Three of us founded our company in 2016. I met my co-founders at a cybersecurity conference in the USA. Before that, I’d spent 12 years working in the IT industry and found it difficult that the issue of IT security was so overlooked in the digital world that products were static and not geared to the needs of end-users.
In everyday life it has become normal for me to be the only woman taking part in projects and meeting clients. I find the cultural differences more of an issue: some people we advise on IT security matters have outdated knowledge and quickly go on the defensive. It is a cultural problem if you perceive change as a threat rather than as an opportunity.
It would be wonderful if there were more women in my industry, greater diversity in general and more varied career paths. That would create new role models and alleviate the fears of female career starters.
Entrepreneurship is generally less firmly established in Switzerland. Many people still think that start-ups are founded by young men wearing hoodies who like playing table football. In our case, it tends to be someone who has worked in a bank and wants to solve a particular problem that has arisen. Launching a start-up is not a lifestyle, it’s hard graft. More honest stories should be put out there. The failure of an idea or company is also part and parcel of it. Entrepreneurs also have to realise that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. The topic or problem you’re working on must hold your interest for years to come.”