19 Nov 2018
We caught up with Ruth Davis who leads our strategy for managed security services, is a successful mentor as well as finding time to sit on the Management Committee of techUK’s Cyber Security group.
What is your role in BT?
I lead strategy for BT’s portfolio of managed security services. It’s my job to understand how businesses requirements for security will develop over the next couple of years and how BT should position itself in relation to its competitors to best meet these changing needs. I also lead BT’s engagement with government on policy issues connected to cyber security.
Can you tell us about your mentoring work?
My mentors have been such a formative influence on my career, challenging me and helping me to understand how to get to where I want to be. I wanted to provide that support for others, so I’ve been a mentor on the Step into STEM programme for several years. Step into STEM is a seven month mentoring and work experience programme for sixth form girls who are interested in a STEM career.
I’m also on the Management Committee of techUK’s Cyber Security group, we recently launched a new mentoring and development network for women who are working in cyber security or interested in joining the sector. It’s called Queue for the Loo – because there are so few women in cyber security that a security event is the one time women never have to queue for the loo!
Why do you love working for BT?
The shared mission we have to keep our customers safe online and to work in partnership with government to protect UK cyber space.
What is your favourite movie of all time or boxset you are currently binging on?
Probably Lord of the Rings, I’d love to be an elf, but in stature I’m more of a hobbit ;)
What advice would you give to anyone considering a career with BT?
Aptitude and attitude is more important than experience. Cyber security is a relatively new profession, we don’t expect all our candidates to come to us with years of experience and long lists of qualifications. If you’re committed and passionate about working in security go for it and apply. Our recruitment processes are there to test your ability to learn the skills you need.
How are you challenged at BT?
It’s a very broad role, one day I might be doing a piece of competitor analysis, another day scrutinising a new draft piece of regulation, so keeping on top of everything can be quite challenging but it also means I’m never bored!
What are you most passionate about in work?
Making sure more people understand the fantastic career opportunities that cyber security offers and the huge range of talent and backgrounds the sector is looking for (you don’t have to be a technical specialist). I’d also like to see more women in the sector, at the moment we only make up 11% of the global workforce!
Can you tell us about a project/campaign you have worked on at BT that made you most proud?
Part of my role is to manage our submissions to industry analysts so moving into leadership positions across all regions with IDC was a good moment. Organising events which showcase the fantastic team and talent we have at BT is also something that makes me really proud. Most recently I organised an event in Parliament for MPs to come and meet four of our apprentices, learn more about the cyber security skills gap we have in the UK and the great opportunities there are for young people in the sector. They were so impressed with the passion and professionalism of our young team.
Tell us a fun fact about your department in BT outsiders wouldn’t know?
BT’s expertise in cyber security goes back to the Second World War when our Post Office engineer Tommy Flowers carried out ground-breaking work in encryption with Alan Turing, designing and building Colossus.
Find out more about our cyber security jobs here