Jennifer Martin
  • Senior Director of cybersecurity counsel
  • Verizon Media
United States of America
Jennifer Martin

Jennifer Martin

  • Senior Director of cybersecurity counsel
  • Verizon Media
United States of America

If you want to learn something well and contribute novel ideas, ask a lot of questions. Men don’t know more than women in this legal discipline, they just act like they do. I’ve seen plenty of men fail to ask basic questions when things don’t make sense because they see it as a sign of weakness to admit they don’t understand something. The ability to ask questions until you really comprehend a situation is a tremendous strength.

I see a lot of young men entering this new legal field at fairly high levels because of the demand, and they simply don’t have the experience or knowledge necessary to provide comprehensive cybersecurity legal and risk management advice. I think it’s exacerbated by the fact that it’s easy to “snow” non-technical people with tech jargon, and the bluster of an overly confident male, coupled with conscious or unconscious bias, makes it hard for non-technical clients and third parties to discern differences in competency. That leads to more opportunities, more engagement, and hence more money for men who are less talented than their female counterparts.