Inspirational Woman: Pauline Losson | Cyber Operations Director, CybelAngel
Meet Pauline Losson, Cyber Operations Director at CybelAngel
Pauline leads the Global Analyst Team of CybelAngel as Director of Cyber Operations. She joined CybelAngel 4 years ago and originally graduated from a Crisis Management & Intelligence Master/Graduate Program in Sciences Po Lille, France. After managing the US customers of CybelAngel, she is now in charge of the growth and strategy of the Analysts at CybelAngel, including investigations programs.
Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role
I graduated from a French Political Sciences University with a major in security/international relations. Originally, I wanted to work in the intelligence and defence sector, but the work environment didn’t fit with my expectations. Which is why I ended up in cybersecurity within the private sector.
At CybelAngel’s core is external risk protection and with digital threats growing more severe every day, being a part of a cutting-edge company tackling these attacks head-on is truly exciting. I started as an entry-level analyst in cybersecurity and now I’m the right hand of the VP leading 50 people. Right now, we are looking at scaling our team’s processes to support the company’s growth. This involves finding the right ideas and innovating in order to be ready for the next level!
It’s also been a time of real expansion for the company, in fact, when I arrived at CybelAngel we were a 40 strong team, and now we are nearing 200 members of staff. It’s amazing to see the growth and the changes taking place.
Did you ever sit down and plan your career?
I didn’t plan my career per se, but along the way, I did question the opportunities that I had. I think it’s important to take a look back at what has happened during your career to know if it’s going in the direction that you want it to. I always remind my team members to question where they want to go and how their current situation can help them to reach their goals.
Have you faced any career challenges along the way and how did you overcome these?
Definitely. Starting out in a management role when you’re young and during the Covid pandemic isn’t an easy task. But having the right people supporting you, encouraging you and giving the advice you need is key. This can come from those close to you like a manager, or even from other peers within the industry.
What has been your biggest career achievement to date?
Climbing the ladder in the company and seeing that I can be the one sharing advice with other women. I started at an entry level; it was my first job after several internships. Obviously, stepping up to a management position after a few years was a challenge, and I enjoy looking back and seeing what I learned, to share that with others. In general, I’d say that I love what I do, because it has an impact, and I can see the effects.
What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?
It may be trivial, but I think that being active in the company culture truly helped me to get where I am. I would advise anyone to say yes to any opportunity that allows you to meet other people and bond with them. I’ve recently read about a concept named “invisible work”, developed by a workplace sociologist. Essentially, the idea is that the work is not only based on tangible performance, but also the subjective, for example, what the employee’s personality brings to the workplace, and their impact on the collective work.
What top tips would you give to an individual who is trying to excel in their career in technology?
Obviously, one of the key factors is to work with the right company. I see a lot of peers changing jobs, trying to find the right spot where they’ll have the opportunity to thrive. It’s not easy, but it’s worth taking the time to pick the one that fits your expectations, and which will offer you the right opportunities.
Do you believe there are still barriers for success for women working in tech, if so, how can these barriers be overcome?
I think there are indeed still barriers, in tech and in most industries. The environment we’re in can lead you to question whether you can reach the next level or develop new skills. In general, I feel like as women, we need to be fearless and have more confidence in our capabilities.
What do you think companies can do and support to progress the careers of women working in technology?
Mentorship is key, having someone else other than your manager giving feedback, showing you new opportunities, and discussing long-term objectives is really helpful.
There are currently only 21 per cent of women working in tech, if you could wave a magic wand, what is the one thing you would do to accelerate the pace of change for women in the industry?
I’d start from the very beginning and change the way we act and mentor young girls so that they can be fearless and much more self-confident to pursue an education and ultimately, a career in a technical field.
What resources do you recommend for women working in tech?
The first book that I was recommended when I started managing was “The Making of a Manager: What to Do When Everyone Looks to You” by Julie Zhuo, from Facebook. It’s already well-known but definitely a good read to help picture yourself in that new role. Otherwise, I’d recommend networking groups to help gain insight and support from other women in the industry. There are lots of these groups around, so I’d urge others to seek them out and find the one that is best suited to their role, skills and goals.
View the original article on WeAreTechWomen here.