Soulful Work: Diversity in Recruitment and Development
By Michael Alicea · August 30, 2022
At Trellix, we are driven to help those who dedicate themselves to cybersecurity – whether they work at Trellix or elsewhere. Our collective work is deeply honorable. One of our biggest priorities at Trellix is to bring purpose and soulfulness into our work.
That means different things to each of us. The differences in each one of us can transform business performance and bring deep personal fulfillment in how we spend our working day. And, at the highest level, contribute towards a better world.
Trellix CEO Bryan Palma, has spoken at length about our industry’s shortcomings in this area, and how the cybersecurity community has an opportunity to pursue a higher purpose. As a speaker at the recent San Francisco CHRO Executive Summit, I shared my thoughts on these ideas from both a personal and professional perspective.
“Wait a second,” you say. “Are these related?” Am I championing cybersecurity as honorable work, diversity as a driver of innovation, or business performance that excels?
All three. Yes: I see these issues as intimately related. As a passionate supporter of people, a proud person with a diverse background (Puerto Rican) and a Trellix executive, I see the drive to improve diversity in the workforce as not just the right thing to do, but absolutely critical to meet the growing threats we are facing.
Meaning is often more important than money
What people want from their work is changing – quite dramatically, in fact. As we emerge from the worst of the pandemic and examine The Great Resignation and Quiet Quitting, people are questioning how they spend their time and what is meaningful to them.
Even before Covid-19, people were examining their lives and career trajectories, according to the Harvard Business Review. Specifically, 9 out of 10 people were willing to trade a percentage of their lifetime earnings for greater meaning at work.
In a sense, “meaning is the new currency.” Organizations taking concrete actions to build new cultures around meaningful work have an easier time recruiting, hiring, and retaining talent because they offer people mental and emotional fulfillment.
The Harvard study revealed employees are willing to take a pay cut for more meaningful work. It also found that employees who find work highly meaningful are 69% less likely to plan on resigning within the next 6 months and stay in their positions 7.4 months longer on average than employees who do not find their work meaningful. This is good not only for employees but the company’s bottom line: businesses save on average $6.43 million in annual turnover-related expenses for every 10,000 workers when employees feel that their work has meaning.
How we’re driving diversity and soulful work
At Trellix, we are taking concrete steps to increase diversity and foster a culture of soulful work. Here are some highlights.
- The HACE-Trellix Cybersecurity Accelerator Program: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission estimates that Latinos make up just 7% of the U.S. high tech workforce. For Latinas specifically, that number is closer to 3%. Our survey of 1000 cybersecurity experts found only 2% of respondents were Hispanic. We want to change that, not just at Trellix but within the industry. To that end, Trellix has partnered with the Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement (HACE). Our program intends to expand opportunities for Latinos in the cybersecurity industry. HACE will source candidates from its network of 85,000 members and provide soft skills training while Trellix creates curriculum and provides cybersecurity education. Participants who complete the program will be given priority consideration for full-time roles at Trellix. This program takes candidates who may not have a background in cybersecurity but have the aptitude to learn the hard and soft skills necessary to succeed in the field.
- Trellix’s Partnership with Gotara: This wonderful organization serves as a global career growth platform for women in STEM+. Founded by an exceptionally accomplished leader, D. Sangeeta, Gotara provides women with confidential, personalized, and just-in-time career-related “nano-learning” from STEM + leaders to thrive in their career. Together our goal is to help STEM + women at Trellix stay and thrive in their careers with us and in our industry. We’ve invested to offer this program and service to our women at Trellix.
- Trellix Joins the HBCU Career Program: In partnership with the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA), Trellix joined the HBCU (Historic Black Colleges and Universities) Career Program. Launched in partnership with top HBCUs – including Prairie View A&M, Southern University, St. Philip’s College, Texas Southern University, and organizations including CISA and Dell – the HBCU Career Program will equip students with the necessary skills to navigate the search process for positions in security, privacy and risk, helping build a pipeline of Black professionals to fill the cyber workforce gap. Trellix’s involvement will span across initiatives from networking and mentoring to recruitment. The HBCU Career Program will open new pathways for those seeking purposeful careers and introduce fresh, diverse perspectives to the industry.
This isn’t just about Trellix; it’s about cybersecurity at the highest level
Companies and corporate leaders are communicating about change. Talking is one thing. Taking action is what matters. I’m proud and personally invested in Trellix’s initiatives. I want us to do even more. Will you join me in doing more?
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