The Fall 2022 term marks the second year of the Carleton Faculty of Engineering and Design’s (FED) Women in Engineering & IT (WiE&IT) Program. One of the first of its kind in Canada, the program aims to help close the gender gap in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) industries through mentorship, networking, and experiential learning. Sixteen industry and government partners support the program in its goals to change perceptions and foster interest in engineering, technology, and innovation among women within Carleton’s community.

The lead sponsor of the program is Trend Micro, a global cybersecurity company that leads the industry in bolstering B2B cloud systems. In this profile, FED asks Victoria Sajuyigbe—a Global Growth Marketing Manager at Trend Micro, who completed her Master of Engineering, Technology Innovation Management at Carleton in 2018—5 questions about why she wanted to pursue a career in STEM and how she landed her current role.

How and when did you know you wanted to pursue a career in STEM? 

My decision to pursue a career in STEM was influenced by a variety of factors ranging from my childhood exposure to educational TV shows to having an amazing teacher that inspired my love for the sciences. As a pre-teen, I remember how fascinated I was about watching a particular TV show where some selected students from top high schools in my country got to participate in a highly competitive science quiz. Those that emerged as winners from the show were lucky to go home with lots of enticing gifts. My brother once emerged as a winner, and I remember being jealous because he came home with so many beautiful presents that I could only wish were mine. As time passed, it was only natural for me to opt for the sciences (to emerge as a winner) like my brother because I had developed so much curiosity and interest based on my exposure to STEM-related subjects from the TV show.

I also recall having a wonderful integrated science teacher in junior high school who made me fall in love with her classes. My encounter with this teacher opened my mind to the beauty of biological science and how it enriches our lives in many ways. As a result of her impact, I not only had the best result in the subject she took us that term but also topped my class with the best grades. Ever since then, the only courses I could imagine myself taking were in the sciences, and I went for it. Based on this, I had my first degree in biochemistry and later transitioned into the business field that focused on technology. This transition led me to getting an engineering Master’s degree in Technology Innovation Management (TIM) from Carleton University, a master’s program designed as a bridge between technology and business. The knowledge gained from the TIM program prepared me for the roles I’ve held in Product and Growth Marketing at the different technology companies where I’ve worked, including Trend Micro.

How did you find your current role at Trend Micro and what do you like most about it? 

I found my current role at Trend Micro through a job posting on LinkedIn and the rest, they say, is history. Speaking of my role, I’d like to say that I started out as a product marketing manager and over time, the role evolved to growth marketing. This role is strategic as it shapes many of the ideas and initiatives that go into promoting our organization’s products to our target audience. It involves understanding the product, knowing what the market needs, creating a plan to bring the product to customers, and ultimately, driving business growth.

The growth marketing role has given me the opportunity to work alongside immensely talented and passionate Trenders who have helped the organization to continually anticipate trends and redefine the market. I find great satisfaction in this role because it keeps my mind engaged and makes me appreciate a lot of things about Trend, most especially the value we offer to our customers. I love the fact that Trend opens doors for employees from different parts of the world and at different stages of their professional careers, from new hires to veterans, to share innovative ideas while working collaboratively. More important, I’m proud of the work we do as a company in making the world safe for the exchange of digital information.

What is your favorite thing about Trend Micro’s commitment to promoting women in STEM? 

To answer this question, I’d like to start by pointing out the exemplary role of our CEO, Eva Chen, in demonstrating that women have an opportunity to succeed in STEM, just like her. She’s been a leader that raises female leaders in tech. As a strong role model to countless women and young girls, she has been recognized as one of the most influential women in cybersecurity. As a matter of fact, I see her as a forerunner for many women to take their leadership place in the tech world. To continue, I’m impressed by Trend Micro’s philanthropic initiatives that relate to this cause, over the past years. In partnership with Carleton University, we’ve launched the Women in Engineering and Information Technology (WiE&IT) Program to support women pursuing careers in STEM. We’ve also had the Girls in Tech partnership with a mandate to reduce the gender gap in cybersecurity. Added to that, I admire Trend’s efforts in celebrating diversity in the workplace by recruiting, retaining, mentoring, and promoting women in cybersecurity.

What’s one thing you think allies could do better when it comes to supporting women in STEM?

The fact that, globally, women in cybersecurity occupy only a small fraction of the workforce shows that there’s still a lot of work to be done in supporting STEM-related initiatives for women. It’d be great if allies could take a leaf from Trend by introducing more female leaders into industries historically led by men. In today’s world, it is clear that superior innovation is achieved by having a variety of ideas and perspectives from a diverse team. So, we need more organizations to promote the education, training, and hiring of women in STEM who will bring unique ideas to the table. This’ll change the world of work and, at the same time, give organizations a competitive edge.

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received as a woman in STEM? 

Honestly, I’ve received a lot of advice from so many people throughout my journey in STEM. But, I’ll try to narrow it down to one piece of advice: work on as many projects as possible. This advice was given to me by my favorite university professor when I was about to finish grad school. It was a tough period of transitioning from academic life to industry and, just like anyone, I was terribly scared of the uncertainties that were ahead. But this piece of advice made me take up the challenge of volunteering on projects which helped me to network with people. From networking, I found a career mentor who was instrumental to my success in getting opportunities that led to my first professional role. And despite the ups and downs of my career journey so far, I will say that this piece of advice is still guiding my work life to date.

Thank You

The WiE&IT Program is possible because of the support of Trend Micro.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023 in ,
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