We’re 2 years old, can you believe how fast the time has gone?
I want to publicly say “Happy Birthday” “Thanks” “Give yourselves a pat on the back” and “Well done” to the team.
When I first decided to start Ladies of London Hacking Society the first person I asked to join me in this endeavor was Lynda Barber, at the time she was my manager, a great manager, probably the best I’ve had. Clearly, she said yes and now she’s not just a colleague of LHS, she is a good friend. We got so much support from Stephen, who organically became a part of our team early on, he doesn’t shout about his key founding role in LHS because he’s conscious of it being a space to accommodate women’s professional progression.
It was pretty early on that Helen offered her help and we bit her hand off, she managed to bring about an air of calm and professional maturity that made our team diverse in its abilities.
It was at the first session that we met Kate, the mouthy New Yorker whose ideas and passion for female founders was absolutely what we needed.
I met Annabel berry in the scooter cafe basement after a mutual connection decided to introduce us. She was instantly supportive of LHS and quickly became a quiet background supporter of the organization, making industry connections and assisting with the opening of new chapters, she is now our board advisor and plays a pivotal role in the expansion in the LHS chapters nationally.
By this point, we knew we needed the next team member to have a relatively serious edge to add to something that we’d run flying by the seat of our pants for some time. It started off as a bit of fun, but it grew and it grew. . . and it grew some more.
It wasn’t long into lhs that we spotted DeeDee’s potential to join the chapter leaders team of London. She was always helpful, always nice but consciously sought to bring a smidgen of seriousness to the society. Around a year ago she joined the London chapter and has played a key part in its consistency during #COVID19.
On the topic of new chapters, Tash Hales reached out to me on LinkedIn and expressed an interest in creating a chapter in Norwich, we met, we ate, drank champagne, toasted a new chapter and off she went, solo, to create our 2nd chapter and what a job she did. Whilst working as a college lecturer, continuing with postgraduate study, and raising a couple of kids she somehow managed to make LNHS a success.
Thank you to the social media Gods for introducing me to Kimberly Hendry and Kathryn Cardose, otherwise known as Kath n Kim. They kick-started in 2019, in the middle of COVID 19, and managed to pull together 2 awesome online events. In 2021 they’ll be running these in person, it will be part comedy club night out, considering Kathryn is an actual comedian.
Christmas 2018 we all met Dr Nathalie cole, we heard her before we saw her. Nathalie has more energy than the energizer bunny, and her enthusiasm for cybersecurity and LHS is so infectious. After approx a year of traveling from GLOUCESTER! to London once a month to attend the London meetup (dedication!), this ex-veterinary surgeon settled on a new career in Cheltenham and kick-started the Cheltenham chapter with Karen wade, a super cool knowledge bank with some 20 years experience. They aimed to hit the ground running and hit the ground running they did!
Since I started running startup th4ts3cur1ty.company and SIEM startup PocketSIEM with Stephen Ridgway, we’ve had to take a more hands-off approach to lhs. We’ve restructured, and along with Lynda, and Kate, we’ve now officially become the board, stepping back from the everyday handling of the society, remaining accessible to the growing number of chapters, and giving the chapter leaders a degree of autonomy in running and developing their own chapters.