Intelligent CXO Issue 23 | Page 29

FEATURE even exist yet . Technology is moving so quickly that careers are evolving before our eyes .
Rupal Hollenbeck , Chief Commercial Officer at Check Point Software Technologies . Photo by Rebecca Lewington
Why do you think there is underrepresentation of females in the tech industry ?
There are many reasons for this , including opportunities available to girls from a very early age and societal norms around caregiving for children and elders . There is work to be done to demystify STEM careers and educate students about the many ways in which even nonengineers can work in technology – from finance to marketing to sales . I ’ m an example of that as a Finance major with an MBA – but an obsession with technology .
At Check Point , three out of our seven company leaders are women , and between us , we lead over 80 % of our organisation . This is not the norm in the global cybersecurity industry – or in tech for that matter – where only 25 % of employees are women . While I ’ m quite proud of that , we are passionate about bringing more women and underrepresented groups into cybersecurity .
How do you think the tech industry can become more gender equal ?
team in ways that can help them achieve what they didn ’ t think was possible .
Do women in the tech industry need to work harder for success than their male counterparts ?
The bar is always going up and we are looking for ways to work smarter – all of us . We each also have to find the method that works for us as individuals . I encourage women to 1 ) Bring your full self to their work . By being transparent and sharing our full selves with our team , we can become more resilient and adaptable . 2 ) While I don ’ t recommend doing things that make you uncomfortable , the butterflies that you get when pushing out of your comfort zone are a wonderful way to see what you ’ re capable of and to grow . 3 ) Find or develop a support network both inside and outside of the organisation , including mentors and sponsors . 4 ) Consider an unconventional career path . For many young girls in school today , their future career role may not
Education is critically important . From a young age , we must encourage girls to follow their interests and to ask questions and persevere even when facing seemingly insurmountable challenges . It is also vital for young people to recognise how pervasive technology is in our daily lives . By nurturing the curiosity of young girls about how the world around them works , we can encourage them to be the future engineers , UX designers , cybersecurity architects , sales professionals , among many other roles that help create our future .
Kratika Sangal , Director of Marketing Communications and Channel Marketing , Secure Issuance :
What is your experience like as a female tech leader ?
My experience has been enriched by working with some of the best and brightest talent in tech across the MENA region and worldwide . The tech industry has rapidly evolved to become more inclusive and non-hierarchical . I have learned from many women in leadership roles who have kindly served as mentors and role models and have helped me feel included .
Kratika Sangal , Director of Marketing Communications and Channel Marketing , Secure Issuance www . intelligentcxo . com