Women in Technology Roundtable - Fostering Strong Innovative Female Leadership in Tech

VIP Theater

Starts: September 21, 2023 1:00 pm
Ends: 2:00 pm
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Why do we need to bother about Diversity and Inclusion (D&I)? Is there value in taking the critical steps to evolve into a more diverse culture? Research has found that D&I 1) helps foster and contribute to enriched innovation, collaboration, and creativity; 2) broadens the talent pool and attracts enhanced skill sets. 3) Improves market reputation and trust therefore increasing customer base. 4) Improves investor and regulatory relationships and much more.

This panel of distinguished Women will share their experience and insight on the following topics:

  1. Overcoming gender bias and discrimination in the tech industry
  2. Strategies for increasing the number of women in tech and closing the gender gap
  3. The importance of mentorship and support networks for women in tech
  4. Balancing work and family responsibilities as a woman in the tech industry
  5. The benefits and challenges of diversity in tech teams
  6. Emerging trends and opportunities for women in technology
  7. Encouraging young girls to pursue careers in technology
  8. Highlighting the achievements and contributions of women in technology
  9. Addressing the pay gap and negotiating salaries as a woman in tech
  10. Building inclusive workplace cultures that support and value women in technology.

Dd Budiharto

Founder & CEO - Cyber Point Advisory

Dd Budiharto is a founder of Cyber Point Advisory, LLC, a leader in fractional CISO firm that provides cyber security advisory services to small and mid size businesses (SMBs) and global organizations. She partners with executive teams, business stakeholders, and IT leaders to develop strategy and road map to enhance the organization’s cyber security posture. Her efforts have been instrumental in delivering significantly enhanced information and cyber security for companies including Phillips 66, Baker Hughes, Marathon Oil Corporation, and Halliburton. Dd has been a digital security visionary for 20+ years. As an industry leader, she worked closely with the White House on Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity initiatives. She served as chairman of the American Petroleum Institute (API) IT Security Subcommittee, where she collaborated with the White House, and is currently a Governing Member of Evanta/Gartner and SecureWorld CISO Executive. Dd is passionate about developing the next generations cyber security warriors for the underrepresented groups. She serves as a Board of Director of LINK Houston and has remained active as a speaker, moderator, mentor, and advisor for Women Executive Forum, Minorities in Cybersecurity, Cyversity and at multiple universities over time, including the University of Houston, Baylor University, University of St Thomas, and Rice University Baker Institute.


Nikki Jackson

Chief Information Security Officer - Woodforest National Bank

A Certified Senior Level Executive with over 20 years of Information Technology, Security, Internal Audit, and Financial Services combined experience. Leading and providing oversight for many facets of security and technology domains, including Network & Information Security, Data Privacy, IT Asset Management, Third Party Risk Management, and Incident Response. Responsibility for compliance with many banking regulations, has led to extensive knowledge in various standards such as NIST, FFIEC, GLBA, and PCI DSS. As a trusted advisor in the industry, I participate in many professional organizations such TBA, IIA, ISACA, InfraGard, and FS-ISAC. Active on several advisory boards and leadership committees including Sam Houston State University, Sentinel One, and ISACA. Along with a passion to serve my organizations, diversity in the Cybersecurity industry has also become a passion. Therefore in 2023, I founded an organization called “AWIC”, Advancing Women in Cybersecurity. AWIC’s mission is simply to “Diversifying Cyber; One Woman at a Time” by offering women and young ladies from underserved schools and communities’ guidance and resources to excel in the Cybersecurity industry.


Crystal C. Grant

Chief Information Security Officer - LegalBadge

Accomplished cybersecurity leader and CISO at Chatam Group, a registered Texas Safe and Secure Center (TxSSC) company, with a successful track record of providing exceptional CISO services to 15+ educational institutions and industry-leading companies. A multifaceted executive-level leader and collaborative team player, offering 18+ years of hands-on experience and multiple achievements in Information Technology and Information Security senior leadership roles. Expertise spans performance optimization, large-scale program implementation, operational management, project management, consultancy, strategic direction, and agile methodology. Proud member of the Advisory Committee for the Houston Community College Resiliency Center of Excellence, dedicated to fostering and enhancing the institutions cybersecurity, preparedness, response, and recovery strategies for a more resilient and thriving community.

Sandy Venugopal

Chief Information Officer - SentinelOne

Technology, Business Strategy and Program Executive with strong track record of transforming teams and organizations, delivering solutions, building partnerships, enabling customer successes and scaling up teams and processes. Consistently recognized for: - Broad Technology, Enterprise and Business Systems leadership and solution delivery - Building, coaching and developing high-performing teams - Building trust and credibility with business and technical staff - Effective program planning (strategic, process, organizational or technical) and executing through to completion - Translating business strategy and goals into an actionable portfolio of programs and projects to invest in Specialties include: IT/Technology and Business Strategy Development, Business Relationship Management, Project / Program Management, PMO Setup and Leadership, Cross-Functional / Departmental Partnerships, Client Relationship Building, Software Development Lifecycle, Business Process Engineering and Improvement, Business and Enterprise Systems Architecture, Business Systems Leadership

Monica R. Lee

AVP, Enablement and Engagement, Office of the CISO - Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

By White House Executive Order 14028, Improving the Nation's Cybersecurity, Monica Lee is a NASA detailee serving the Federal Reserve Bank National IT as a Senior Manager of Information Secrity in the Office of Chief Information Security Officer. In this role, Ms. Lee manages cyber engagment and enablement to ensure products and services are protected from malicious actors and threat agents. Monca is the former Chief of Staff for the NASA Johnson Space Center and is a senior leader in the Agency. Lee has over two decades of low-Earth orbit human risk mitigation, operational and sustaining engineering experience. She has executed over 3,000 hours in the Mission Control Center-Houston as an International Space Station flight controller where she specialized in the Electrical Power Systems and was the first to earn three electrical power flight controller certifications. She brings an extensive mastery of negotiations and federal contracts as she served as the Contracting Officer Technical Representative managing Russian Space contracts valued at over $4.4 billion USD, the largest international contract in the NASA agency. She has applied her scientific and financial acuity to expand human exploration in commercial activities, innovation theory, and applied technology transfer. She was awarded NASA’s Exceptional Achievement Medal. Lee worked as a contract consultant with Ernst and Young in Montreal, Canada creating models to mitigate financial banking risks and establish corporate risk mitigation protocols. She has published research performed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory on K-Shell energies and transition rates for the Auger and Radiative decays in carbon-like ions which is used internationally in atomic and nuclear studies. She is an avid STEM and STEAM advocate. As a keynote speaker, Monica focuses on women’s empowerment, diversity, equity and inclusion, leadership for radical times and creating exponential value in a connected world. Monica supports numerous non-profit organizations. She is also a mentor to youth and girls through various affiliations. She is a Board Member for the MIT Leadership Center and a member of the Houston Arts Alliance Advisory Council. By the age of 21, Lee earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from Southern University and A&M College. She holds a Master’s in Business Administration from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she was selected as a Sloan Leadership Fellow.