Welcome to Diana Initiative 2021 Virtual Conference schedule.
For more information, please see our virtual conference page here :
Back To Schedule
Saturday, July 17 • 2:00pm - 2:30pm
Soft Skills in a Hard World: Why Your Innate Strengths Should Be a Competitive Advantage

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

Technical skills have long been the focus of training and development programs within cybersecurity, largely because they’ve always been the metric by which candidates and employees are evaluated. Non-technical skills are all but overlooked during the hiring process, simply glossed over in the job description and hardly mentioned during interviews. Despite all this, I’d like to suggest that it’s the non-technical skills that set employees apart and that it’s in this arena that women especially have the opportunity to shine.

As a byproduct of growing up in modern society, women develop many skills that men simply aren’t required to. We become naturally better communicators and collaborators, tend to be better at maintaining objectivity, and more easily understand the connections between teams, individuals, and projects. It’s time we’re all encouraged to be proud of these skill sets, and that training and development in these areas become a normal part of career progression for all employees.

To bring some anecdotal evidence along, I’ve never been willing to describe myself as a technical person, even when colleagues have ascribed that adjective – I’m simply not here for the tech. I’m not a hardware collector, I don’t mess with software or networking in my free time, I’ve never done a techy competition on my off days. Tech is not my hobby, but when I first started college, I got the impression that it had to be. All my confident peers seemed to be into that part of things, and the fact that I was consistently top in our classes didn’t spare me from feeling foolish when they’d bring up some new gadget I’d never heard of. I considered quitting several times, crying on the phone to my mom more times than I could count.

But eventually – and recently – I’ve begun to see that technical skills are not what have made me an effective or appreciated employee. Every job I’ve held has required me to learn a new set of technical skills, hopping from digital forensics, to network security analysis, to content development, to coding, to cybersecurity consulting. Rather, my almost annoyingly analytical and critical mind allows me to ask the questions others don’t see. My extracurricular experience with writing and public speaking allows me to communicate with anyone regardless of their technical knowhow. My innate self-awareness that sometimes still simmers over into self-doubt allows me to appreciate and leverage the brilliance of my colleagues. Who I am inside - who I am despite years of technical training - is what makes me successful.

avatar for Megan Daudelin

Megan Daudelin

Cybersecurity Instructor, INE
Megg Daudelin is currently a cybersecurity instructor at INE, living and working full-time on the road in an Airstream with her husband and two dogs. Megg started her career as a defense contractor performing digital forensic analysis in the DC metro area after completing her Bachelors... Read More →

Saturday July 17, 2021 2:00pm - 2:30pm PDT
Stage 4 - Career Village Talks https://tdi.mobi/stage4