Zellis – Clair Timmermans, Technical Security Analyst

We interviewed Clair Timmermans, Technical Security Analyst at Zellis on her experience and thoughts on women in tech.

  1. What does your job role involve?

Working on long term projects involving top security tools and vulnerability management. I also work on our email security and our security awareness training program which involves carrying out phishing simulations.


  1. What made you choose a career in technology?

I have witnessed my dad’s business encounter many problems with hackers and I heard of stories about friends and family falling for phishing attacks and scams that ultimately led to losing money. I was determined to help and protect vulnerable people from malicious people online which opted me to start my journey by taking on a 4 – year cyber security university course.

  1. Did you study an IT or technology related subject at GCSE, A-Level or University?

Yes, I completed a 4-year cyber security course at university with a first-class honours.

  1. Did you get any work experience in IT or technology before this role?

I worked for the NEBRC alongside my studies at university to help deliver cyber security services to small businesses around the north-east of the UK.

  1. Do you think there is a lack of females in the IT and tech sector?

Yes, I started noticing it back in university where in our class of around 100 people there were a total of 8 females.

  1. Do you find there is a stereotype that a career in IT or technology is just for men?

Yes, I think that one of the reasons could also be that there is a lack of females who take on a career in IT, whether it is friends, family, in movies or being represented in the media.

  1. What would entice women to study technology related courses?

Good role models, real examples, and stories of women in Tech who have enjoyed their journey in the tech industry. One thing that has helped me during my studies in a technology related course is that I made friends and connections at university that helped me feel less left out. Having supportive communities is extremely important, my female lecturers gave me great support and motivation throughout my studies.

  1. Are there barriers when it comes to women getting into tech?

Yes, the lack of female role models, friends, family members that go into tech which makes it more difficult for women to visualise what the experience will be like.

  1. How could we encourage more women to start a career in tech?

Share real life stories, what the day in the life of a female in tech looks like, examples of how they feel within the team.

  1. What advice would you give to young women at the start of their career?

My advice would be to have faith in yourself, reach out to those around you for advice if you’re ever not sure about what’s going on. Everyone embarks on a unique journey and while paths may diverge, there is no incorrect path to follow. There’s nothing wrong in being different and the most important thing would be to be your authentic self.