A Career of Selfless Service

There is a call that not everyone hears, and of those that do, fewer still respond. It is that pull to be a part of something bigger than yourself, “service before self’. To suborn the individual for the benefit of the group, even and especially for those who may have no idea of the role you play or impact you have. For many that call to selfless service is found in the military or other forms of public service. For the Global Cyber Alliance’s Kate Oldershaw it was both.

“I grew up a tomboy and I was always destined to end up in uniform, either military or police. As a youngster I considered the army but decided the police was the route I wanted to go at the point in my life.” Kate served for 12 years as a police officer in her home town of Nottingham, before entering the not-for-profit sector and finding her role in project management. But since leaving the police, she realised that she missed that sense of purpose and belonging, and in 2019, she joined the UK Royal Auxiliary Air Force as a Reservist.

“My trade is that of a Mover. We’re responsible for planning and executing the movement of RAF personnel and cargo by road, rail, air, and sea. That’s both the preparation of loads ready for flight, as well as the actual loading and unloading of people and material.” 

Military reservists in the UK play a substantial role in a country’s ability to project power globally. 

“The reliance on reservists is high and has been increasing in recent years. Reservists receive the same training as our regular counterparts so that we can work alongside them in peace time and conflict.”

When she is not in uniform, Kate is a partnership and business development assistant, responsible for initiating and building relationships with donors, sponsors, and partners in the UK, Middle East, and India. A job that could not be more divergent from the dynamic and physically-demanding work she performs in uniform. 

My role is around capacity building in support of GCA’s Executive Director for the UK, Middle East and India and as such I’m engaging in conversations with partners and potential partners, either one-on-one or presenting to a wider audience, about how GCA can add value to their world whilst delivering on our mission.”

Kate’s background in law enforcement and project management allows her to bring a diverse set of skills to two issues that mean a lot to her: combating crime and creating something of value.

“Cybersecurity is a new and exciting field for me, and it has been a steep learning curve, But it is one I’ve embraced and enjoyed; I would never have envisaged giving a presentation on encryption to 220 students. But it’s the new experiences and seeing the impact we have on a global level that make the work so satisfying.”