Guiding Black women and youth into cybersecurity & tech

Interview date:

February 3, 2021

Tia Hopkins

eSentire / Empow(her) Cybersecurity
University / self-taught

Tia Hopkins is a cybersecurity executive and teacher who is passionate about recruiting and nurturing the next generation of cybersecurity specialists who are Black women and women of color. She founded Empow(h)er Cybersecurity, a non-profit which provides "a safe space for women of color interested in or currently working in the field of cybersecurity".

In her own words: "It's important for me to be viewed as someone who lifts as I climb. I never want to keep progressing in my career and be throwing little nuggets down from the top of a perceived mountain or an iron tower. I want to be the one sending the rope and helping people climb it or sending the elevator back down. That's critically important for me."

"I had to learn at a very young age not to need validation and to push forward and do what I feel is right for me...I sometimes refer to it as 'inverse Imposter Syndrome'. Imposter Syndrome being 'Well, should I really be in this role? Am I really qualified for this?' Whereas I'm like 'Yeah I am and if you don't want to work with me, that's your loss. You see what I got going on here?'


  • Teach youth that cybersecurity and online safety are personal issues they should care about.
  • Guide youth in gaining both theoretical knowledge and practical skills when it comes to tech.
  • Encourage youth to participate in mentorship programs and online initiatives to feed their passions.