As Pride Month comes to a close, Advize continues to celebrate Pride today and every day.  We invite you to celebrate the lives and achievements of LGBTQIA+ beyond this month.  In addition to the legacies of the leaders who have come before us, it’s important to celebrate growing leaders in this space today.

This week our very own Ricardo Pryce sat down with Tiffany Tucker, CISM, SSCP to talk about her recent Certification, the CISM, and her journey.  We are bringing you her story to inspire and share.  While her kindergarten classmates picked careers like doctor, actress, president, etc. she uniquely chose to aspire to be a “computer worker.” At the time she wasn’t sure exactly what that meant, but she knew she wanted to work with computers.

Fast forward, she’s been a “computer worker” for over 10 years with experience in networking, systems administration, virtualization, regulatory compliance, and information security.  She has a Masters degree in IT Administration & Security, along with several certifications.

What pronouns would you prefer for us to use?

She/her, I have even put it on my LinkedIn Profile. 

Going from computer worker to multiple certifications CISM, SSCP, and so forth. Wow!  Congratulations on your CISM and your other certifications, please tell me about your certs and why you picked getting the CISM. 

Each certification that I obtained was to increase my knowledge and understanding of that specific area. My first set of certs was because at the time my knowledge around networking and IT support was based on my online searching and trial & error. Even though I was able to get the job done, I wanted to understand the why and how. I wanted to understand the best practices and how to do my job more efficiently. I knew I needed a solid foundation. I didn’t just want to know how to do the job but I wanted to do it right.  The CISM was a goal of mine because I wanted to truly test my knowledge and finally have an advanced cyber security related certification. It was sort of my way of proving to myself that I knew what I was doing.

During pride month, we do want to take a look at cybersecurity and discrimination.  Can you tell us about your experience?  Would you have any advice to share with rising LBGTQIA+ IT Security professionals? 

Thankfully I didn’t experience a lot of discrimination as someone that is LGBTQIA+. I probably received more discrimination as a black woman. However, I have been lucky to work for organizations that are inclusive and celebrate all regardless of your orientation, gender, religious beliefs, and race. Having that support and acknowledgement is important. 

What advice do you have to LGBTQIA+ career changers looking to get into cybersecurity?

Understand what you’re good at and what you enjoy doing. Are you a people person, do you like to work independently, do you like to lead, what are your professional interests. Then research the field so that you have an understanding of what types of roles you can have. The career opportunities in Cybersecurity is quite large. Once you figure out what you want to do, know what is required to be successful in that role. This kind of applies to any field but it’s important. If you’re totally new to the field, start with some entry level certifications like the security+ to give you a foundation. Get your foot in the door and never stop learning.