Profiles Of Women In Tech: Sydney Klein

Capital One’s Sydney Klein is trending over on Twitter. She’s one of 40 new power women in DC Tech as named by DCA Live. Sydney joined Capital One in 1999 and has held a variety of roles within Cybersecurity over the past 18 years. Sydney has an intense passion for cybersecurity. Some of the areas she’s enjoyed the most? Establishing a program to assess the security of third parties, creating a line-of-business focused on the Information Security Office function, and running cyber event coordination. Cybersecurity is critical to the success of any company (especially a tech company in financial services), currently Sydney is applying her expertise to implementing a Cyber Risk Management Framework (which includes institutionalizing a cyber distributed shared risk management framework, through data and analytics, to support cyber risk decisions on policies, investments, capabilities, and operations).

Sydney took time away from her latest projects to chat with me about technology, leadership and the community of women in tech.

Q: What excites you about working in technology?

Sydney: After 18 years, everything is still new in Cybersecurity. The threat landscape is ever changing, which means our ways to protect need to constantly evolve. At the same time, we’re moving quickly in technology and we need to enable the business to do amazing things, quickly and securely.

Q: Why did you prioritize being a leader of the WIT McLean chapter with so many other demands on your time? What has your experience been like?

Sydney: WIT fills my “soul” bucket. It gives me energy and reminds me what I love about the field as well as the company. It also gives me an opportunity to connect with other women technologists and our allies. The opportunity to give back, gives me so much more than I could have imagined. WIT has also allowed me to grow in so many ways: in my knowledge of diversity and inclusion matters impacting our industry –and how we make change for the better, in my knowledge of Tech and trends to watch and learn, in my network so I can seek help with tough problems, in my confidence — fighting against that imposter syndrome that can get the best of us.

Q: What advice do you have for women in tech who are looking for a community and/or want to start their own?

Sydney: Do it now. Start by making connections with other women. Allow yourself to lean into the possibility that the community can exist and can take off. I’ve been amazed and humbled by how quickly our WIT initiative took off. It started as this little concept and has grown into a movement beyond words. Reach out to others who have been there and ask for advice and help in setting up your own community.

Q: Why is community among women in tech important?

Sydney: I believe everyone benefits from community. It brings a sense of belonging, a shared cause, and a place to put your passion to great use.

Q: You’ve been at Capital One for a long time. How has being a woman in technology shaped your view?

Sydney: There’s so much passion from our Technology organization. Tech is the center of what we are at Capital One and seeing it from the center is exciting! I feel like it gives you a different way to see the company and to drive us toward our goals and aspirations.

Q: What’s your top advice on “staying in” for women in tech?

Sydney: Seek mentors all around you and think of mentors in a 360 degree view– they don’t always need to be more senior.

Could not agree more on the importance of taking a 360 degree view on mentorship! Thanks Sydney.

I’m really proud to partner with inclusive companies, such as Capital One, and to share their stories in my way, with my network — and yes, I’ll be joining them at #WITExperience in Richmond, VA. All women in tech are welcome to attend. If you’re interested in joining, register here.