Spotlight: Women of Coalfire part 3

October 18, 2022
Blog Images 2022 Women of coalfire tile

Karen Laughton and Michi Everett share their stories of overcoming obstacles and taking lead in their careers and communities.

In this spotlight series, we are recognizing some of the women at Coalfire who have shattered glass ceilings and forged their own paths despite the obstacles they faced. Karen Laughton and Michi Everett are two of these women. Karen was the first female to hold an executive position in delivery at Coalfire, but her support of other women in the company ensured that she wouldn’t be the last.

Michi, raised by a single mother, changed the trajectory of her family through education, and continues to support the next generation through mentorship and curricula development for academic institutions.

Coalfire’s female executive rises by lifting others

Karen Laughton

Throughout her career, Karen often found herself as the only woman with a seat at the table in a very male-dominated industry, yet she was not intimidated, not phased, but continued to do her job with the utmost excellence.

In her seven-year tenure at Coalfire, Karen has become an incredibly valued member of the Coalfire team and has made a tremendous impact. Since joining the business as a director, she has taken on increasing responsibility through a series of promotions to ultimately hold the title of Vice President of Compliance Advisory. In this capacity, Karen oversees more than 50 consultants and a a significant portion of the business as she manages the team of consultants who deliver all the compliance framework advisory services, including PCI, HIPAA, SOC, and FedRAMP.

While Karen was the first female to hold an executive position in delivery at Coalfire, she has experienced a shift in the number of females not only entering the cybersecurity field, but also being promoted into leadership positions at Coalfire.

She takes pride in mentoring the females on her staff, being that sounding board for concerns they may have and standing firm in the equal treatment of females within the company and during client engagements.

B.E.C.O.M.I.N.G. a leader

Michi Everett

15th Annual 2022 Women in Business and the Professions World Awards

Gold Globee Winner “Female Achiever – Advocate of the Year”

The life of a woman is challenging but add in single parenthood while pursuing an education to make life better for your children, life can sometimes feel hopeless without native support systems.

Even from childhood, Michi was on the fast track to taking life by the horns and going for gusto. Raised by a single mom with a ninth-grade education, she was the only one in her immediate family to graduate high school early. She never considered the challenges that came along during her upbringing a factor in what she could achieve in life. Nothing could dampen the spirit Michi had to be great.

Michi does nothing small. Not only did she graduate high school a year earlier than her peers, but she also enrolled in the #1 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in the country, Spelman College, graduating with honors as the second female in her family to graduate from college and the first female in her family to earn an MBA and begin doctoral studies in educational leadership. But did she stop there….no! She continued to give back by developing and maintaining curricula and programs working as an Assistant Director and then as a Program Manager at two Atlanta area institutions Emory University School of Medicine and Morehouse School of Medicine, which is 60% female.

As an alumna of Spelman College and member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, Michi dedicates time to ensure that the next generation of women attains their goals. At Coalfire, Michi founded and currently serves as the chair of Black Employees in Cybersecurity Obtaining Mentorship, Influence, Networking & Growth (B.E.C.O.M.I.N.G.) employee resource group.

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