Dr. Yasmin Razack Becomes a GRC Ambassador of The Year Finalist

Dr. Yasmin Razack, a recent graduate of our Doctorate of Information Assurance (DIA) program, has been named a finalist of the Women in Governance Risk and Compliance’s GRC (Governance Regulation and Compliance) Ambassador of the Year. This award honors female leaders worldwide who show excellence in the GRC field, inspiring other women to partake in this career path. 

Dr. Razack first heard about this award through a group she joined while working on her dissertation. “When I did my dissertation survey, I was looking for blockchain experts in my field, and I could only find 2 women out of 25 experts in the UAE (United Arab Emirates) who participated in the expert survey… at that point, I realized that there were very few women in this field.” So she started looking on social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn for groups of women in cybersecurity. She found and then joined a group called “Women in Cybersecurity,” which posted about the GRC Ambassador award.  

When applying for the award, the contestant must explain what they did to contribute to the GRC profession, specifically as a woman. In addition to her 25 years of experience in information technology, implementation of best practices at her workplace, and meeting all the benchmarks her industry needed from her. Dr. Razack helped encourage and promote the women on her team. “[For example], I took [the women] to senior management team meetings to double them.”  After reading a study showing how women were less likely to pursue higher positions for fear of being unprepared, she saw the same pattern within her team. “We had this one lady who was very hardworking and smart, but she was hesitant to do the role of a change manager. So, I mentored her and told her, ‘You are capable of doing it; you just need to focus on skills in certain areas… She went through 4 different levels of interviews and got the job.” Most of the employees she mentored are now change managers, the role she had while mentoring them.  

She was truly honored when she discovered that she was a finalist for the GRC Ambassador of the Year Award. “If you look at the other 6 ladies who made it into the finalist, they all work for companies like JP Morgan,  BBC, and Gartner. I would consider myself truly privileged to come to the finalist list.” Dr. Razack has recently published an article that she worked on with her professors, Dr. Umesh Varma and Dr. Thomas Sorber, called “Demystifying the role of security and privacy in blockchain adoption for airlines in the UAE,” which she hopes to present in an upcoming conference held by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Her advice to anyone looking to succeed in a career in cybersecurity is to stay focused, implement everything that you learn, and understand that your career journey may not always be a vertical path. “I just looked for my career goal, which could even be spiral. That is what I advise my team members, to not look for vertical growth, but just keep moving across, so you gather experience across different teams.” 

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