How did you come to be the Managing Director of EMEA and what do you love about your job?
My career path has been a little untraditional and this wasn’t necessarily a role I expected to take on. I started at OneLogin as the first project manager on the product team and built out the product delivery and release management functions at the company. When Brad came on as CEO, I joined him in the Chief of Staff role, which allowed me to really understand his vision as the CEO and to contribute to the alignment and success of the business across all departments. That unique point of view and experience set me up to be an ideal person to be the help scale the company vision globally and to manage our EMEA business in a holistic way.
What I love most about my job is the variety of work I get to do; no two days are ever the same. I get to span all the functions and work at the system level, connecting dots and moving the business forward. Sometimes my work is very strategic and other times it’s quite tactical, but regardless it’s always something new. And no matter what I’m doing, I consistently get to work alongside a fantastic team of bright, creative, and dedicated people.
What unique value do you think women bring to this job, if any?
Having a diverse leadership team is hugely important for teams and companies to be successful. Not only does it bring diversity of thought and experience to the decision making process, research actually shows that it drives innovation and higher financial returns.
What kind of obstacles are women likely to encounter or did you encounter as a woman working in your career?
The biggest challenge for me so far has been the transition into motherhood while working. I feel very fortunate that OneLogin helped me navigate that transition while continuing to progress in my career, but I think that’s an obstacle that many women encounter. Even with a ton of support and flexibility, I’ve found that being a working mom is extremely challenging and it’s frankly not discussed as much as it should be. I think there’s a huge opportunity to have more open dialogue around the challenges working parents face, especially in the tech industry.
The theme of Women’s Day this year is “Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights.” What do you think are the biggest changes we can make as a society to realize women’s rights?
As a society, anything we do to support working parents has a major impact on realizing equality for women. It’s a big topic, but I think there are a lot of things we can all do around support, inclusion, and allyship for parents, especially new parents and parents rejoining the workforce. Examples would be things like providing flexible work hours, ability to work remotely, and having social or team activities within working hours.
What would you ask men, in particular, to do to help improve Gender Equality?
There are some concrete actions everyone, but particularly men, can bring into their meetings on a daily basis.
If you don’t see women at the table, invite them into the room. If women aren’t speaking up in a meeting, solicit their feedback. If you are in a meeting and a woman is cut off or interrupted, respectfully interject and ask that she be allowed to finish. Anyone can do these things, and when you do, it adds up to make a big impact on equality in the workplace.
What do you hope to see change in your field or industry, for women in particular?
It’s already happening, but I’d like to see changes to the way we as an industry evaluate and hire talent. More and more, people are taking nontraditional paths into the workforce and into the tech space, so the hiring criteria needs to evolve with that as well. Rather than looking for a specific number of years of experience and standard list of minimum qualifications, this means defining what is truly critical to success in each role and considering the unique attributes and needs of the specific role, team, and organization you are hiring for. This will improve hiring in general, but it’s actually particularly important for women because women are less likely to apply for a job when they don’t meet all, or at least most, of the criteria listed. If you are listing criteria that isn’t actually critical to the role, you may be losing out on qualified women unnecessarily.
What would you say to young women considering entering Trust & Security?
It’s a great time to enter Trust & Security. There are a lot of opportunities, support, and resources for women who want to enter this space. Educate yourself, network, and then don’t allow yourself to be intimidated. If you are interested, just go for it!