As a Latina growing up in Colombia, little did I know I would end up living in Australia after our family migrated 30+ years ago. I went from being overrepresented, to underrepresented, as a Latina; from speaking Spanish, to speaking English; and from seeing many female Computer Science students in class, to only seeing a few or none other than me.
After doing a PhD degree, I grew into an academic career, which taught me how to teach and explain concepts. Teaching has helped in my industrial research career, where we need to explain new ideas and concepts we develop to a variety of audiences inside and outside the company. Leading projects in academia and industry has been tremendously interesting and valuable to me – being able to test whether ideas work well in practice or not, iterating over the next set of ideas, thinking about what's next, and developing a new future.
My diverse background has helped me in growing a diverse and inclusive team. Our female ratio is above the average for technical CS fields, our age range varies from 1st year undergraduate student to retirement age, and several of the world's continents get represented in our team.
These days, leading a team of researchers and engineers into the new frontier – Intelligent Application Security – I get to discuss new ideas with the team, use past knowledge to inform the future, develop strategy, and create a vision for the future of application security.