SC Magazine 2014 Women of Influence

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Joyce Brocaglia  – president and CEO, Alta Associates; founder of the Executive Women’s Forum (EWF)

When Joyce Brocaglia peruses the panelists and keynotes at most security and IT conferences, she doesn’t see many women on the roster, which means she still has plenty of work left to do both as CEO of Alta Associates, a leading executive search firm in IT risk management, information security and privacy, and as tireless evangelist of the Executive Women’s Forum (EWF).

Nearly 30 years after founding Alta – two decades after Russians hacked into Citibank and the search firm helped build the first-ever information security organization, evolving into the go-to firm for CISOs and the teams that support them for companies that are the targets of sophisticated cyber attacks and identity theft – Brocaglia says that while “plenty of women are thought leaders,” they continue to navigate a thornier path than men marked by obstacles and pitfalls — among them that a “loving, caring, nurturing side is seen as a weakness.”

Still, women in security have marched steadily toward progress and their strengths, beyond their skillsets, are in demand. Many C-level searches these days aren’t just looking for the most technical person but rather “they’re asking us for influencers,” says Brocaglia, whose own greatest influence has been her mother. That’s just the kind of security professionals that she has spent years amassing at both Alta and the EWF.

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