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Women in Technology: Meet Lori

By: Marissa Withers

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Marissa: Tell us your story on how you got into technology?

Lori: I was raised by a tinkerer of sorts and I suppose the apple did not fall far from the tree. Before working in this industry, I had a very fulfilling career in physical security and private investigations. With cybersecurity being a growing concern, I saw a great opportunity to transfer my skills and combine them with my passion for tech. I began taking classes, seeking out mentors, and networking with people in the industry, which is how I found Dataprise!

Marissa: Did you always know that working in technology was what you wanted to do? 

Lori: Not entirely, I had planned to be a stay at home mom to my four children, but life throws us curve balls sometimes and we must adapt. I am very thankful that I was able to spend the first 7 years at home with my kids before I went back to work, however much of this time I was restless and built two businesses while staying home. I suppose I always knew I wanted more. I continue to build businesses and write books and blogs in my spare time. Technology will always play an integral part in the development process, so in a way, I suppose it’s something I’ve always subconsciously wanted.

Marissa: How long have you been with Dataprise?

Lori: May will be my third month here!

Marissa: Can you share a little bit about what it is that you do and what a typical day for you is like?

Lori: I am a Resource Coordinator on the Managed Services team. I help with client-facing staff utilization and aid various teams as needed to ensure our clients are receiving the service they need when they need it and help to keep our teams informed on all fronts. A typical day is usually fast-paced and filled with both internal and external communication. I also assist with some of the front desk duties as needed. We are all working remotely now and learning on the fly has been both challenging and rewarding!

Marissa: What is one piece of advice you’d give to young women looking to get into the technology field?

Lori: If living the tech life has taught me anything, it is that I will always have a lot to learn. Be prepared to grow and get excited about it! Comfort zones are a nice place to visit but unpacking there is a detriment to growth in this field.

Marissa: What advice would you give to a woman considering a career in the tech industry? What do you wish you had known?

Lori: It may seem intimidating to be a minority in the field, but the right mentors can help build confidence. I used to be afraid to make friends and I focused mainly on my studies. I later realized that it isn’t always about what you know in this industry, but rather who you know. One mentor let me tag along to the Sans Hackfest Summit where I watched a presentation on social engineering your way into the career of your dreams, and another helped me get this job. Both were monumental and would have never happened to the old wallflower of a woman I used to be.

Marissa: What do you think is the best part of being a woman in the tech industry?

Lori: We (as women) can leverage this to our benefit. If you want to write a book, speak at a conference, become a mentor, start a business, become a teacher, or shoot for any other moon…you can. Plus, being branded as ‘women-owned’ has its benefits. While there will be naysayers, there will be more YAY-sayers. Social media also has your back – #womenintech is a great place to start!

Marissa: What is it that you enjoy most about your current job at Dataprise?

Lori: The culture! When I was doing my research on companies, it was what stood out the most. Dataprise sees the value in caring for its employees; and in doing so, their employees take care of the company, the clients, and each other. It is a full circle of care and collaboration.

Marissa: Where do you see yourself going from here?

Lori: I would like to be a part of Dataprise Cyber once I complete my degree, but I have a passion for computer forensics and investigations. I’d also like to build upon my side work; cybersecurity competitions, public speaking engagements, or perhaps another book! The future excites me.

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