When you ask Maggie Louie, the founder and CEO of DEV/CON DETECT, what stirs her pride these days, she points to the climb of her company’s index report to top-ranked news sites. “Because,” she says, “benchmarking anomalies not only gave a sense of the size of the problem, but also the areas of greatest risk.”
DEV/CON DETECT, a Memphis-based company created by Louie and partner Josh Summitt and aimed at detecting and protecting against internal and external security threats to advertising revenue streams, is a culmination of Louie’s expertise in ad technology, mobile product development, e-commerce, and revenue allocation technology honed at the likes of The E.W. Scripps Co., the Los Angeles Times and Morris Communications, and under the tutelage of mentors like Richard Feynman whom she calls the “most influential figure” in both her career and life. “Though brilliant, his ability to remain curious and in awe of the unknown, has always been a guiding virtue,” she says.
Her professional success has run parallel to deep personal growth and she’s taken away important lessons from her biggest challenges. “After hiding the fact that I was gay, for many years, for fear of judgment and unconscious bias, I did finally ‘come out’ in my professional and personal life,” says Louie. “I learned that controlling how people responded to that, wasn’t really my job and that being authentic was my job.”
Louie acknowledges that tech has always been “a bit of a bro-club, [with] even fewer women in cyber.” The terrain is littered with “lots of man-splainers and garden variety ‘put-down artists,’” she says, which offer opportunity for her, as a CEO, “to hire smart women programmers and engineers and create a culture that doesn’t tolerate conscious or unconscious bias.”
She sees a tightening of the gender gap when it comes to funding, wages and opportunities but says “we still have a long way to go.” The opportunities are there for women, Louie contends, particularly in “leadership, shaping a new paradigm for how we think about work and how humanity interests our professional and personal lives.”