Our team

We support every women to reach their full potential!

We are a network of wāhine and male allies operating out of 3 cities in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Our team

Natasha Bettridge

Co-founder of NZNWS

Tash is the co-founder of the New Zealand Network for Women in Security and currently working at Microsoft NZ. Tash transitioned from teaching to a career working in Cybersecurity. While she was studying for her undergrad, she interned at PwC, contracted as a Cybersecurity Consultant and interned at Google Australia.

During her undergrad, she faced the challenges of being one of a few women taking Networking and Cybersecurity classes and was curious to understand why there weren’t many women taking those subjects. This led to her completing her undergrad and moving towards a master’s degree that focuses on increasing the representation of women in cybersecurity.

Sai Honig


Sai is co-founder of NZ Network for Women in Security and currently working for AWS NZ. Originally from the United States, Sai Honig has worked in differing roles in various industries. Prior to working in information security, Sai worked as a design engineer in the aerospace industry and worked on projects in the commercial, defence and space programs. Sai’s IT experience is in the governance, audit, supply chain, risk management, and security of IT. Her industrial experience includes manufacturing, healthcare, and education.

Sai’s cybersecurity interests are in secure use of cloud technologies and have been a long-time member of Cloud Security Alliance.  She currently sits on CSA’s Asia Pacific Research Advisory Committee.  In addition to NZNWS, Sai supports women by writing for Women in Security magazine.

Sai served as a board member of (ISC)2 from 2017 to 2019.  In 2020, Sai was recognized as one of 20 Cybersecurity professionals in IFSEC Global influencers in security and fire.

Andrew Thornton


Andrew is our Co-Chair of the New Zealand Network for Women in Security (NZNWS). Having worked in the physical security industry for nearly 30 years, it’s been apparent that roles were predominantly filled due to relationships, including heavy gender biases over demonstrable capability, knowledge, and capacity. It has never sat well with me and the opportunity to engage with highly motivated and talented practitioners several years ago, resonated with my desire to be a part of developing a safe and supportive community across each of the security pillars, specifically for wahine.

In conjunction with global leaders of similar networks overseas, the foundation is carefully being curated to ensure genuine diversity and inclusion will prevail and that with strategic partners, networking, broader Sy education and mentoring is accessible anywhere and at any time.


It is a surreal and humbling experience to witness the incredible drive and talent within the NZNWS committee, volunteer, and member community. It is something everyone should be incredibly proud of, and one where I sincerely hope future Sy practitioner will reflect on positively.

Abby Zhang


Abby Zhang is a Security Analyst, Cloud and Fintech Security Researcher based in Aotearoa. Abby is an experienced cybersecurity and technology risk professional with years of professional experience in auditing, internal control, risk management and IAM. Abby has previously worked in large CPA Firms in China, where she worked in the banking and insurance sector.

Abby moved to Aotearoa and studied for a Graduate Diploma in Computing from Unitec Institute of Technology in 2020. This is where she found and developed her passion for cloud security, fintech security, penetration testing, ABI, machine learning, and data science.

In her spare time, she is playing HacktheBox labs where she has a Pro Hacker Rank and preparing for the OSCP. She is also a volunteer for Parkrun NZ and a Community Patroller for Community Patrols of New Zealand (CPNZ).

Ayla Narciso


Ayla Narciso is a driven and enthusiastic individual with a passion for cybersecurity and a strong background in computer science. As a Computer Science Graduate, Ayla’s thirst for knowledge led her to immerse herself in the captivating world of cybersecurity, where she discovered her true calling. A standout achievement in her journey was being recognized as a Finalist in the prestigious NZNWS Awards 2022, a testament to her dedication and expertise in the field. Ayla’s commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion in the tech industry led her to serve as an NZNWS Ambassador, where she actively advocates for equal opportunities for everyone.

With certifications as an AWS Cloud Practitioner and being twice Microsoft Certified, Ayla constantly seeks to stay ahead of the curve and embraces cutting-edge technologies. However, her true purpose lies beyond personal accomplishments. Ayla is determined to support and inspire women who are transitioning into tech, with a special focus on mums who have taken time away from the workforce.

Her dedication to empowering women in tech earned her the esteemed position of an ISACA SheLeads Tech Ambassador, where she strives to create a more inclusive and supportive environment for aspiring women in the field.

Denise Carter-Bennett


Denise Carter-Bennett (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei)is a cybersecurity Engineer at Datacom New Zealand. This is where she applies her skills in ethical hacking and open-source security to protect data and systems.

Denise is also a writer and a speaker on topics such as neurodiversity, data sovereignty and women in tech.

She believes that diverse thinking is an advantage in the tech sector. She is passionate about empowering other neurodiverse people and increasing the representation of Māori and Pasifika women in tech. She is of Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hine and Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei descent.

Justina Koh


Justina Koh is a talented and passionate secure coder who works at ZX Security, a leading cybersecurity company in New Zealand. She has won several awards for her skills and achievements, such as the Best Female Secure Coder and the Rising Star at the 2022 Women in Security Awards1. She is also a finalist for the One to Watch in IT Security category.

Justina is always eager to learn new things and challenge herself in the fast-paced and dynamic field of IT security. She enjoys solving complex problems and creating innovative solutions that help protect the digital world.

Justina is an inspiration to many aspiring women in security and a valuable member of the ZX Security team.

Tamara Al-Salim


Tamara Al-Salim, a mother of two based in the Wellington region, wears many hats in the Digital Identity space; Currently, a Product Owner at New Zealand Defence Force, looking after Identity & Access Management and Public Key Infrastructure; supporting the Defence Digital Group in creating an integrated information environment that continuously evolves to meet the needs of the force, their partners and the broader defence community, both in New Zealand and abroad. 

Tamara is a Country Ambassador for Women in Identity, a global not-for-profit organisation that promotes diversity and inclusion across the identity sector worldwide; she’s also an Executive Council member of Digital Identity New Zealand (DINZ).

If she’s not on a stage speaking about the importance of digital trust, good identity practices, workforce diversity or authentic leadership, Tamara would be at her local boxing gym getting some active stress management going.

Nicole Gaskell


Nicole Gaskell is a Vulnerability Management Specialist at Kordia SecOps, a leading provider of cybersecurity solutions in New Zealand. She joined the company in December 2021 as a Security Analyst and was promoted to her current role in May 2023. She is responsible for identifying, assessing, and reporting on the security vulnerabilities of Kordia’s clients and systems. She also helps to develop and implement remediation strategies and best practices to enhance the security posture of Kordia and its customers. Nicole has a strong background in information technology and cybersecurity. She holds the New Zealand Diploma in Cybersecurity (Level 6), the New Zealand Diploma in Information Systems (Level 5), and the New Zealand Certificate in Information Technology (Essentials, Level 4).

She is passionate about learning new skills and staying updated on the latest trends and threats in the cyber world. Nicole is also an active member of the New Zealand Network for Women in Security (NZNWS), a community that supports and empowers women in the security industry. She joined the NZNWS as an Ambassador in Auckland in 2022 and has been involved in organizing events, mentoring, and networking with other women in security. Nicole is a valued member of the Kordia SecOps team and a trusted advisor to her clients. She is an inspiration to many aspiring women in security and a role model for her peers.

Tina Bautista


Tina has a wealth of experience in different areas of Information Technology gained from overseas and in New Zealand. Having a Bachelor’s Degree in Information and Computer Science as a foundation, she embarked on a journey of relentless learning and determination, steering her path into the wonderful world of cybersecurity. 

 Over the years, Tina has attained Microsoft and AWS certifications, a clear testament to her steadfast dedication to lifelong learning.

For close to nine years, Tina has been an integral part of the cybersecurity industry, channeling her expertise into security operations, cyber culture and awareness, as well as strategy, risk, and governance domains. Her industry experience is mainly with Financial Services, Banking Industry and Healthcare organisations.

To pursue her mission of helping more organisations improve their cyber security posture, Tina is currently working as a Cyber Security Consultant at ZX Security – a respected IT Security Consultancy in New Zealand.

Tina’s heart lies in the realm of cybersecurity and she finds immense joy in inspiring individuals to embrace cyber safety, this extends sharing her passion with the school children in her home country, fostering a culture of cyber awareness.

Motivated by her aspiration to inspire and instill hope among women, Tina joined the New Zealand Network for Women in Security. Her aim is to empower women to shine brightly in the male-dominated field through unwavering determination and effort. As a result of her dedication, she was recognised and has been nominated for various distinguished awards. 

We Find & Fund

We are in search of opportunities to help as many women as possible. We approach and fund all those who are in need.

We Educate

We help educate rangatahi and organisations about the importance of cyber safety and D&I.

We Provide Care

We offer care and support to the people in our network.

We Consult

We consult on D&I practices within organisations in order to create a more diverse security landscape.

We Build Networks

We run events to support women and minorities in cyber.

We Strengthen

We believe that education, and employment gives people an inner strength to lead a better life.