Find what truly inspires you and build a network of people who can help and support you to achieve your goals. And if you see an opportunity – be bold.


Helena, who works in Human Centred Design (UX) in the Futures and Innovations department at BAE Systems Applied Intelligence, is working hard to inspire the next generation to be bold, embrace change and believe you belong in the role.

Tell us a bit about your journey into the industry – did you have a previous career? Did you have formal training or any work experience in the field?

I gained my degree in graphic design with the expectation to work in an advertising agency, creating commercials and campaigns, attending awards and playing music throughout the day! I still love to sketch and render concepts, but the focus changed early on in my career.

Human behaviour when making key decisions in a time-framed environment continues to fascinate me and over a course of nearly two decades my role transitioned from graphic designer to Information Architect to Human Centred Design consultant with a focus on user experience.

Because of my interest in human behaviour and desire to make sure I had a solid level of understanding, I’ve also gained two further qualifications in Psychology (Dip.) and Mind and Cognition (Cert.)

What are your top tips for those looking to get into the industry?

Find what truly inspires you and build a network of people who can help and support you to achieve your goals. It doesn’t matter whether it’s through events or campaigns, work experience or group networks, just make sure you harness the wealth of resources at your disposal. And if you see an opportunity – be bold.

What are three of the top traits you should have to work in cyber security?

●      An ability to embrace and adapt to change.

●      Believing you belong in a role – and deserve it!

●      Curiosity: keep asking ‘the whys’, ‘hows’ and ‘what ifs’?

Anything else you’d like to say to inspire women into this sector?

Cyber security is a fascinating industry, and being able to help people wield and analyse huge amounts of data, through a well-designed user interface, is what keeps me engaged and constantly looking for new solutions. However, that’s only half the job. It’s also about all of the following:
–        User research: engaging with people first hand and understanding what their tasks and frustrations are

–        User behaviour: looking at how things work (and often don’t work!)

–        Business benefits: accommodating for business, budgetary and technical constraints

–        User Interface: after all that, we still need to improve and enhance the UI!
Now, who wouldn’t call that a good day’s work.

Find out more about the company where Helena found her love of Human Centred Design: BAE Systems.