In this episode of the Hacker Valley Studio podcast, Ron and Chris are joined by Tia Hopkins, Founder of Empow(H)er Cybersecurity with the focus of empowering mentoring, educating, and providing opportunities for women of color. Tia is also VP, Global Solutions Engineering at eSentire.
The episode begins by Tia describing her early interests in technology. She began exploring her interest by taking apart her family computer - After her mom found out that she disassembled the computer, she quickly learned that she had to reassemble it before there were consequences. Early in Tia’s career she worked at phone companies installing DSL, IT operations, and managing technology focused teams. Tia has always been a doer and problem solver which led to resistance when first being called to become a leader. She was initially concerned that if she wasn’t hands-on with technical issues that she wouldn’t be as effective as a leader. However, she discovered that as a leader she can leverage her experience to have a broader impact through her team.
As the episode progresses, the cast chat about “Happy Accidents”. Tia had the opportunity to get involved with the Social Movement project by a coincidental conversation with a stranger at a cybersecurity conference many years ago. The premise of the project is 4 days to change the world. Tia’s challenge during the project was to solve racism issues by bringing brilliant minds together. Tia mentions that the challenge is a tall order but great minds in the world can solve any problem.
During COVID-19, a lot has changed for Hacker Valley Studio - Ron and Chris used to record in the same studio but now record separately due to the lockdown. Despite this difference in production, HVS has been able to scale and grow by dividing and conquering tasks. Tia can relate to this sentiment because without COVID-19 she likely would have not started Empow(H)er Cybersecurity. In addition to starting her foundation, Tia has also started a PhD program. When asked her about her superpower, Tia describes her ability to get things done. As a former athlete, Tia has a growth mindset and is determined to accomplish her goals.
Meaningful moments in the podcast:
0:00 - Intro
1:51 - Tia Hopkins on Hacker Valley Studio Podcast
2:39 - Tia’s background and start in technology
4:24 - Tia’s perspective on being a leader
7:17 - Induction in the American Football Hall of Fame
9:01 - Social Movement Season 2
14:30 - Developing and working on your craft
16:50 - What has changed since COVID-19
19:00 - Tia’s Superpower
24:13 - Personal resiliency techniques
28:47 - How to stay in touch with Tia Hopkins
Connect with Tia Hopkins on LinkedIn.
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