Janet Silantoi Leparteleg, 35

Cyber Security and Data Privacy Consultant

Janet’s turning point came when she took part in the Tech-Women Programme four years ago. The initiative empowers and connects the next generation of women leaders in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), from Africa, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East by advancing their careers.

“It was such an honour to be among the five chosen emerging leaders from Kenya. We got an opportunity to work in Silicon Valley. For a tech person, access to Silicon Valley can only be equated to a child visiting Disney Land. It was mind-blowing. The exchange programme changed my outlook in life.”

She did her placement at Norton LifeLock, formerly Symantec, which is a Fortune 500 company that provides cybersecurity software and services. This is where her passion for cyber security was validated.

At 35, she is currently a cyber-security and data privacy consultant after completing her Master’s in Cyber Security at Lancaster University in the UK.

"“I always see the glass half full and it is this optimism that drives me. I always believe that God blesses the work of my hands.”"

Janet is a big believer in the power of digital inclusion to empower girls and women from marginalised communities. She, a daughter of one such community, is living proof of its transformative power after rising to a top cyber security and data privacy consultant with years of experience in different tech roles, both in the private and public sectors.

And so it was only natural that when she decided to give back to society in her little way, she founded an organisation that seeks to bridge the great digital abyss that exists in most rural villages.

She is the director at Butterfly Techies- a non-profit organisation based in Samburu that advocates for digital inclusion through high schools’ STEM outreach programmes, and until recently through a tech-space in Maralal by training and providing computers and internet to locals.

Tech and cyber-security is still a male-dominated field, but Janet who did an undergraduate degree in Business Information Technology at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, says, “I don’t view the men in the field as competing with them but we complement each other.”

The life lesson she sticks by is that she is a student of life, for life.

“I always see the glass half full and it is this optimism that drives me. I always believe that God blesses the work of my hands.”

Karen Muriuki