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Inclusion is a core value at Palo Alto Networks, and this year, in celebration of Women's History Month 2021, we are hearing from employees around the globe about gender equality in the tech and cybersecurity industries – along with some pretty amazing pictures that inspire and amplify the mission of International Women’s Day 2021 (IWD).
Earlier this month, I shared a post on IWD on LinkedIn, “Three ways I continue to #ChoosetoChallenge (and so does my boss!)” I wrote about how over the last two hundred plus years, women have defied, pushed against and conquered past limitations with the help of our sisters, our friends and our allies. During the pandemic, over the last 365 days, we have overcome the odds again, and I want to celebrate every woman undertaking this tough journey. With this year’s IWD theme of “Choose to Challenge,” the courageous leaders at Palo Alto Networks are not only showing support for women, but are also lending a voice to encourage the next-generation of tech and cybersecurity professionals.
From internal panel discussions to social sharing competitions and special guest keynotes by accomplished women such as international change leadership expert Alana Hill and award-winning psychologist and author Dolly Chugh, I am beyond-words thrilled about the activities Palo Alto Networks has hosted for our employees to celebrate this month. And there’s more to come – we’ll be ending the month with a “Steps of Success Women Leaders Roundtable” to hear how three female leaders owned their careers and propelled themselves into leadership positions.
We believe an inclusive and diverse culture is a vital part of helping us solve the toughest cybersecurity challenges. I am more than proud to work side by side every day with courageous women, and I wanted to round up and share a few inspirational quotes as we wind down Women’s History Month 2021:
“Adversaries do not discriminate. Regardless of gender, everyone – including women – can play a part in safeguarding the safety of our cyberspace and in defending our national security.”
Claribel Chai, country manager, Singapore, Palo Alto Networks
“Never stop challenging the labels: It’s so easy to fall for the myth that you have to fit some kind of traditional mold to be able to go for technology roles – that there’s a specific set of experiences, behaviours and skills you need. Any individual, regardless of gender, is greater than any label; we’ve all got great potential to enrich or even completely redefine them. If working in technology interests you, just be yourself!”
Anna Chung, principal threat analyst, Unit 42, Palo Alto Networks
“Nobody is left out when there is a cyberattack, so nobody should be left out when working toward a solution – an inclusive environment is crucial to creating a safe environment. My daughter has been using Alexa since she was four years old. Making such household devices safe, or protecting medical devices and critical infrastructure matters to every one of us, since safety and security impact everyone's daily life and work. We need diverse teams in building security solutions that can provide effective security solutions in different environments.”
May Wang, senior distinguished engineer, Palo Alto Networks
“I truly believe in the power of diversity in business. The more diverse we are, the stronger we are together. Through my career in technology, I’ve often been the only woman in the room, but I’m pleased to see this is now starting to change, and I’m passionate about encouraging diverse candidates to join the IT industry.”
Wadad Kafka, EMEA VP support, global customer services, Palo Alto Networks
“I have been very fortunate in my career to have both male and female leaders who offered me many opportunities to become a part of great teams in which we sought to solve problems and pioneer new ways to use technology to grow and protect our online lives. When I think of when I’ve been most inspired by my work, it’s in those times in which we had to solve new challenges as a team – and, these teams all had a common link in that they were diverse in talent and mission focused.”
Raynor Dahlquist, VP, federal capture management, Palo Alto Networks
“Women often look for roles that allow them to make an impact in the world. With technology having been central to how we’ve all operated during the pandemic, and cybersecurity now critical to maintaining our digital lives – we need to show that this is a sector with so many opportunities for all.”
Laurence Delpy, VP, service provider, EMEA, Palo Alto Networks
"Inclusive and diverse teams are simply stronger and more capable than non-diverse teams. It isn't simply a matter of hiring more women, people of color or individuals with different abilities or backgrounds, but rather it must go way beyond the hiring process to ensure every employee feels included, heard, seen and valued. I'm incredibly proud of our Women's Network Community employee group, which is so vibrant, active and core to enabling an amazing employee experience."
Lee Klarich, chief product officer, Palo Alto Networks
Building an inclusive environment where everyone can thrive is a collective responsibility, and at Palo Alto Networks, inclusion and belonging are applied to each and every organization. And while we still have work to do, our commitment is clear during months of celebration – like this one – as well as programs like FLEXWORK, which focuses on employee choice and enabling everyone to bring more of their full selves to the table as they flex work around their life.
Interested in learning more about life at Palo Alto Networks? Visit our careers site.
Liane Hornsey is chief people officer at Palo Alto Networks.