Episode #14: Mary Chaney is Vice President of the International Consortium of Minority Cybersecurity Professionals (ICMCP), founder of her own law practice at The Law Offices of Mary N. Chaney – The CyberSecurity Law Firm of Texas and a former special agent with the FBI, working in the cyber crimes unit in Los Angeles. She has also had a successful corporate career in information security for companies like Discovery, Comcast, Johnson & Johnson and GE Capital. The combination of all this experience and her varied interests has led to where she is now, running her law firm and using every skill she learned throughout her career.
This episode is a fabulous opportunity to learn from a woman who spent the majority of her career in the male dominated fields of information systems and security and law enforcement. As an African American woman, she has often been the “only” in rooms and in meetings in several ways. But she never saw that as a hindrance. In fact, she tells me:
Growing up, I was an athlete and was comfortable around boys. So just because there were a bunch of men around, I never thought I couldn’t be successful. I just went with what I knew. And my mother would say she would have wanted me to war more dresses, but I was never discouraged from being the young lady I was and I always had the confidence I would figure it out.
A perfect description of what can happen if we let girls be themselves vs trying to socialize the “masculine” interests out of them.
In addition to working in her law firm and at ICMCP helping to improve both diversity and inclusion (hear more about the difference in this episode) in her industry, Mary also mentors a group of about 30 young women and men in areas of confidence, leadership and more. She looks at it as a responsibility to prepare the next generation of leaders to step into their roles ready to face challenges, as and as a way to give her mentees a role model she never really had.
Mary’s ideas about leadership and generosity are still, sadly, unique in our corporate world where independence and territorial behaviour still seem to rule. I know you’ll be inspired by her perspective!
What you’ll learn from Mary in this episode:
- Her advice to young professionals about how to handle being minimized in meetings
- Why we still need organizations like ICMCP – and why large organizations’ internal diversity “affinity” groups can’t accomplish the goals of diversity and inclusion on their own
- Why Mary believes confidence is the main skill women need to work on now to get ahead
- The difference between corporate diversity and inclusion goals, why both are important and what happens when companies get it wrong
- What most young professionals are looking for from their mentors and why mentors need to approach the relationship with a generous perspective about what they share
- ICMCP’s most successful programs and why they’re working to advance the careers of women and minorities in cybersecurity roles in addition to helping the industry at the same time
- Mary’s view on ambition and why she believes resilience is just as important for women
Mary is ambitious for:
Organizations mentioned in this episode:
The Law Offices of Mary N. Chaney, P.L.L.C.
Like what you’ve seen so far and want more?