The first Dutch meetup, which was held last month and hosted at and sponsored by iWelcome, was a huge success. The main ingredients: 29 women, introductions over coffee, presentations by 4 wonderful speakers, interactive sessions and a barbecue where conversations kept going.
Being a female CISO in a man’s world
Barbara Mandl started us off with an inspiring and fun introduction to the objectives of Women in Identity, blending the story with her own experiences as a CISO at Daimler. Although some progress has been made since she was introduced as ‘token woman’ at an identity conference where she was the first female speaker, there’s still a lot of work to do. Women in senior positions often need to perform better to be taken just as seriously as male colleagues. One of her takeaways for the audience: “Always be consistent.” If you promise to deliver something at a certain moment in time, do it or inform in a timely manner that there are complications. This will help you to be perceived as reliable.
Pitfalls in digital transformation
Olga Kulikova, Information Security Manager at KPMG, was up next. Fun fact: when she started at KPMG 7 years ago, she was the first woman in the cybersecurity team. A lot has changed since then and today she has multiple female colleagues.
Olga shared her insights around digital transformation with us, including ‘70% of digital transformation projects lead to nothing’. One of the obstacles is communication between IT and business and a change in ownership. Where IT used to lead, today projects are often driven by the business and both disciplines have different views. The main issues that shouldn’t be underestimated are the continuous need for technical refreshment, special requirements for access for B2B & third parties and Shadow IT.
Reusable eIDs and what your first name reveals about you
One of the hard-core women in the Dutch Identity scene is Esther Makaay. As a proposition developer for log-in solutions provider Connectis and for .nl registry SIDN, she is an authority on the subject of digital identities. She started with an example to get the audience thinking on how ‘innocent’ attributes, such as your first name, reveal much more about you than just that attribute. If you analyse first names based on popularity in certain periods of time, you are already able to make quite an accurate guess of someone’s age.
After this insight she shared a guide to the landscape of reusable eIDs in the private, public and hybrid domain, and addressed the questions of what the unique identifier is in each case and what the pitfalls are. Her very clear conclusion was that in today’s world the existing eIDs don’t comply anymore: we need delegation and mandates!
Digital Identities: should I know your name?
Last but not least, Jikkelien van Marle, Strategic Program Manager Consumers at Dutch Post, took to the stage. She showed how Dutch Post recognises its 5 million customers, sometimes without even knowing their name, based on other identifiers – such as address. She also showed how Dutch Post works on excellent customer experiences in order to become the favourite deliverer (based on the remarks in the audience they already are) with advanced ‘delivery passports’, where consumers can select preferences around delivery of their packages, including ‘safe spots’ or which neighbours to deliver to when they’re not at home. The presentation made clear that large companies can offer excellent service while protecting consumer’s privacy.
How to make identity more attractive to women
The official programme ended with sessions in 3 groups, where participants could discuss topics that they have submitted themselves upon registration. In a short plenary recap the groups share their insights around making identity more attractive to women: a lot can be done around schooling and coaching – maybe we can bring the community to students. However, setting an example and showing that the women are actually here as visible role models is also an important step.
Other topics that have been discussed are the importance of documentation to close the gap between the techies and the conceptual IAM professionals, identity trends like private sharing apps where consumers are in control of what they share and as a final conclusion: the need for more meetups!