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The Route to Networking: Women in Tech (Ep 36 Jemma Davis

This week on the Women in Tech series of The Route to Networking podcast, we are joined by Jemma Davis, Founder and CEO of Culture Gem. In this episode, hosted by Eve McKenna, they dive into Jemma’s career journey, the challenges facing the cybersecurity industry, and how Jemma’s nan drives her moral compass. 

Getting started

At 14, Jemma left school with two GCSEs. When she became pregnant with her daughter at 16, she knew her bar and retail jobs wouldn't be ideal for raising a child. Seeking stability and flexibility, Jemma set her sights on an office career, believing it would offer a good fit for motherhood while allowing her to manage childcare. Her first break came as a receptionist at an accounting college, where she seized every opportunity to learn new skills and grow professionally. This dedication propelled her into the marketing field.

After being made redundant, Jemma took a leap of faith and built her own freelance marketing business. Her first client was the Open Web Application Security Project, a non-profit that supports the global cybersecurity community. Jemma was tasked with organising a conference for over 200 CISOs. Just two days in, the WannaCry cyberattack crippled the NHS. Witnessing the devastating real-world impact piqued Jemma's curiosity, igniting a passion for cybersecurity that led her to delve deeper into the field.

Culture Gem

Fast forward to now, Culture Gem is an award-winning, inclusive cybersecurity training provider offering personalised learning solutions to organisations that want to invest in the cyber safety training of their workforce. Alongside this, they offer consultancy services for organisations looking to implement a company-wide security culture and create behaviour change.

The cyber community

Jemma recognizes how supportive the cybersecurity community has been throughout her time in the industry. For instance, she still regularly connects with the 200 CISOs she met on her very first day in the industry. Even her competitors become her friends, as she points out that no one else understands exactly what she is going through. She actively cultivates her network, explaining that they are not only peers, colleagues, or connections but a genuine support system that helps with personal and professional challenges.

Looking ahead 

Looking back, Jemma marvels at the path her life has taken. Never in her wildest dreams did she imagine leading a team at her own cybersecurity firm while raising her daughter. A fulfilling career and a happy life feel surreal, a testament to her unwavering trust in the process and commitment to authenticity. Jemma wouldn't change a thing – a powerful message for anyone navigating their own path. She embodies the idea that staying true to yourself can lead you to a life that surpasses even your wildest dreams.


In the future, Jemma is keen to expand the positive work already fostered by Culture Gem. She is always on the lookout for opportunities to collaborate with companies and organisations that align with Culture Gem's moral and ethical principles. Their inclusive, people-first, and humanistic approach remains at the core of their mission.


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