Most Inspiring Women in Cyber Awards 2024 recognises exceptional women contributing to cyber industry

women in cyber

The 20 winners of the Most Inspiring Women in Cyber Awards, organised by Eskenzi PR, have been announced at a ceremony held at the prestigious BT Tower in London on the 27 February 2024. The awards celebrated the achievements of women working in cybersecurity around the globe – whether recognising personal achievements, efforts to close the gender divide in the industry or those mentoring the next generation of women in cyber.

Sponsored included BT, ThinkCyber and Plexal, in partnership with the IT Security Guru, Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS) UK & Ireland Affiliate, and Assured Intelligence. Due to the international nature of the awards, the event was live streamed for those who were unable to attend in person.

Alongside the top 20, five exceptional ‘Ones to Watch’ were crowned at the ceremony, as well as a Cyber Marketeer of the Year – won by Laura Reilly, Head of Digital Marketing at LT Harper.

This year’s winners were selected by an esteemed panel of judges, who had a difficult task whittling down a list of over 100 accomplished women down to just 20.

The judges were:

  • Eleanor Dallaway, Co-Founder of Assured Intelligence
  • Yvonne Eskenzi, Co-Founder of Eskenzi PR
  • Lorna Armitage, COO and Co-Founder of CAPSLOCK
  • Aurorah Cheney, Security Strategy & Growth Director at BT
  • Kate Wendelboe, Security Strategy & Growth Director at BT
  • Jenny Radcliffe, Author and ‘People Hacker’
  • Stephanie Itimi, Founder and CEO of Seidea
  • Lucy Finlay, Client Delivery Director at ThinkCyber
  • Diane Gilbert, Innovation Ecosystem Lead at Plexal

The evening also included an informal panel discussion, covering everything from how the panellists entered the cybersecurity industry to how leaders can champion and encourage allyship within their organisations. Chaired by Yvonne Eskenzi, panellists included: Aurorah Cheney, Security Strategy & Growth Director at BT, Stephanie Itimi, Founder and CEO of Seidea, Jessica Moffatt-Owen, Innovation Lead at Plexal, Lucy Finlay, Client Delivery Director at ThinkCyber, and Zoe Mackenzie, Volunteer Affiliate President of WiCyS UK & Ireland.

“It was such an honour to be in the company of so many incredible women at this year’s Most Inspiring Women in Cyber Awards at the BT Tower. I am continually blown away by the achievements of women in this industry and our ability to come together as a community to celebrate and empower one another time and time again,” said Yvonne Eskenzi, Director and Co-Founder of Eskenzi PR & Marketing. “Every woman nominated was exceptional and every winner thoroughly deserving. Congratulations all!”

Yvonne Eskenzi

Named as one of the top 20, Dr. Andrea Cullen, CEO and Co-Founder of CAPSLOCK, said: “What a fantastic event full of energy, support and positivity. I feel it is important to showcase the successes women have in the sector and how much they continue to bring. This visibility is so important for women at all stages of their career. The event was a chance to meet many of my role models and I came away feeling really inspired. It was an honour to be nominated amongst such amazing women and very humbling to win.”

Aurorah Cheney, Security Strategy & Growth Director at BT, noted: “This event is really a testament to the growing importance a diverse and inclusive culture brings to effective cybersecurity. Having a wide range of talent across a number of backgrounds enriches problem solving, gives diverse perspectives and most importantly drives solutions that allow us to remain at forefront of cyber security evolution. For me, being involved in this event is a career highlight. Events like this evening really symbolise why I love my job, this industry, and the work Kate [Wendelboe, joint Security Strategy & Growth Director] and I do at BT.”

Tim Ward, CEO of event sponsor ThinkCyber, said: “This was an amazing and inspiring event to attend. Really the “most inspiring people in cyber” based on achievements and in many cases structural and cultural industry obstacles to overcome. I and Think Cyber Security Ltd feel privileged to have been part of it, and also inspired to do more to promote the underlying message here more broadly. That message isn’t really for the people who were in the room, but to potential allies that even small steps like challenging all male panels; changing the way you speak, checking in with people and learning about these issues can and will make a difference.”

Jessica Moffatt-Owen, Innovation Lead at Plexal and panellist at this year’s event, added: “As a passionate advocate for women in cyber, Plexal was proud to be a supporting partner of the Most Inspiring Women in Cyber Awards this year. The event is arguably one of the most influential industry moments to platform and champion women in the sector and the 2024 awards were no exception. It was fantastic to be surrounded by so many like-minded, creative and engaging women who are changemakers in their field. Congratulations to all!”

Valeen Oseh-Ovarah, CEO of TisOva and recipient of a ‘One to Watch’ award at this year’s event, said: “I am absolutely thrilled to have been named as ‘one to watch’ at the Most Inspiring Women in Cyber Awards 2024. This recognition comes at a perfect time, coinciding with my one-year anniversary of relocating from America to the UK to launch TisOva, my cybersecurity start-up.

“My passion for advocating for diversity and inclusion within the tech and cybersecurity industry has always been a driving force behind my work, and I am deeply committed to mentoring and supporting the next generation of women in their cybersecurity journey. Being recognised for my contributions to the cybersecurity ecosystem is incredibly validating and motivates me to continue making a difference.”

Full list of winners:

TOP 20

  • Rosie Anderson, Head of Strategic Solutions at Th4ts3cur1ty Company
  • Blessing Usoro, Information Security Manager at Cyber for School Girls
  • Lauren Zink, Manager of Culture, Awareness and Training at Indeed
  • Jennifer Fernick, Senior Staff Security Engineer and Encryption Lead at Google
  • Jan Carroll, Managing Director at Fortify Institute
  • Zinet Kemal, Cloud Security Engineer at BestBuy
  • Melissa Chambers, CEO of Sitehop
  • Lisa Ventura MBE, Founder of Cyber Security Unity Limited
  • Samantha Humphries, Senior Director of International Marketing and Strategy at Exabeam
  • Zoe Mackenzie, Information Security Manager at TSG and Volunteer President at WiCyS UK&I Affiliate
  • Chelsea Jarvie, CISO and Director of Neon Circle
  • Stephanie Luangraj, CEO and Founder of WomenWhoSecure
  • Nikki Webb, Global Channel Manager at Custodian360
  • Lianne Potter, Head of SecOps at Asda
  • Hazel McPherson, CISO of ALD Automotive and Director of 4FOX Security
  • Rebecca Taylor, Threat Intelligence Knowledge Manager at Secureworks
  • Illyana Mullins, Founder of WiTCH (Women in Tech and Cyber Hub)
  • Chiedza Kambasha, Senior Partner and Lead Crisis Consultant at AKG Global
  • Dr. Andrea Cullen, CEO and Co-Founder of CAPSLOCK
  • Dr. Iretioluwa Akerele, Co-Founder of CyBlack


  • Laura Reilly, Head of Digital Marketing at LT Harper


  • Ellie Calver, Cybersecurity Apprentice at BT
  • Valeen Oseh-Ovarah, Founder and CEO of TisOva
  • Jasmine Eskenzi, Founder and CEO of The Zensory
  • Nicole Borbely, BISO Senior Associate at PwC
  • Jenny McCullagh, Graduate Cybersecurity Engineer at Leonardo/Director and Co-founder of CyberWomen Groups C.I.C

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