Beyond Barriers: Anaya M. Jensen's Journey in Law and Cyber Security

We had the pleasure of meeting Anaya M. Jensen, a manager in Cyber & Privacy at PwC. Anaya is also a law graduate from the University of Copenhagen. However, her story isn’t a typical legal tale, it’s a journey that bridges the disciplined world of law with the dynamic domains of cyber security and artificial intelligence (AI). Over the last six years, she has been engaging with GDPR, even before it became widely recognised in 2018. Nowadays, she’s exploring the interesting world of AI regulation, finding it captivating.

Anaya’s Journey into Data Protection

Anaya’s journey began with studies in Business, Language and Culture at Copenhagen Business School, driven by aspiration for a career at the United Nations. However, her academic path took an unexpected turn when she decided to pursue law during an educational programme at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, culminating in a thesis focused on GDPR’s Article 82 

 (GDPR’s Article 82  – the provision that addresses the right to compensation for individuals affected by data breaches). This exploration, rooted in a real-life situation with a municipality, added a special dimension to her understanding of data protection, bridging the gap between theory and practical outcomes.

Amidst the complexities of the cyber security world, Anaya found her calling, realising that it’s not just about codes and firewalls; it’s a realm where human stories unfold. Seamlessly navigating both the domains of law and cyber security, she discovered that the mission goes beyond safeguarding data; it’s about protecting people. 

After completing her master’s, Anaya’s journey led her from a small accounting firm to PwC, showcasing the varied nature of her work. As a legal professional collaborating with cyber security experts, Anaya brings a unique set of skills to the table. Her story is a testament to embracing change, venturing into the unknown, and finding justice in the evolving digital landscape.

Anaya recognised the advantages her law degree provided when entering the cyber security sector. She passionately advocates against letting degrees dictate potential, stressing that diverse backgrounds contribute to unique perspectives. 

– My law degree gave me a solid foundation, but a degree shouldn’t limit anyone. Every background holds something valuable. Seize opportunities, even when they seem challenging, and don’t be confined by societal expectations.

Celebrating Diversity As a Strength

In a male-dominated field of cyber security and law, Anaya’s journey is like her experiences in other legal jobs; it has been crucial to face challenges directly and she believes in not giving up, but working on them persistently. According to Anaya, having a mix of people in a team isn’t just useful, it’s a real strength.

– Diversity isn’t just good, it’s a strength within a team. Every person brings something unique and valuable. Companies should focus on making a culture that cheers for the unique contributions of each team member.

Within PwC, Anaya sheds light on ongoing initiatives promoting diversity and inclusion.

– Mentorship programmes, events, and awareness campaigns play a pivotal role in cultivating a culture that values diverse talents. The emphasis is on showcasing achievements at all levels, fostering an environment where diversity is not only acknowledged but celebrated.

Embracing Challenges for Personal Growth

Anaya’s intentional journey towards a position with more responsibilities underscores the importance of maintaining the right mindset, including perseverance and self-belief, to navigate the inherent challenges in the field. Her experiences further demonstrate that challenges are growth opportunities, inspiring others to view obstacles as chances to learn and emerge stronger. Anaya’s advice for students revolves around the power of perseverance and self-belief.

– Passion and mindset are crucial to achieving dreams; nothing in my life just happened. I’ve experienced that people wanted me to quit; however, I never gave up on what I aimed to do. Pursue your journey, accept failures, and encourage perseverance.

In simple terms, Anaya’s story is a vivid picture painted with determination, resilience, and a strong belief in the life-changing ability of personal growth. It’s a close-up look at facing difficulties, accepting flaws, and forging an individual path in the expansive world of law, AI, and cyber security. Anaya’s tale goes beyond being a mere list of job achievements; her call to action emphasises the importance of showcasing real, imperfect role models and creating awareness about diverse paths to success.