WOMEN IN TECH PROFILE: JI EUN LEE
October 2, 2022 by CLG Team
This month’s Women In Tech profile is an encouraging force for women and gender diverse individuals joining the tech industry. Ji Eun is a manager in Cybersecurity at EY, with her love for computers coming alive after receiving an IBM 486 as a Christmas gift from her parents.
Since completing her studies, she’s been all over the world working for large organisations in the technology sector. She’s seen the gender imbalance first hand but is optimistic that women moving into the tech industry will have support from organisations as they play a huge role in creating a more diverse and balanced workforce.
You can learn more about this inspiring woman in tech here:
Can you tell us a little more about your diverse background? Do you think it's helped your tech career?
I was born in South Korea and my family immigrated to Australia when I was young. Growing up under working class immigrant parents, it was instilled in me that I should pursue a career with financial stability and job security. The technology boom in the 90s helped me in making the decision to go into the technology sector.
Can you tell us about the journey that led you to a career in technology?
I grew up in the 90s when technology was starting to boom. My parents bought me an IBM 486 for Christmas one year and that got me interested in computers. I studied Information Systems in uni and after graduating, I decided I wanted to travel the world. I was lucky enough to land a job as an IT Security Administrator in the US in a large reputable company. This was the start of my career in cybersecurity and with the industry booming, it's really helped in the progression of my career
Since entering tech, what has your career progression looked like?
My first real job was as an IT Security Administrator in the US while I was travelling. When I came back to Australia, I worked as an IT Security Assurance Analyst for one of the big 4 banks. I then moved onto being the Information Security Coordinator for the City of Sydney then an internal consultant for nbn. I am now consulting as a Cybersecurity Manager at EY.
Who or what inspires you as a woman in technology?
Ada Lovelace of course. I think it's so cool that the first computer programmer was a woman!
I have too many inspirational women in my life to list all of them, but female leaders with compassion and empathy get a lot of respect from me.
Why do you think diversity in tech is important?
Diversity is absolutely essential, not only in technology, but for all organisations. With diversity comes more and better ideas, creative thinking, staying relevant to customers, flexibility, inclusion, I can go on and on.
Everybody has a story that is unique and special. And everybody has something to contribute to society and the greater good. The more diverse the stories and ideas, the greater the end results that will be relevant to a wider group of people.
Do you have advice for women or diverse individuals who might be considering moving to a role in tech?
Historically, roles in technology were dominated by male. When I was in uni, only 3% in one of my lectures were female. 3%! This number has significantly grown since then but there is still an imbalance in the gender ratio.
Half the technology users are women and thus, we need more women in the technology sector to provide a more balanced view to the female gender. There are issues that women can identify and can be better resolved by women.
Most organisations are now recognising the need to have a more diverse and balanced workforce. If you are considering a move to a tech role, you will have the support from these organisations as they recognise the huge value that you will bring.
What is your dream or goal for the future of tech?
I would love to see more gender equality in the technology sector, and especially more females in the senior leadership roles. I would also love to see more racial diversity in these leadership roles.
Women have so much to bring to the table yet the tech world is still primarily a man's world.
Another area of interest of mine is ethics in technology. With the rapid advancement of AI, ethics in technology is not able to catch up. I would love to see focus in this area ramp up in the near future.
QUICK FIRE ROUND
What's the best investment you've made in your career under $1000?
Upskilling by taking certification courses.
What's your favourite quote or mantra?
"Well-behaved women seldom make history"
Name a book that's inspired you?
Unbroken by Lauren Hillenbrand
One piece of tech you can't live without?
GPS (I have no sense of direction)