25 Mar 2024
by Amy Trimble, Rahmat Balogun

Dive into the career journeys of BSI Group’s Rahmat Balogun and Amy Trimble

Women in Tech is a beacon guiding individuals towards diverse career paths. We delve into the inspiring journeys of Amy and Rahmat, exploring their work in progressing digital trust and commitment to help accelerate a more diverse and equal workforce. 

Rahmat’s commitment to progressing opportunities for woman in tech/Rahmat commitment to shaping a diverse future in the tech industry.  

Rahmat has over 20 years’ of experience in the tech industry and is the founder of TechMaidens, a social enterprise. Rahmat's career includes hands-on technical experience in IT, Cybersecurity, and IT Systems Assessment. She studied computer science at university, which she felt was an unconventional choice for a woman at that time, as her father wanted her to study law. Despite this, she stood her ground and pursued her passion. However, when she began working, she noticed that the industry was still heavily male-dominated and appeared to offer limited opportunities for women. Even though things have improved, we still have a long way to go towards equality in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics-related (STEM) workplaces. According to data from the 2022 New Scientist the pay gap report in STEM widened from 19.4%  to almost 28%.  Rahmat has dedicated her career to closing the gender gap in STEM and creating a more diverse workplace. 

Since noticing an imbalance in the technology field through her own professional experience, Rahmat dedicated personal time to encouraging young people into the tech industry and developed a social enterprise with an ethos to educate and empower the next generation. She started Tech Maidens Enterprise to offer learning workshops and digital inclusion training in her local community.  To date, over 500 women and girls have been inspired with technology through education, tech skills and mentoring  -  enabling young people to improve their confidence, achieve new goals and enhance life circumstances.  

Rahmat’s support goes beyond Tech Maidens, supporting young people in technology to raise their profile in the workplace, particularly with leadership teams. Her recognition of female scientists' achievements, and empowering women to pursue and obtain leadership roles and achieve a better work-life balance is designed to help shape change. 

The AI opportunity 

To build equality and diversity in tech, Rahmat is exploring how AI technology could align with digital workplace solutions. She plans to onboard young people and mentor through external outreach channels at her current organisation, BSI. This aims to improve retention in technical roles, break stereotypes, and build a cohesive, fun, inclusive, and diverse workplace for young people. Her vision is for women to be able to attain leadership roles and improve work-life balance by recognising female STEM achievements. 

BSI research shows women would like to stay in the workforce longer. 'Second Glass Ceiling' report, explores ways to enable women to remain productive in the workplace for a longer.  

Amy's Career: Law Degree to Tech Compliance/ Amy transfers legal expertise into technology compliance/Amy’s legal know-how accelerates a career in tech 

Amy’s career started with a Law degree, which cultivated an interest in Data Protection and Privacy legislation. The skills developed through her degree have been paramount to her technical compliance career. Compliance is not just a regulatory box to check; it has the potential to be the cornerstone of sustainable innovation and development. Navigating laws and regulations isn't merely a formality – it can be a strategic imperative that can help ensure ethical practices and societal trust. 

As she ventured into the tech industry, Amy began working alongside technical experts, supporting them in navigating legal and compliance obligations. It is key that the industry benefits from the experience of other sectors, industries and skillsets. The many routes into tech prevent the industry from becoming an echo chamber and allow for continued learning and development. 

For example there is recognition to support a diversity in the area of women’s safety. When designing the technology and its functionalities, it is crucial to address risks, such as  exploitation. There is an unsettling trend of news stories of women falling victim to deep fakes and explicit images created through AI technology , which reflects the ongoing need to prioritise the safety and security of all users, regardless of gender. In a model  with predominantly male input, there is a real potential of risk-blindness. 

A proactive approach to addressing these challenges may be having more women in technical, regulatory and assurance roles. Having diverse voices at the table during the design and development phases, can offer the opportunity for assumptions to be challenged and prompt conversations about security and safety controls. This proactive approach has the potential to help avoid reactive responses to security and safety breaches. 

As an information security assessor, Amy’s role allows her the privilege of engaging with the leadership teams of various technical organisations across diverse industries. Through these conversations, she can discuss and challenge these organisations to consider a digital trust mindset. This collaborative effort encourages organisations to develop robust risk and compliance practices that prioritise user safety and privacy. 

The impact of these proactive efforts extends beyond individual organisations. Industry practices, influenced by the incorporation of safety considerations, can inform legislative updates. This is where the real impact takes place, as regulatory frameworks are shaped by the collective understanding of the safeguards that can help protect society. 

When observing the tech landscape, Amy noticed a trend with more women seemingly occupying compliance and strategy roles than hands-on technical positions. When working for a technical company with a majority female board, the technical delivery positions were still predominantly filled by men. While compliance and strategic roles are imperative to the sustainability of technical roles and organisations, the next steps would be to increase the uptake of technical roles by women. 

(A good example of this being done well could be Bumble – a female lead dating app putting women first. Not far off drafting a “Safety in tech” kitemark – like pen testing or risk considerations when developing products and services for the market, a consideration for exploitation/illegal use). 

Embracing the Future: Inspiring the Next Generation

Amy and Rahmat exemplify the limitless possibilities for women in tech. Their stories help emphasise the importance of diversity, mentorship and social enterprise in fostering the next generation of tech enthusiasts. Through a clear commitment to inspire change and demonstrating new routes into technology, Amy and Rahmat bring inspiration to the future workplace and the opportunities to empower the next generation in an age-diverse workforce. BSI is proud to partner with organisations to drive change and accelerate progress towards a fair society and a sustainable world in which everyone can thrive. With inspiring stories from our colleagues, and ongoing research into the future of work and the age-diverse workforce, we're committed to shaping a society that benefits individuals and organisations.  

Amy and Rahmat’s recommended resources: 

TechTogether - Hubpage CTA


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Amy Trimble

Client Manager, BSI

Rahmat Balogun

Rahmat Balogun

Lead ISO Technical Auditor, BSI