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Women in Security: Security Technical Project Manager

We continue to see large-scale online security attacks affecting corporations and public institutions. These attacks are becoming more and more sophisticated, making it harder to protect yourself. The constant evolution of attacks requires innovative solutions that only Akamai can provide. 

We spoke to Sharol Pereira, Security Technical Project Manager, to hear more about her role in our Security team. 

What's your role in the Security team? 

My current role is Security Technical Project Manager. I moved to the role about a year back, having been a Solutions Architect for Akamai previously. I spend my time working on security products that protect websites from attack. I also implement technical solutions that address our customers' security concerns. 

How did you get into security? 

I've worked on multiple different products during my tenure at Akamai - one of these products was security focused. This led to my colleagues and I being moved to the security side of Akamai. It's been amazing since then. It's something I had no idea I was interested in till I started it, but I really embraced it and realized it could be a lot of fun!  

What was your career journey into technology? 

That's an easy one. I loved technology growing up. I started learning computers from a young age and knew a career in tech was ideal for me. I also liked my Science classes a bit more than others too, more than History at least (because I was bad at it). Then there's the fact that technology has influenced every aspect of life, propelling humanity forward - that's increasingly exciting for me and I am eager to contribute to technological progress. 

What do you think our culture and Akamai can do to inspire women to pursue tech careers? 

I don't think it's hard. If you're passionate about something, don't let anyone bring you down; a lot of people will tell you throughout your life that you can't do something, but you have to prove them wrong. It doesn't matter where you're from or who you are, it's about what you're capable of. To me, it's not a boy thing or a girl thing, it's like you just have to do it, show people what you can do, and that's it. Once you prove yourself, everyone is going to respect you. 

How do you feel you were encouraged to pursue technology? 

I consider myself very lucky in that aspect, as both of my parents continually encouraged me to pursue technology and I was never scared of exploring tech. My older brother has been one of my role models since forever and he has always been supportive. Right from when I was a child, I believed and was told I could do anything if I tried. 

What does a day-to-day at Akamai look like for you? 

I work on establishing standards and best practices that can be used by the rest of the Security team. I spend my day doing different things, but largely I put out project management documents that can be used across our team. I also work on customer cases, helping customers implement Akamai security solutions. 

The interesting part of my role is the chance to work with multiple people and divisions in Akamai, such as the Support team, Project Management and even Sales. I get to interact with lots of different people and look at things from different viewpoints, tackling business and technical solutions. I spend a lot of time talking to people, so when work is done, I go to the gym, take time away from work, and before bed, I spend a few minutes trying to learn a new language. 

What makes Akamai such a rewarding place to work? 

For me, it's knowing that the things I do make an impact. For example, if I'm working on a customer case to help them protect their website, they'll tell me that my solution has been making a huge difference, affecting millions of online users. Even if my work is done in the background, I can see and hear about the difference it makes. 

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