“From establishing the first WiCyS student chapter at the University of Houston to founding the WiCyS Houston affiliate, my commitment to empowering women in cybersecurity has remained steadfast. Through partnerships and leadership roles, I’ve strived to break barriers and create opportunities for women in this male-dominated industry. WiCyS has not only shaped my career but has also fueled my passion for mentorship and advocacy, ensuring that every woman has the support and resources needed to succeed in cybersecurity.”

—Annie Jamshed, JPMorganChase

Annie Jamshed’s venture into cybersecurity is characterized by a pioneering spirit and a determination to overcome challenges. As the first in her family to explore this field, she faced skepticism initially. However, Annie found motivation in skepticism, viewing each obstacle as an opportunity for growth and personal development. Her story is one of breaking barriers and shattering preconceived notions, deeply intertwined with the Women in CyberSecurity (WiCyS) organization, which has significantly shaped her career and inspired her to support the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.

 

Annie earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering in 2012 from Bahauddin Zakariya University in Punjab. In 2016, she moved to Houston, Texas, to pursue a Master’s Degree in Information System Security at the University of Houston. Eager to delve into the field, Annie noticed a lack of female role models. A friend’s introduction to the WiCyS conference piqued her interest. With support from her mentor and professor, Dr. Conklin, she secured funding to attend her first WiCyS conference in Chicago in 2018. This experience was transformative, exposing her to a network of like-minded individuals and industry leaders. Seeing women from diverse backgrounds share their knowledge inspired Annie, reinforcing the belief that her dreams were attainable. The supportive environment at WiCyS became a cornerstone in her professional development, instilling confidence and a sense of belonging.

 

Recognizing the absence of WiCyS student chapters, Annie seized the opportunity to create the first one at the University of Houston. She sought to provide a platform for aspiring women in cybersecurity to learn, collaborate and grow together. Even after graduating with her Master’s Degree in the Spring of 2018, Annie remained committed to shaping and mentoring the chapter. Her drive to break new ground and defy conventional limitations embodies her commitment to forging her own path and inspiring others to follow.

 

Annie’s dedication to WiCyS extended beyond her university years. Upon joining SLB as an SOC Analyst, she leveraged her experience with WiCyS to establish a strategic partnership between SLB and WiCyS with the goal of utilizing the WiCyS Job Board++ and the Virtual Career Fair to bridge the gender gap in cybersecurity roles. As her tenure at SLB solidified, Annie sought avenues to support cybersecurity professionals, leading her back to WiCyS. Amid the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Annie founded the WiCyS Houston affiliate in 2020, serving as President for three years. Her leadership and passion for WiCyS fueled efforts to organize events, mentorship programs and workshops, empowering women in cybersecurity at the professional level.

 

In 2022, Annie’s career took another significant leap when she joined JPMorganChase as a Security Architect. This role presented fresh challenges, including adapting to the company’s organizational size and structure and overcoming a steep learning curve. Nevertheless, Annie navigated these challenges adeptly, building trust with product teams and emphasizing the importance of diverse perspectives and inclusive collaboration in cybersecurity. Continuing her involvement with WiCyS, she discovered an existing partnership between the organization and JPMorganChase. She assumed leadership of the working group and later established a WiCyS corporate affiliate, showcasing her dedication to advancing women in cybersecurity. Annie remains a staunch advocate for diversity and inclusion at JPMorganChase, leveraging her experience and network to drive positive change within the industry.

 

Annie’s journey serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration. From being the first in her family to pursue a degree in electrical engineering to establishing the first WiCyS student chapter, she embodies the spirit of breaking barriers and forging new paths. WiCyS played a pivotal role in Annie’s personal and professional growth, offering exposure to female role models and a sense of belonging within the cybersecurity community. Her story powerfully emphasizes the indispensable role of mentorship and support in navigating a male-dominated field. Moreover, it underscores her dedication to furthering the WiCyS mission of recruiting, retaining and advancing women in cybersecurity.

Annie’s steadfast commitment to empowering women in cybersecurity shines through her dedication to serving as a role model for future generations. Through her visionary leadership and relentless drive to create opportunities for other women, she has not only propelled her own career forward but also paved a path for others to follow. Annie remains resolute in her mission to innovate and uplift, ensuring a brighter future for women in cybersecurity through her ongoing commitment to paying it forward. As she continues to champion women in the field, her legacy will inspire countless others, motivating them to pursue their passions and defy conventional limitations.