Honoring Women In Cyber:  Cybersecurity Woman of the Year Awards

3 min read
(March 7, 2023)

Cyber Security Tribe had an opportunity to speak with Carmen Marsh, creator of the Cybersecurity Woman of the Year Awards. For those in the cyber security industry and have crossed paths with Marsh, they know she’s a force to be reckoned with. 

As a well-known technology leader, cybersecurity entrepreneur, and educator, she started Inteligenca after 20 years of working with companies needing leaders who understand technology, including Sony Incorporated, Stanford Research International, Meridian Systems/ Trimble, USC, and CEA. 

Carmen Marsh Cyber Security Awards

In 2019 she launched a very successful, tuition-free fast track upskilling program called ‘100 Women in 100 Days Cybersecurity Career Accelerator’; (100W100D) with funding from Craig Newmark Philanthropy. 

Cybersecurity Woman of the Year Awards

Marsh also created the international spotlight for highlighting the female cybersecurity role models with the first ever Cybersecurity Woman of the Year Awards GALA in Las Vegas in 2019, at the Black Hat conference. Each year, women from across the world get recognized for their achievements in the field of cybersecurity.

She has been recognized internationally for her outstanding entrepreneurial work making an impact on the cybersecurity workforce. In January 2021 she became SynED Cyber Hero. In September of 2021 she earned the Cybersecurity Role Model of the Year by Top Security Magazine. Also, in September 2021 she was recognized by Circadence as the New Agent of Change 2021 for the Women-Focused Cyber Career Program 100 Women in 100 Days. In October 2021 she won an international award in Paris for the Global Executive or Entrepreneur of the Year: CEFCYS : EuropeanCyberWomenDay by Cefcys - Edition 2021. In 2022 she has received an award for one of the “Women Who Mean Business” Awards issued by Sacramento Business Journal. 

And that’s the abbreviated bio…she’s made a significant mark for females in cybersecurity and there is no sign of her slowing down. We asked her about her background and in light of Women’s History Month, focused on the Cybersecurity Woman of the Year Awards.

Cyber Security Tribe: How did you get started in your career?

Carmen Marsh: It certainly is quite interesting as I have spent some time thinking about what exactly attracted me to cybersecurity or technology in general. We also ask the same questions of our students in the 100 Women in 100 Days Cybersecurity Career Accelerator because understanding what sparked their interest is critical to helping close the existing gender gap in the cybersecurity field.

For me, it was curiosity about how everything worked. I was in the midst of Silicon Valley during dotcoms bombarded with TV ads about new technologies. Curiosity didn’t kill the cat, but it certainly made me a tech. My first tech job was with Sony Incorporated in San Jose which only propelled my career into so many amazing tech fields including information security.  

At SRI International I worked with the most amazing group of infosec experts and mentors, and as I fast-forward to today, it had an incredible impact on me as I continue being part of the cybersecurity community. We have a serious issue with the retention of female cybersecurity professionals. Today, I know I chose my career focus well and I am still happy to remain in this very close community.

Cyber Security Tribe: What can you tell us about the Cybersecurity Woman of the Year Awards?

Carmen Marsh: The Cybersecurity Woman of the Year was a very much-needed initiative that I originally founded to dispel the existing stigma associated with people that work in infosec jobs. I wanted to show that there are many incredibly accomplished, intelligent, and overall wonderful female professionals currently working in the field who look just like any of us women and nothing like what was portrayed in the media.


I also wanted to show that women can be both technical and glamorous, and very successful. I took a bit of a risk in 2019 but making the awards event at Black Hat (Las Vegas) an Oscar-style GALA because most people in the field are typically dressed very casually. However, the risk has paid off and we have now been successfully creating female role models for 5 years.

Our CSWY Awards have also expanded globally, and we are now receiving nominations from every continent in the world. Our judges are also global cybersecurity leaders covering every part of the world. The entire selection process takes about 8 months from the time nominations are open and we announce the winners. There are 9 different awards categories, each with a very specific criterion.  

You can learn more about the Cybersecurity Awards for 2023 here.