Celebrating 100 years: Sophia's Story

Sophia embarked on the CSC graduate program in early 2021, and became the first woman to join CSC's Cyber Operations Team.

12 May 2022

When Sophia Barbour embarked on the CSC graduate program in early 2021, she assumed its generalist nature meant she would be putting the specialist knowledge gained from her International Security and Commerce degree to the side – at least for a few years.
"I really enjoyed my international security degree, but until I found out that we had a cyber team at CSC, I kind of thought that would be something I would pursue later on in my career," she says.

Fast forward a year, and Sophia has happily and unexpectedly found herself immersed in the world of cyber security, becoming the first female to join CSC’s Cyber Operations Team. A presentation to the 2021 graduates by Cyber Security Manager, Adrian Kazias, piqued her awareness of the team, and set in motion a chain of events that would see her break the mould in what has always been a male-dominated area of the business.

"Adrian presented to us grads, and I was like, 'oh my gosh, this is something I didn’t even think about being a possibility,'" she recalls.

"I have no IT background, so I thought, 'oh, it will be out of my comfort zone, but it will also be something similar to what I did in Uni.' So I stuck up my hand, and was just like, 'I’ll give it a whirl.'"

A graduate stint in the Cyber Security team ended up being extended, eventually leading to Sophia applying for, and subsequently accepting, a fulltime position. She is currently being supported through her studies of a Certificate Four in IT, and her job description involves raising awareness of cyber security through training and educational materials, and more recently, using threat intelligence portals to ensure her and her team are on top of all the latest developments in Ukraine.

While working in an area that is traditionally male-dominated, Sophia has nothing but praise for her colleagues, who she says want to acknowledge the fact that a lack of female representation is an issue within Cyber Security, and have created a supportive and encouraging environment.

"I know that the team are very much on my side. They take control of a situation. They make me feel comfortable to feel that if anything is happening, to speak up," she says.

"I think it’s not just the cyber team, I think it’s CSC in general. As a young woman, that’s something I really value."

And while Sophia may already be breaking down barriers in these early stages of her career, she already hopes she is inspiring other women, with her recent mentoring of a female 2022 graduate within the Cyber Security team being something she holds dearly.

"I don't have a role model in terms of females in the team, I like to think that hopefully I can be a role model for newer grads."

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