Tiffany Tremont, President & CEO of Silotech
One test in high school put Tiffany Tremont on the path that led to her role at Silotech. At 16, she took the Civil Service Exam and was offered a summer job at the National Security Agency. A mentor encouraged her to take courses offered through the NSA’s National Cryptologic School, where she became proficient in UNIX. “I didn’t know of any other girls who were doing that. We really weren’t conditioned to look at programming or computers back then.”
But once the door was opened, Tremont never looked back. She joined the U.S. Air Force, and ultimately, she became a consultant in the commercial sector. She founded Silotech in 2008, providing a range of cyber solutions, intelligence solutions, enterprise/cloud I.T. services and products to federal, state, and commercial clients.
She credits consistency and persistence for making Silotech one of the fastest-growing private companies in Texas. “You can’t get thin-skinned in this industry. You’re going to hear no a lot. I had a very good friend tell me early on in my career, “You’re going to meet with 100 people and 99 will say no. But there’s that one person that’s going to say yes.'”
Tremont believes that women definitely belong in tech. “Women have a unique perspective, and they have very good problem-solving skills. I truly believe that if young women were to pursue STEM more frequently, we could be solving some of the country’s largest and biggest issues.”
During school presentations, when she explains that she works in cybersecurity, the response is always surprise. “They think of a guy in a dark room wearing a hoodie,” she laughs. “As a community of women, we need to be involved, do community outreach, and really encourage young women to be involved in math and science.”
Yet, there are times when she’s the only woman in the room. “The gap is improving, but it’s been sad to see when you come to a table, and you’re meeting to make decisions that are going to affect the company, and you may be the only woman there. The gap is improving, but more needs to be done.
To keep herself up to speed, she completed her Master of Science in Cybersecurity Management and Policy and is working on her Doctorate of Science in Cybersecurity.
“People misunderstand that once you have a certification or you complete a degree that you don’t have to continue learning and educating yourself. Software and cybersecurity change on a daily basis. You’ve got to be a continual lifetime learner. People think that when you’re a CEO, you might not be hands-on, you’re just policy and direction, but that’s not true. You have to stay knowledgeable to stay ahead.”