also told: Oh, it’s tough. It’s hard and it’s only meant for guys. It’s a male-dominated industry. I do not think you’d do well.” she recounted. But she had set her sights on a career in cybersecurity and there was no stopping her.  

Luckily, she was able to find other women in cybersecurity to inspire and guide her. Susan recalls one in particular: “She was really young and I thought if she can do this, then why wouldn’t I be able to?”

Susan turned to YouTube and other online resources to get her started. Learning at her own pace, she stumbled upon a Twitter space full of women in cybersecurity, sharing insights and opportunities. That’s how Susan found a cybersecurity training program which she believes played a huge role in where she is today: “The downside to YouTube is you don’t really get to ask anyone questions or even when you ask questions in the comment section it might take months on end before you get the feedback. I love the fact I was able to enroll in a program where I could ask questions and get real-time answers or real-time feedback. I believe  that the program really played a crucial role in getting me to where I am today.” 

While she was previously working in a tech company as an Executive Assistant, they didn’t offer any opportunities for her in cybersecurity. So when Susan saw an opening at Tek Experts, Cytek’s sister company, she decided to go for it. Even though it wasn’t a position directly in cybersecurity, she knew she just needed to get her foot in the door. During her interview she mentioned her career goals and plans.  

She now recalls “After the interview I felt like I wasn’t going to be called back because I did not intend to stay in this role for long. I was going to move as fast as I could. But when I got to the job, my boss told me that was the reason why he went with me – because I had a plan for myself. I wasn’t just applying for a job because I needed one to survive. I had a plan of what I wanted for myself and I was working towards it.” 

With her inspiring determination, it’s no surprise that Susan is now working at her dream job as a cybersecurity analyst at Cytek. She believes everything she’s been through prepared her for her future and the adversity only made her stronger. It’s women like her who forge the path for others in the industry to pursue their goals, increasing diversity and enriching the industry as a whole. 

The Significance of Highlighting Women’s Triumphs in Cybersecurity 

By showcasing the achievements of women in this industry, we inspire more females to enter the cybersecurity domain, encouraging greater gender diversity.  

Susan recalls her mindset during her career transition: “I told myself that I would take this role to get myself in the door. That was going to be the first step in the right direction.” Like most women in technology, she recognized the barriers and made a plan to surmount the hurdles to reach her goals.  

At Cytek, we actively seek opportunities to enhance women’s talent and leadership potential within our organization. This includes providing opportunities for visibility and exposure to senior leadership, assigning challenging projects and stretch assignments, and creating a supportive network of peers and mentors. We also encourage women to take on leadership roles and participate in decision-making processes, ensuring their voices are heard and valued in shaping the future of our company. 

The Role of Education and Training in Empowering Women in Cybersecurity 

Providing comprehensive educational resources equips women with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in cybersecurity roles. Whether through formal education or industry-specific programs, training initiatives offer women opportunities to enhance their expertise, build confidence, and navigate their careers successfully. Investing in education and training can empower women to contribute substantially to the cybersecurity industry and bridge the gender gap. 

Through our sister company, Elev8, we train women in cybersecurity and empower them to remain resilient in their careers. In the case of Susan, she depended on online communities, training, and support from colleagues to start her tech career.  

The Impact of Role Models and Mentorship in Challenging Stereotypes 

Role models help break down gender biases and dispel misconceptions about cybersecurity careers. The presence of strong female role models and the availability of mentorship opportunities are instrumental in shaping women’s journeys and fostering gender equality in the industry. 

Recognizing the importance of role models, Susan commented: “I am super grateful for the women who came into tech when it wasn’t so popular. Or when every other person was scared to get into tech. Because these are the people that gave me the courage.” 

You can read more about how Jeannie Bonilla’s career at Elev8 inspired her daughter to pursue a career in technology here, highlighting how important role models are for young girls and women everywhere. 

The Future of Women in Cybersecurity 

The evolving nature of the industry presents a vast array of prospects for women to excel and make impactful contributions. With increasing digitalization, there is a growing need for skilled cybersecurity professionals, creating ample opportunities for women to thrive.  

Susan proudly reflects on her achievements: “I think my younger self will be super proud of me. I am proud of myself. I do not think I was going to get to this stage.”  

How Can We Support More Women in Cybersecurity? 

Supporting women in cybersecurity requires a collective effort across various aspects of life, from educational institutions to workplaces and society. Here are some ways we can provide the necessary support: 

  • Encourage mentorship programs: Pair aspiring female professionals with experienced mentors, we foster a supportive environment that promotes growth and development. 
  • Advocate for inclusive hiring practices: Organizations must actively address the gender gap in cybersecurity by implementing inclusive hiring practices, ensuring equal opportunities for women. Creating diverse teams brings a range of perspectives, experiences, and problem-solving approaches, ultimately benefiting the industry. 
  • Provide educational opportunities:  Equip women with the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in the modern cyber era through digital skilling programs.  
  • Recognize and celebrate exceptional women: Highlight outstanding women’s achievements in cybersecurity increases visibility and inspires others to pursue similar paths. Recognize and celebrate their contributions helps break gender barriers and encourage more women to join the industry. 
  • Foster collaboration and growth: Create supportive networks, both locally and globally, fosters collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and professional development for women in cybersecurity. Establish platforms for women to connect, engage, and learn from one another nurtures a sense of community and empowers women to thrive in their careers. 

International Women’s Day Highlights in Costa Rica and Nigeria 


  • International Women’s Day (IWD) Microsoft Garage Experience: We recently organized a visit for 50 female tech professionals from a prominent African financial institution. It took place at the Microsoft Garage in Lagos, Nigeria, marking a significant milestone in the tech immersion journey for these women. The experience was impactful and warmly embraced by the trainees, who gained valuable practical knowledge on the application of AI across various tech domains, including cybersecurity, data analysis, marketing, and software engineering. 
  • ISC2 IWD Event: Our team hosted ISC2, a prominent cybersecurity group, on a session titled ‘Investing in Women in Cybersecurity – Unlocking Potentials.’ at our hub in Lagos, Nigeria. Our esteemed guests include female Information Security Officers, IT Managers, and C-suite officers from various sectors. 

Costa Rica 

  • International Women’s Day Virtual Forum with Estrategia y Negocios: Together with Estrategia y Negocios, we organized a virtual forum titled: ‘Technology with a Woman’s face’. Elev8’s Country Manager in Costa Rica, Jeannie Bonilla, shed light on how we have empowered women in Costa Rica through our skilling programs. 

Our Commitment to International Women’s Day 

As Susan’s story illustrates, the possibilities in cybersecurity are limitless, irrespective of gender. It’s time to inspire, support, and empower the next generation of women in tech. 

At Cytek, our unwavering commitment is to help every girl and woman’s journey toward realizing their aspirations. As we commemorate International Women’s Day, let this be a collective celebration of strength, resilience, and triumph. We invite you to share your inspiring stories, creating a tapestry of empowerment that echoes far beyond this moment. Together, let’s build a world where dreams know no bounds and every woman can confidently pursue and achieve her aspirations.   

Join us in shaping a future where empowerment is not just a goal but a reality for every woman.  


Cytek Security provides state-of-the-art cybersecurity solutions, delivered by the world’s top cyber experts. This includes advisory and implementation services, managed security services, and capability building.

Abstract pattern of red dotted lines on a green background forming a swirling fingerprint design, representing digital identity or cybersecurity concepts
Abstract pattern of red dotted lines on a green background forming a swirling fingerprint design, representing digital identity or cybersecurity concepts