CGI partner Maxine Bulmer has always loved being in cyber security and in the 17 years she has been at CGI her passion has only grown. In this article she shares how CGI’s support has enabled her to continuously develop a career, balance motherhood and spread the word that STEM careers are an exciting and accessible path for women.

January 2024

When I look back on my career, I realise that I’ve always loved the cyber ‘jigsaw’ – the tremendous range of people, processes and strategic elements of cyber security. I joined CGI in 2006 after working as a civil servant in the Departmental Security Unit at HM Revenue and Customs. I had been promoted to managing the business continuity team and I was working with CGI consultants as part of the framework team.

Working closely with CGI consultants piqued my interest in exploring a career at the company. I could see that the CGI team shared similar values with me: they embraced the same work ethic, and everyone enjoyed supporting others with their cyber security efforts. I also noticed how the company invested time and resources into members’ development opportunities.

I joined CGI as a Business Consultant, and after several role changes I landed where I am today, as Vice President, Consulting Delivery. In this role, I am responsible for CGI's Cyber Consulting and Engineering practice, overseeing a team of nearly 200 members who provide cyber advice and support to our clients.

Shattering the glass ceiling

When I left school I entered the workforce immediately, later returning to pursue my degree on a part-time basis. Despite taking a non-conventional route to education, my career has steadily progressed from the day I started working.

I put this progression down to my genuine passion for cyber security and my commitment to helping people. I happily volunteer and invest time in broadening my network. I’ve also honed my ability to take charge, a skill I developed during my Girl Guide days growing up.

Despite my achievements over the years, there have certainly been challenges. Perhaps my biggest career challenge has been balancing my work with motherhood. Juggling professional commitments with school runs, plays and sports days can be demanding, especially when business meetings or client deadlines loom, but my son has fond memories of me being the loudest parent at the side of the track!

My own experience as a working mother is just one reason I am so passionate about supporting women in STEM. I serve as a council member in CGI’s Women’s Network and have spoken at numerous external events to promote diversity in our industry and shine a light on cyber careers, especially for women. In addition, I am particularly proud to have been a finalist in Everywoman Team Leader of the Year in 2016.

For others looking to shape a long and fulfilling career in STEM, my advice would be:

  • Remember to delegate: This is a very important skill to build because you should not attempt to do everything on your own.
  • Be curious: Ask questions and never be afraid to put your hand up. Chances are, others in the room are eager to contribute but may be nervous.
  • Take a stand, participate and contribute: Never leave a room without making a statement or having the courage to share input during discussions.
  • Network proactively: Never leave an event without having made at least one new contact. Networking is crucial because you never know when you might need to reach out, or when someone in your team could benefit from connections in your own network.

Finally, when building your career, seek workplaces and companies with a culture of knowledge-sharing and mentorship. At CGI, we have a unique initiative called the ‘Shadow Cabinet’, which gives junior members opportunities to immerse themselves in senior leadership activities and take on responsibilities that emulate senior roles.

This mentoring culture has been one of my favourite aspects about CGI since I joined. Colleagues always have time to share advice, guidance and support, and I make sure I do the same, particularly for those in their early careers. Just as it made a significant impact on my journey, this support and encouragement can truly make a difference to someone else’s own career.

If you’re interested in joining us, head over to our careers page to explore open roles at CGI UK.