Attracting Talent in the Connectivity Industry

At neuco we’re at the forefront of recruitment for the connectivity industry. On Episode 10 of The Connectivity Matters Podcast we spoke to Virtyt Koshi, the SVP and General Manager for EMEA at Mavenir, about the struggles of attracting talent to the telecom industry. Read on to hear his insights on talent attraction in the sector.

Why do you think talent isn’t being attracted to the industry at the moment?

We really have to look at what’s motivating them and what they are excited about. What new areas are 18-25 years olds excited to join? We have not seen much happen in the telco industry for the last 10 years. However, there is an opportunity to establish something new. There is still capital around, there is still innovation happening and we’re seeing young people establishing their own businesses as a result. That’s very encouraging, because you see a lot of entrepreneurial skills and ideas coming from that. 

The telco sector itself is really guilty of not approaching top students in the market or driving the conversation and it becomes a vicious circle. If you don’t drive attraction top down then the results would be mediocre. I’m a strong believer that top down will always bring good results. There’s also a bit of a stigma with a legacy perception in the industry. 

What can be done to attract more talent to the telco industry?

Create a talent development function in the business. That function is absolutely critical for any success going forward. The HR function has had a stigma against it for years, but it is a critical role in any organisation, especially when it comes to the talent development and talent acquisition process. Having HR colleagues who really understand the vision we’re trying to achieve can help us understand how to go about it. If your people function is well organised and highly performing, everything else becomes easier. Talent Acquisition and talent development are absolutely critical for the performance and sustainability of the businesses going forward.

How important is retention to talent attraction? 

Talent has to enjoy what they’re doing and be compensated adequately for the difference that they are making to the team. In the same way, people are ambitious, and that ambition drives the team’s performance as well. They need to know what’s next, whether that’s within the company or outside the company. The company needs to foster happiness amongst their employees and make space for personal development. Your talent should know that by staying with the organisation they’ll have an opportunity to develop and reach the next level, otherwise they’ll look elsewhere. Happy people will stay in your company and make room for more junior hires, increasing positive attraction. 

To learn more about talent strategies in the connectivity industry, tune into Episode 10 of The Connectivity Matters Podcast

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

RSAC: Insights, Community and Cybersecurity Trends

Spring is blossoming in San Francisco, the highly anticipated #RSAC2023 commences attracting leaders and companies from around the world.

Being my first conference, I embarked on this journey with a mix of excitement, nerves, and curiosity.

The big takeaways from the conference were the valuable insights into the cybersecurity industry, the strong sense of community and the hot topics of investments, the impact of AI and talent shortages. Additionally, we had the opportunity to explore the vibrant food scene of San Francisco, which added a cultural touch to the conference experience.

Grand Opening and Impressive Booths

The conference kicked off with great anticipation, as attendees gathered in the entrance hall, the atmosphere was electric, and the buzz of excitement was palpable. As the doors opened, a polite stampede of cybersecurity enthusiasts filled Moscone South Hall. The sight of numerous booths was awe-inspiring, with companies investing substantial resources to impress and display the immense potential of the cyber security world with exhibits highlighting the industry’s advancements and potential.

Networking calls and conversations up to this point had evolved around RSA Conference, emphasising its values as a place to connect and meet face-to-face.

Community – Diversity & Inclusion

The most profound takeaway from my first RSAC was the vibrant and supportive community within the cybersecurity industry.

As a newcomer, the community came across as surprisingly friendly and collaborative.

I had the privilege of attending the Women in CyberSecurity (WiCys) drinks event, where representatives from Microsoft, Amazon and Google gathered to promote diversity, the motto “not done yet” resonated strongly emphasising the importance of the continuous effort needed to enhance diversity in this tech space.

The next morning, I attended the Women’s in Cyber breakfast, featuring a panel discussion with founders, CEOs and CISOs. The conversation revolved around the challenges faced by successful women in maintaining work-life balance. It was inspiring to witness the support within the community, with ideas exchanged freely, fostering growth and empowerment.

Insights and trends

Apart from the community aspect, RSA Conference 2023 offered valuable insights into trends and concerns.


One notable takeaway was the significant investment in the Cybersecurity sector. Funding for Cybersecurity start-ups increased from $2.4 billion in Q4 2022 to nearly $2.7 billion in Q1 2023, underscoring the industry’s growth and the recognition of its importance in the digital landscape.

AI – Changing the landscape.

Discussions throughout the conference highlighted the transformative role of artificial intelligence in the Cyber security industry. AI technologies are reshaping the landscape, influencing threat detection, incident response, and overall security operations. The integration of AI into cybersecurity practices has become indispensable for organisations to stay ahead of evolving threats.

Talent shortage and calls for solutions.

Addressing the shortage of talent has become a top priority for organisations with discussions focussing on strategies to attract and retain skilled professionals. Collaborative efforts are necessary to bridge the talent gap and nurture a diverse and competent cybersecurity workforce.

Amid networking and business meetings, we took the opportunity to explore San Francisco’s renowned food scene, indulging in the famous Clam Chowder, Oysters, and the Buena Vista Irish coffee.

While RSAC is over, another key takeaway is that the fight is not over, so we look forward to next year to witness the continued growth in the industry and learn new and innovative ways to disrupt cybercrime.

The Experience of Being a Senior Woman Within the Technology Industry 

On The Content & Media Matters Podcast we spoke to Alaina Hall, the Vice President of Global Account Management at JW Player, about her experiences as a senior woman in the technology industry. Alaina’s career started at Z Media before progressing into media, where she has spent the past five years working her way up from a Senior Account Manager up to the Vice President of Global Account Management. She shared her experiences of progressing in the industry as a woman, and gave us advice about improving diversity in the sector. 

How have you experienced your career as a woman in technology? 

Over the years, it’s definitely gotten better. I was the first woman in our UK office, which isn’t a judgement, just a reflection of the time and the place. We were a very small presence here, so when I came over and became a leader, one of my main priorities was hiring other women to join my team. I focussed on helping the other sales leaders find the right talent that was also different. There are less women in leadership in tech, and that’s been an underlying thing throughout my career. I’ve tried not to let it prevent me from moving forward or wanting to do more, or take on new projects, etc. It’s always been an underlying fact that I’ve had to navigate. 

Why are there so few women in C level positions? 

It’s a chain of events that starts when you have less women in individual contributor positions. Your funnel gets smaller as people move up in their careers to become leaders. I also think there is sometimes a gap in women continuing along that leadership track when they have children and take that leave. It creates a gap when they come back into it, because they take so much time off. Maternity and paternity leaves can also be a factor in helping that person progress into leadership positions. The buzzword ‘imposter syndrome’ has some truth behind it, because sometimes women don’t think that they can get to that level in their career. It’s our job to encourage people who want to go down that path. 

Why should organisations address that imbalance and get women into leadership?

If you do have more different types of leaders, people from different backgrounds can look up to someone like them. They see that this company does support different types of leadership, so they will aspire to be in that position because they know that it is a possibility at that company. When people are interviewing, they look to see what kind of people the company has in leadership positions, and that encourages them to join a company.

Diversity, equity and inclusion is all about creating a safe space for these types of conversations. If companies create a space to have difficult conversations about why they don’t have women in leadership, that at least shows that they’re open to learning. We’re all just trying to do our best. We’re all leaning on each other to understand how we can do better.

How can companies get more women into leadership?

It all comes down to changing the culture of a company. You have to go through a process of educating people on why this is important, why you’re talking about it and how it is going to affect your company’s goals. Typically that’s because D&I helps companies retain and attract new employees. Start with small programmes. Bring those values into a review cycle. It’s not just on stats of how you’re doing against your targets, numbers and KPIs within your job. Are you also following company values and principles that are inclusive? Have more open conversations and learning labs so that people can understand what it means to be inclusive, what microaggressions look like in the workplace etc. Small things add up over time to change the way that the company culture evolves. 

Tying it back to the business is really helpful because programmes like DE&I get scrutinised from a budgeting and time perspective. Everyone knows it’s the right thing to do, but how do you justify spending your resources on it? If the company takes it on, they need to be able to tie it back to that return on investment. Understanding how D&I is going to make the company more profitable will help you justify that spending.

Do you have any advice for somebody who is a minority in the workplace? 

It sounds generic, but don’t give up on it. There’s always going to be setbacks or people who discourage you as someone in a minority. You might really like the product or the company that you’re working with, but there’s some other stuff that is prohibiting you from progressing. Keep pivoting and figuring out ways around those obstacles. Ask for help. There’s probably someone at the company who has been through something similar, who would be open to sharing advice on how they tackled that problem. Keep going and pursuing whatever next step or ambition you have.

To hear more about diversity in the industry, tune into The Content & Media Matters Podcast here. 

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.