Amy De Salvatore has more than two decades of experience working at recognizable cybersecurity brands, including EMC, McAfee, Intel Security and Forescout Technologies. Those experiences ranged from direct sales work to strategic consultation and business development, something that “gave me the opportunity to explore different avenues and different career paths,” she said.
Now at cybersecurity venture capital firm NightDragon, she leads or has helped launch multiple business units designed to help late-stage cybersecurity startups grow and scale their businesses. Her primary work involves building go-to-market partnerships with industry partners that help her clients gain access to new markets, accelerate sales, and connect with distributors or value added resellers.
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For years, De Salvatore had the familiar experience of being the only woman in the room until she found herself at a job where she had a female direct report and another woman on the team. The experience was transformative.
“That put me in an environment where I wasn’t the only woman in the room and the level of support and creativity and effectiveness that came out of that working group was above and beyond what I had seen across the entire company,” she said. “At that point I realized how empowered I felt to have someone that resembled me in my world.”
Another unit she launched, ND Talent, encompasses more than 40 companies and is dedicated to advancing diversity and inclusion partnerships. That includes launching programs and initiatives with the Athena Alliance, the Cyber Future Foundation, NextGen Cyber Talent and Cybersecurity Gatebreakers, all of which work to build networks and talent pipelines for women, people of color and other groups that have historically been shut out of the cybersecurity industry.
She has also continued to lead a women support network that she started while at Forescout, part of a broader professional development push she has made into diversity and equity work over her career that has steadily expanded from building new opportunities for women in cybersecurity to helping lift up other diverse audiences and demographics. Increasing representation for these groups at the board and executive levels and getting buy in from CEOs and other executives is a particular focus.
That work “is now kind of ingrained in my being and it’s a very big part of what I’m doing career-wise going forward,” De Salvatore told SC Media.