As featured on the Cybercrime Magazine Podcast.
Hacker in Heels seeks to disrupt the cybersecurity industry and craft a path for women to rise to top positions, claim six-figure salaries, and create a working culture that supports the next generation of cybersecurity talent.
Our vision is one where every woman has knowledge, confidence, and supportive community in cybersecurity. We imagine a world where the cybersecurity industry has equitable representation and a high degree of women at every level of the profession including top leadership and authority—where women aren’t a token, but rather a leading force in driving cybersecurity culture and innovation.
When women have access to higher paying and in-demand jobs, they’re able to have more control of their lives, serve their communities, and pave the way for those who come after. Because of their innate skills and lived experiences, women are exceptional cybersecurity professionals. We intend to see that they’re compensated for their abilities in innovation, risk management, and leadership.
Don't take our word for it—here's some quotes from women who have participated in Hacker in Heels' programs:
The Hacker in Heels Salon is a space for conversations, connection, community and coaching with women in cybersecurity.
"As salons developed and spread throughout Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries, women were able to cultivate a powerful position in their communities by virtue of being the de facto hostesses of their respective homes. By hosting, and thus having the opportunity to engage with intellectual discussions at a time when most were not formally educated or allowed to participate in political discourse, aristocratic women not only joined the conversation, they became the conversation by acting as facilitators." — The Salon Host
Our goal is to encourage women to sit down and chat with one another and our Hacker in Heels Founder & CEO, Stacey Champagne, to share ideas, experiences, and get coaching to help raise their energy and magnify their impact on the cybersecurity industry.
We'll also have books on-hand from women in cybersecurity authors that you can pick up, read, and even buy a copy. Purchases on-site will also go towards the expenses of the space and future Hacker in Heels initiatives. Don't want to wait for the salon? Several authors have generously provided signed copies as campaign rewards that we can ship to you or pick up on-site.
If this experience goes well, we hope to bring the Salon to other popular cybersecurity conferences in 2024!
SquadCon is a three-day conference for women in cybersecurity, taking place during the most popular week in the year in Las Vegas for cybersecurity conferences (dubbed "Hacker Summer Camp").
BlackGirlsHack is the organization behind SquadCon. Previously they organized the extremely successful, widely visited Girls Hack Village at DEFCON. The village drew in admired women leaders in the cybersecurity industry including Jen Easterly, Director of CISA.
After having the Girls Hack Village application rejected by DEFCON organizers for 2023, they decided to host their own conference.
“The goal of the conference is to ‘Con Differently.’ With a focus on inclusivity, we will promote diversity and inclusion within the cybersecurity community. Encourage speakers and panelists from diverse backgrounds and underrepresented groups to share their perspectives and experiences. And lastly, equally value and welcome the input of those entering the field as those who’ve been there for years.” — SquadCon
The Need For Funding
Hacker in Heels has been a small-but-mighty venture of Founder Stacey Champagne for the past 4.5 years while she’s worked full time in the cybersecurity industry. Stacey has invested tens of thousands of her own money into the venture. And while we're proud to say Hacker in Heels profitable month-to-month, net profit is small and Stacey does not receive a paycheck from it at this time.
Current funds and cash flow are unable to cover the expenses for constructing the Salon and maintain program operations. Furthermore, Stacey was affected by an unplanned separation from her cybersecurity employer in June and is without her own income that she would otherwise tap into.
With your help, we can bring the Hacker in Heels Salon to SquadCon, and create a space where Stacey can impact the careers + lives of hundreds of women in cybersecurity.
Additionally your funding helps a woman entrepreneur continue to grow her coaching business so that it can reach the level needed to support her military family full-time.
We’ve identified several woman-owned businesses local to the Las Vegas area that have the materials we need to create an unapologetically feminine salon in our 8’x8’ vendor space.
The quotes we’ve received are as follows:
$3,000 Furniture rental, including delivery, set up, break-down, and removal
$1,000 Feature wall and florals
$500 $1,200 Feature wall signage*
*We went over on our feature wall signage budget—underestimating how much it costs to order a custom neon sign.
Any additional money that is raised above our goal will go straight to Hacker in Heels general operational expenses and future programs + initiatives like the Secure Her Future program for black, indigenous, and people of color.
A Message From Stacey
I spent the first 3 years struggling with workplace bullying, stress, and doubting my place in the cybersecurity industry. I invested thousands of dollars in therapy, coaching, and self-development. I dove into the history of cybersecurity, capitalism, feminism, and the patriarchy. It wasn’t until I recognized the interconnectedness of these forces, and changed my mindset and approach that my cybersecurity career became fulfilling and FUN.
In less than 5 years—
- I had my first $100K, $200K, and $250K+ total compensation years
- Became a people manager
- Led cybersecurity investigations on a global scale
- Recognized as “Cyber Advocate” of the Year by the Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu
- Coached dozens of women in Hacker in Heels’ programs
The most amazing part was that I was able to do all of this while enjoying life’s gifts of friends, family, love, travel, sunshine, and wine. By keeping the end-goal in focus and the process simple, I’ve kept my perfectionist, overachieving brain from burning out in an industry that loveees to push buttons.
Since founding Hacker in Heels, I've been able to make an impact on dozens of women's cybersecurity careers during my nights and weekends.
I'm confident with this Salon and your support, we can get Hacker in Heels the visibility, interest, and revenue needed to make it a full-time, profitable business that serves as a role model for all women wanting to do massive good while making good money.