(CMR) Twenty-four-year-old Ashleigh Powell is a national trailblazer in the field of local cyber security. With the personal tagline of ‘Be Fearless,’ Ashleigh is keen to inspire other young people, especially women, to enter the fields of cyber security, digital innovation, and STEM.
Ashleigh has always been one to excel in whatever she does. At Clifton Hunter High School, she received awards and certificates through Junior Achievement, Youth Parliament, and the Youth Culinary Programme. In 2015 Ashleigh graduated with a cumulative GPA of 3.89 in her associate’s degree, placing her on the Dean’s and President’s Lists for each semester.
Ashleigh then attended the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), graduating in 2018 summa cum laude (with a 4.0 cumulative GPA) in her bachelor of business administration in cyber security. While at UTSA, a paper she co-wrote was published in the Studies of Big Data book series.
On returning home, Ashleigh pursued full-time employment as a network administrator at the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority. She now works as an IT security specialist in the food and retail industry. Despite the onset of the pandemic and working full-time, in 2020, Ashleigh achieved two technical certifications in CompTIA Network+ and Data Analysis from the University of Cape Town.
Ashleigh has been a panelist on two of Deloitte’s Cyber Conferences; one focused on Women in Cyber and the other focused on Cyber Awareness. Her presentation encouraged other young women to raise the bar of expectations in a competitive and male-dominated field.
Her other accomplishments include becoming a nominee for the Cayman Islands Civil Service Association Co-operative Credit Union’s International Women’s Day campaign; being a guest speaker for Savannah Primary School’s leaving ceremony; and membership with the Rotaract Club of Grand Cayman, and serving as the club’s 2020-2021 fundraising chair.