Women Transforming Tech: Chelsea Lowman

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Arctic Wolf’s Women Transforming Tech (WTT) Pack Unity Alliance serves as our platform for women and their allies to build community, create strong professional networks, foster career development, and identify informal and formal ways that Arctic Wolf can be more inclusive in both our organization and the larger cybersecurity industry. Today, we’re sharing the perspective of People Experience Specialist Chelsea Lowman, a member of our WTT Pack Unity Alliance.   

Personal Journey and Motivation  

Can you share a bit about your personal journey in the cybersecurity field? What initially drew you to this industry and inspired you to pursue a career in it?

This is my first experience working in cybersecurity and HR, as I previously spent the last decade in professional sports leading corporate social responsibility. I was initially drawn to Arctic Wolf because of the strong workplace culture that was evident in all my conversations with Pack members. Working for a company with a socially responsible mission was also extremely important to me, so knowing we’re working every day to protect our customers and make the world a safer place makes me proud to work here.   

Overcoming Challenges  

The cybersecurity field can be quite demanding. What were some significant challenges you faced along the way, and how did you overcome them? Any advice for our readers/attendees on dealing with obstacles in this industry?  

Speaking specifically from an HR perspective, as we continue to grow and become more and more global, there are inherent challenges to being in multiple time zones within multiple countries and cultures. Working to keep the Arctic Wolf brand and culture as our North Star while also recognizing and celebrating the uniqueness of our global Pack has been a really fun challenge and one I look forward to continuing to collaborate with our pack members on in the future.

Additionally, being new to the cybersecurity industry, there was a steep learning curve for me at the beginning as I worked to understand exactly what we do and how. The longer I’m here and get to meet Pack members from security services, R&D, etc. I’m so impressed by their work and love that I’m always learning something new that I can then share with my friends and family to help keep them safe online. 

Skill Development

Cybersecurity is a rapidly evolving field. How do you stay up to date with the latest technologies, trends, and best practices? Could you share some strategies for continuous skill development?  

Here I must give a shout out to both our Arctic Wolf Managed Security Awareness team and our learning and development team! Our MA team puts together bite-sized videos that are truly entertaining and enjoyable to watch. With that, I can ensure I’m making smart, safe choices online as an Arctic Wolf employee and in my personal life. Our learning and development team does a great job curating all sorts of professional development and learning resources. In addition, one of my favorite ways to learn is through TEDTalks.  

Photo of Chelsea Lowman.

Photo of Chelsea Lowman.

Navigating Career Progression

Many women face unique challenges in advancing their careers. What strategies did you employ to progress and succeed in your cybersecurity career? How did you advocate for your own professional growth?  

Most of my career thus far has been in an extremely male-dominated industry (sports) and most of the time, when I worked in hockey and baseball, I was not only one of the few women but also the only person of color. I’ve always just focused on being myself and knowing all my life experiences, combined with the life experiences of someone who could be the exact “opposite” of me, is what makes us stronger. Advocating for yourself when needed but not assuming malicious intent is necessary. Finding trusted sponsors, mentors, and allies has made a world of difference in helping me progress throughout my career.

I also make sure I keep professional development top of mind through scheduled quarterly meetings with my manager and then separate bi-annual meetings with my manager’s leader to ensure there’s always dedicated time to chat through goals, areas of opportunity, and more outside of performance reviews. 

Mentorship and Networking

Mentorship and networking can be instrumental in one’s career growth. Have you had mentors who guided you in your journey? How has networking with peers and colleagues influenced your career path? 

I’ve been fortunate throughout my career to not only have had amazing leaders who prioritized my professional development and advocated for me in rooms I’m not in, but also formal mentors who’ve provided counsel during challenging situations with individuals I’ve managed, discussions around asking for a raise, and so much more.

One piece of advice I have in finding a mentor is first determining if you have any specific criteria, for example, I got to a point in my career where I found it important to ensure at least one of my mentors was a Black woman who could potentially relate to certain experiences.

In regard to networking, it’s played a major role throughout my career, specifically in my last two jobs. How I ended up at Arctic Wolf is quite serendipitous and a result of my network, so you just never know who might lead to your next opportunity. Stay open when people reach out wanting to connect. 

Work-Life Balance

Balancing a demanding cybersecurity career with personal life can be tough. How do you manage your work-life balance? Any tips for maintaining your well-being while excelling in your role? 

As I made the decision to leave professional sports, work-life balance was the driving force and value I prioritized while determining my next step. For me, it’s important to be protective of my time, specifically around lunch. That’s not to say I can’t be flexible and move the timing around when needed, but I know I’m a friendlier person and more productive during my workday when I have the break to not only nourish myself but connect and laugh with my coworkers in the café and maybe go for a short walk.

I also focus on all the things in my life that I know help me show up as the best version of myself – going to dance classes, reading fiction books, live music, meditating, taking walks outside, learning a new language, and laughing with my friends. I don’t always have time for all the things but when life gets wild and I start to feel my mental health declining, if I pause to do a quick assessment, it’s typically because I’ve stopped doing the things that I know make me happy.

I highly recommend doing a periodic values assessment (Brene Brown has a great values list you can use to narrow down your top values to ensure you’re living in alignment) and also doing an Energy Log where you reflect on the tasks you did that day (or week) and if the task gave or depleted energy. 

This year’s Women’s History month theme is” Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.” What does it mean to you?

A big part of my role here at Arctic Wolf is supporting our Pack Unity Alliances (employee resources groups) and working to make sure all pack members can show up as themselves and feel safety and belonging. To me, being a woman who advocates for DEI means recognizing the intersectionality of these efforts and being allies to all Pack members. It means playing an active role in building the culture of your workplace regardless of your department or role. It means advocating for yourself and bringing along other women for the ride. It means taking action! 

Additional Women Transforming Tech Interviews

Women Transforming Tech: Vic Wiesner

Women Transforming Tech: Chelsea Contessa

Women Transforming Tech: Sule Tatar

Arctic Wolf

Arctic Wolf

Arctic Wolf provides your team with 24x7 coverage, security operations expertise, and strategically tailored security recommendations to continuously improve your overall posture.
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