#MSAB Women: Breaking the Bias and Making the World Safer All in a Day’s Work
For over a century, every year on March 8th, the entire world marks International Women’s Day, a global occasion for celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. It’s also a day that serves as a call to action for accelerating women’s rights and equality worldwide. But we can’t let our celebration of women stop when the clock strikes midnight. They deserve to be recognized and appreciated on an ongoing basis. Just as efforts to achieve equality and embrace equity cannot stop at one day a year.
For us, at MSAB, elevating and advancing gender parity in the technology sector is a cause close to our heart. We are set on building a workplace where women thrive. We strive to be a company that celebrates strong, powerful women who are at the forefront of innovation, not only on International Women’s Day, but every day. We know firsthand that their work and efforts save lives, drive development, and create a future of possibilities.
And now, we want to share some of their amazing insights with you.
We talked to five MSAB Women who are breaking the bias on a daily basis. They are crushing it in their roles in an industry that is traditionally dominated by men. Every line of code they write, every new feature they test, every customer pain point they solve leads to better investigations with digital forensic solutions and, ultimately, to a safer world.
Without further ado, let’s hear from some exceptional MSAB women about their career paths in tech and digital forensics, their thoughts on the state of the industry, and life-changing advice to women everywhere.
How Did They End Up Working in Tech?
Whether they’ve been in the tech industry for over 20 years or for less than two, each of these women reshape the field of digital forensics. Their bold vision, unshaken enthusiasm, and unmatched professionalism inspire and empower us to grow and be better every day.
Making the Design Side of Tech Fun
I’ve always loved the design side of tech, especially when it comes to customization, like playing around with different swiping gestures and downloading launchers that let me personalize my phone’s home screen, and so on. I develop my own live wallpaper app in my spare time, which isn’t very advanced, but it lets me combine both designing and coding in a fun way.
At MSAB, I’ve worked on improving the usability of XRY for about four years now and I think it’s extremely rewarding every time we manage to make new advanced functions a bit more user friendly without compromising on the core strengths of the product. To work with software design in the digital forensic field feels extra interesting since the changes we make in our products have a real impact on the daily work for lots of crime solving heroes out there. It feels genuinely nice to be part of such an important mission.
From tech to law enforcement to digital forensics
I started my career years ago, in the 1990s, working in the cellular world. After years in that industry, I decided to follow the path that deep down, I always wanted to pursue: law enforcement. I went through the police academy, and then I started like we all start in law enforcement, by working on the streets. After several years of working on patrol, I became a school resource officer. It was a great time to be a positive influence, especially as a female. Little girls would come up to me and say: You’re a girl cop! You see their faces light up and you feel like they’re looking up to you.
Later in my law enforcement career, I got to work in the Special Victims Unit. I didn’t get the position the first time I applied, but I always wanted to help those who couldn’t help themselves, so, I persevered until I got the role. That’s where I got exposed to forensic software. I was tasked with finding an in-house solution, and my path led me to XRY and XAMN. That is how I learned about MSAB’s products.
MSAB customer turned MSAB employee: Same values, same goals, just a different avenue to making it happen
A little later down the line, I decided to leave law enforcement and get back to my roots, to the world of technology. I felt at peace with my decision to leave law enforcement. I had done everything I wanted to do. I set out my goals, and I exceeded them. So, I was ready to embrace the civilian life again.
And I couldn’t have asked for a better company to make this transition with than MSAB. There’s an undeniable and immense purpose for their software. That is still my goal. Get the bad guys. Get them off the street. And that’s exactly what I help do at MSAB. I may not work as a law enforcement officer anymore, but my values haven’t changed. Here at MSAB, I still get to work alongside law enforcement officers who are doing the same type of work that I was doing prior to coming here. I still feel a great connection and still feel included in the brotherhood/sisterhood that bonds law enforcement officers.
A glimpse at the tech world is all it took. And a lot of drive to pursue the education.
Before working with tech, I worked at a pet shop. It wasn’t long before I wanted something completely different. I saw my boyfriend work as an tech engineer and I got a glimpse of that world. I thought it sounded very interesting, so I started looking into it. I found out that Nackademin had educational programs within different IT areas, and I got interested in the Software testing & Quality assurance program. I got in, and lo and behold, nine years later, I’m still going strong in the tech industry.
What I like most about working with tech is that you get to work with a lot of different types of people. I love to see the creativity that comes from people’s ideas and the way it ripples into the product. At MSAB, I admire that people always strive to do the right thing and be as good as possible. I also noticed more and more women joining tech industry which is very nice to see.
From Solving Puzzles to Solving Challenges that Lead to a Better and Safer Society
I have enjoyed solving puzzles and mathematical problems since I was a kid. By working in tech, I get the opportunity to use my problem-solving skills for different interesting challenges. As far as my career path went, I studied Computer Science and Graphics Programming at university. Then, I spent some time in the game industry and FinTech. Currently, I am a software developer in the Devices team at MSAB. I work closely with researchers to provide mobile forensic solutions to our customers. In this field, I know that my work helps to make our society better and safer, and that is what attracts me to it.
Working with People Who Share Your Passion Makes All the Difference
I chose to work with mobile communications to make it easier for people to contact each other. It was at that time when a mobile phone was something new and as a user you could only send text messages. Technology was changing fast – it still is – and you get to learn something new every day. Working in digital forensics was a “natural” next step. It became more common that criminals were being caught using digital evidence. Which led me to want to know: What can we do to make it easier to find and extract digital evidence from a mobile phone? How should data be presented by the police? And here I am, working on answering those questions every day.
I love talking to the users of the applications, mainly law enforcement, trying to understand how their workflow looks like and helping them get the right support in the application. With the right tools, police officers can make a safer world.
On working in male-dominated industries and holding your own
Efforts to increase diversity and inclusion in the workplace have been at the top of everyone’s mind for many years now. Still, even though great strides have been taken in the right direction, the technology industry remains a male-dominated field. Whether they realize it or not, this amazing group of MSAB women, as well as all the wonderful women out there breaking the bias on a daily basis, are contributing to making workplaces more inclusive, more diverse, and to everyone’s benefit, more awesome.
Jena Wabel: Don’t let yourself be intimidated
As you can see from my background, I’ve worked in male dominated industries my whole life. I never looked at it from the negative side, but there were instances when people would see you as arrogant or a know-it-all. But that’s a reflection of them, not me. Being in a male-dominated field, I hold my own. And then some. I’m not intimidated by individuals because they have a certain title or position. I will respect you as much as you respect me.
Jenny Hanell: Making the industry a bit more equal one woman at a time
I don’t think about it much, nor do I expect people to treat me differently because of my gender. But of course, it feels good to be part of making the industry a bit more equal by just being in it.
Dorota Fehrlund: There are more women studying tech/software development, and that’s always a nice improvement to see
Male dominated occupations are those comprised of 25% of women or less, and if you look at higher education nowadays you will see that the number of women studying tech/software development is greater than that. It has changed quite quickly. A long time ago, when I started, I was the only woman on the course. If you love technology, if you love software development – this is the perfect industry for you. You get to work with people who share your passion. That, to me, is the most important thing: to be part of a team where everyone is passionate about what they’re doing, regardless of whether they’re a man or a woman – as long as they love what they do.
Wendy Wong: Being in the right environment is what matters most
It would be nice if there are more woman in this industry, I cannot deny that. Nevertheless, I have never faced problems blending in. I have been surrounded by genuine people who are so helpful and supportive. So, for me working in a male dominated industry does not really matter, because I have felt very welcomed here.
On Their Unique Strengths and Perspectives: How a Woman’s Touch Can Transform the Tech Industry for the Better
There’s power in having women as part of our teams. We know it. They know it. And know you know it.
Jena Wabel: On the power of conversation, adaptability, and fresh perspectives
I’m a talker. I engage in conversation. That’s always been my biggest asset. Another unique strength is my ability to adapt. Having been exposed to a lot of different things, positive and negative, I learned to navigate these murky waters.
Another thing that matters greatly is that I was a customer before I joined MSAB. I know firsthand why there is such a great need for this technology, and I have actually used it several times in actual real-life cases. It brings me a whole new perspective in the job and in the team.
Jenny Hanell: On the power of knowing what ideas to fight for
I think one of my greatest strengths is understanding when it’s time to give up a nice idea and when it’s worth fighting for. I try to work close to the developers and understand the technical aspects before spending too much time sketching new ideas that may not be possible to implement. Also, I’m not afraid of learning new things and touching the code a little.
Carina Johansson: On keeping an open mind and working ethically
Coming from a previous game industry that was all about entertaining the players, I think I am good at seeing the product from another perspective. It’s always good to be open-minded, especially since after a while you tend to get stuck in the same routines while working. And since we work with an ethical mindset towards our products, you need to be detailed and responsible while testing.
Advice for Women Everywhere:
Our favorite thing to see is women supporting women. Women who lift each other up and help each other grow. Women are strong as individuals, there’s no doubt about that. But together – learning from each other, advocating for each other, being in each other’s corners – we are a force.
And MSAB women are leaders in that department. Jena, Jenny, Carina, Wendy, and Dorota all shared insightful pieces of advice to help future generations of women excel and thrive in whatever they set their heart on: be it in the technology sector, in their personal life, or their desired career path.
Jena Wabel: Find inspiration in other people
Find somebody who inspires you and put yourself in their shoes. It may be a celebrity, your grandmother, a woman who’s been around, or just somebody who you admire. It’s like you get a boost of confidence when trying to imagine yourself in the position of someone you admire greatly. And learn to ask questions. Too many times we’re afraid to ask questions. But that’s a sure way to growth and development. So, stay curious, ask questions, and never be afraid to persevere.
Jenny Hanell: The context is Queen. And feedback is the path to improvement
Make sure to understand the context of where you work, who the users are and what value to create. Ask for help when you need to and never take critical feedback on your work personally, instead be happy that you got feedback and iterate.
Carina Johansson: Find courses and programs that can prepare you for working in the tech industry
Don’t be afraid of starting you career in tech. A good start point would be starting as a tester, there are several educational programs out there now; they are not very long and will get you into the job industry right away. Many people get a job after their internships and education ends. Just go for it!
Wendy Wong: Education is the way!
If you want to pursue a career in tech, just do it. Of course, it could be challenging, but also rewarding. Furthermore, although the percentage of woman is low in tech, but there are also support and programs provided specifically to women nowadays. So, don’t hesitate to follow your dreams!
Dorota Fehrlund: Never Stop Learning
Never stop learning – technology is developing rapidly. Ask for feedback and take constructive criticism as a positive. You can always learn something new.
Show off your accomplishments and be proud. And last, but not least: work on your goals with enthusiasm. It will organize your way of thinking and will make tasks easier to handle.
If you want to join this incredible group of women, don’t wait another second! There are many exciting career opportunities waiting for you at MSAB!
Explore our Open Positions and find your path with us!