Women in Cybersecurity



Jen VanAntwerp

Founder – Sober in Cyber

Owner – JVAN Consulting

How long have you worked there?
We began building the Sober in Cyber community in early 2023, and publicly launched the nonprofit in August of last year.

What aspects of your job bring you the most satisfaction?
Founding Sober in Cyber has been absolutely life-changing for me. I love being able to help grow a community for sober individuals in cybersecurity. This organization has also given me the opportunity to speak publicly about addiction, recovery, inclusive networking events, and self-improvement.

What do you enjoy most about the company?
Sober in Cyber is on a mission to increase alcohol-free options at networking events and build a community for sober individuals in cybersecurity. As someone who has been sober for 23+ years, I love that we’re raising awareness, fighting stigma, and inspiring more alternative options at work-related events.

How did you get into cybersecurity?
My husband has been in the industry for 20+ years, so while I’ve been “cyber adjacent” for a long time, I officially started working in the industry in 2020. I’ve always been in marketing and previously worked in healthcare and the automotive industry. While I loved working in those industries, I feel truly at home here in cybersecurity.

What do you like most about cybersecurity?
Our missions are powerful and our tech is super cool, but my absolute favorite part of this industry is the PEOPLE. What an interesting, intelligent, and passionate group of weirdos!! I finally found my squad.

This year’s International Women’s Day theme is #InspireInclusion. What does that mean to you?
Inclusiveness is a big driver behind what we’re doing at Sober in Cyber, as we believe that networking events can be more inclusive to ALL members of our industry. Diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and origin stories make up the beautiful tapestry of our cybersecurity ecosystem.

How did you hear about the Cybersecurity Marketing Society?
I’ve been a member of the Cybersecurity Marketing Society since the early days, and am a superfan and unofficial hype-woman. I think I initially heard about the group on LinkedIn back in 2020 when I first started working in the industry.

What do you enjoy most about this group?
I love being able to meet and network with other cybersecurity marketers! We lift each other up, hold each other accountable, and celebrate our wins or cry over our losses together.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
So many things! I wanted to be a ballet dancer, and a teacher, and a long-haul truck driver so I could honk the air horn whenever I wanted.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
We did a lot of camping when I was growing up, and my dad was a big believer in the “leave it better than you found it” philosophy. I try to live by that motto in everything I do. The next best piece of advice I’ve ever been given came from a therapist (yay for therapy!) who helped me to understand that it was perfectly normal to feel two seemingly opposing things (like joy and grief) at the exact same time.

What is your favorite quote and why?
Brandi Carlile’s song That Wasn’t Me has a lyric “Do I make myself a blessing to everyone I meet?” that hits me right in the feels. The entire song is beautiful, and it’s one of my personal sobriety anthems. It’s impossible to actually BE a blessing to EVERYONE you meet, but it’s a good reminder to at least TRY. If I were brave enough to get a tattoo, that lyric would definitely be tattooed somewhere on my person.

X: https://twitter.com/friknbats + https://twitter.com/SoberInCyber
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jenvanantwerp/ + https://www.linkedin.com/company/sober-in-cyber/


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