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The Privacy Advisor | Thinking about heading to women in privacy session on Friday? Related reading: Argentina ratifica el Convenio 108+ en materia de protección de datos personales

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For those of you thinking about heading to the women leading privacy session on Friday morning at PSR in San Jose, CA, here's one attendee's perspective from a recent, similar event. Robert Kang attended the Los Angeles KnowledgeNet on "Women Leaders in Privacy," and reports on his experiences here.

Women in Privacy Knowledgenet

On August 11, 2016, more than 60 people visited the Los Angeles office of Hogan Lovells to attend Women Leaders in Privacy, a two hour KnowledgeNet event celebrating the role of women in privacy, cybersecurity and technology. The event was planned by the IAPP's Los Angeles KnowledgeNet chapter and co-sponsored by the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles and Hogan Lovells. Like the event’s speakers, the audience represented a mix of professions, with business executives and IT engineers mingling with attorneys and students.

Los Angeles KnowledgeNet co-Chairperson Megan Duffy opened the night with a panel discussion. As the former sole privacy counsel for Snapchat, and currently a privacy consultant, Duffy used her experience to guide the panel through a moderated Q&A. The discussion was wide-ranging, touching on issues from industry best practices to relations with law enforcement. The panelists encouraged the audience to ask questions, and the audience responded, for sure.
Women_Leaders_in_Privacy_Panelists

Although talk about business and managerial issues consumed most of the panel’s time, the metaphorical heart of the event showed itself when the panel discussed ways to inspire women to enter, or excel in, privacy or cyber-related careers. FBI Assistant-Special-Agent-in-Charge Gina Osborn gave one example about inspiring even the youngest generation of future women leaders. Despite her busy schedule protecting public safety, Osborn takes the time to speak with elementary school girls about careers in the FBI. Beth Jones, a cybersecurity engineer and analyst with the Southern California Edison Company, echoed that theme. Like Osborn, Jones willingly participates in IAPP panels, to help normalize public perceptions about women working in highly technical jobs.

Panelist Stephanie Yonekura, an attorney with Hogan Lovells, closed the panel portion of the night with her tip for cyber success: “you have to prepare,” she said. Preparation-leading-to-success is something Yonekura knows about, having served as the acting United States Attorney for the Central District of California before moving to Hogan Lovells. Yonekura explained that she made it a point to learn technical jargon as her cyber caseload grew. Speaking with technical practitioners, in their own language, helped Yonekura develop credibility, which in turn contributed to her rise within the Department of Justice.  

Panelists’ words remained with many in the audience even after the event, including with Natasha Babazadeh. As a third year student at the UCLA School of Law, Babazadeh is one of the future leaders that the panelists and event sponsors hoped to inspire. When asked if the event met her expectations, Babazadeh responded affirmatively. “It did,” she said. “I learned practical tips about cybersecurity, and about becoming a leader in that field.” Babazadeh indicated she may even reap immediate benefits from attending the event. She is the co-president for the law school’s new data governance student group, and intends to apply what she saw and learned at the Women Leaders event into developing thought-provoking programs for her group. “I’m really glad I came,” said Babazadeh.

Want to be glad you came, too?

Friday's session at PSR will feature Jenn Behrens, CIPP/G, CIPP/US, CIPM, FIP, partner at Kimble & Associates; Amanda Bell Smith, CIPP/E, VP of workforce data privacy at Fidelity; Juanita Koilpillai, president of Digital Risk Management Institute and CEO of Waverley Labs, and Chenxi Wang, chief strategy officer at Twistlock. 

Editor's note: The author was one of the co-planners for the “Women Leaders in Privacy” event, and is personally acquainted with the co-sponsoring organizations and panelists. The author respectfully thanks the event’s co-sponsors and panelists for their participation in this event.

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