Achieving a Successful Diverse Workforce Requires These Fundamentals
Mobohubb Chief Success Officer Brittany Galli explains why respect, trust, work ethic and goals are so important when it comes to finding success in the workplace.
SECURE Perspectives is a monthly column by the Security Industry Association (SIA) profiling women in the security industry. This column is part of SIA’s Women in Security Forum, an initiative to support the participation of women in the security field through programs, networking and professional growth events and thought leadership opportunities.
For this edition of SECURE Perspectives, SIA spoke with Brittany Galli, chief success officer at Mobohubb. Galli is responsible for Mobohubb’s customer success, partnerships, finance and operations in Europe, Latin America, North America and the Asia-Pacific region.
SIA: How did you get into the security industry?
Brittany Galli: I more or less fell into it, like so many I talk to. Eight years ago, I was asked to manage finance and operations for what used to be a tech startup in the security industry in the bay area of California. Since then, my role has grown and expanded to chief success officer, which now also includes customer success and partnerships.
How does your organization serve the industry?
Mobohubb is a security workforce tracking and reporting mobile app and platform for companies’ deskless workforce to use. We’ve designed it so it’s the easiest app for security personnel to use and economical enough so every company can afford it. People forget that technology should not be hard to customize or manage — for administration or from the end user’s perspective. It’s a big flaw in bloated technology products these days.
What types of job functions do women fill in your company? Is there diversity of roles in your company, or do women gravitate toward certain job functions?
There is amazing diversity at Mobohubb, as accidentally it ended up that half our workforce is female. Fortunately, we didn’t need an “initiative” to do this — we found the right talent that fit the right position and skill set and proactively rewarded excellence versus disciplining with HR tactics. We made a promotion trajectory set out for each position prior to publishing the job description — something that is commonly missed when initial hiring happens. Each trajectory includes a “skill road map” — when certain skill sets are grown or achieved, you reach the next level in the position.
Fortunately, I came from some experience in corporate HR and had a lot of learning lessons of what did and what didn’t work. We spent a lot of time discussing, identifying and developing an online technology company’s roles and responsibilities. I can say, though, with talent, we move swiftly, and if someone is not a right fit, we pivot them quickly. Proper onboarding is the secret sauce, regardless of whether it’s a client or a new team member.
With more and more data that shows diversity makes a better workforce, what opportunities do you see for women in the security industry? What impediments do you see for achieving this, and what could remedy some of these impediments?
I’ve always said that men and women actually work very well together. We see this in the “work wife” or “work husband” effect. To gain success with a diverse workforce, I feel there needs to be a fundamental foundation set that includes respect, trust, work ethic and goals. I found from speaking with a few male leaders in the industry that trends seem to be common: Women won’t apply for the positions; there are not enough of them; and they need to figure out how to sit at the boardroom table, speak up and provide value in discussions.
It’s blunt, but it’s trending and I hear it a lot. I think each of those issues can be remedied with soft skill building, confidence building and a tactical plan to getting a seat at the boardroom table and then identifying what to say when you get there. I think a woman also needs to build an army of supporters above her. You need women and/or men in positions of power to go to bat for you when you’re not in the room.
What do you see as important trends in the industry?
Digitalization; analytics, of course; and global connectivity.
More specifically, what trends are you seeing in your role as chief success officer for a workforce reporting platform provider?
That companies that don’t work towards a digitalization road map will start to fail more quickly and miserably on the way down. I see it from my smaller clients as well as the Big 4 who just can’t operate, let alone provide great security as service or product. That if we don’t start connecting the data to draw real-time conclusions from, all this data collection will be useless. Finally, that if we don’t make our companies more efficient and processes more fluid, we will run out of time doing administrative tasks and forget to forecast the future.
What are the top challenges your company has faced in the last year?
My company has faced the typical lean issue — “How do we do more with less?” concept. We’ve been very fortunate for our continued growth in the industry and our very forward-thinking, innovative approach to mobile security software. We’ve also realized about three times now we are too far ahead of the security industry. We’ve had to reel it back and say, “They just aren’t there yet.” That’s a bit of conniption in my mind coming from my Bay Area background, where unless you’re five years ahead, you’re considered behind. Overall, we’ve been blessed with excellent clients, a badass product and unlimited potential.
What are the biggest opportunities your company – and the industry – are seeing?
COVID-19 helped many companies wake up to the fact that merely getting by is not going to work. That not looking at the big picture farther down the road is necessary rather than a nice-to-have. This is always an opportunity for a software company, and especially mine, considering we are about a third of the cost of anyone in the security market. I think that developing a strategy to grow in a downturn like this is what shows brilliance in business.
What do you hope the SIA Women in Security Forum can achieve for the security industry?
I hope it raises awareness to men and women alike that there is a very talented, organized and experienced female workforce out there that’s trying to break into the security industry. I want females to be more strategic about their approaches to getting promotions, headlines and better compensation. I hope it recognizes the superstars out there from all facets, job titles, levels, cultures and backgrounds.
What is your best advice for women in the industry?
Be bolder. Be more strategic. I have a lot of conversations about up-and-coming females or even very experienced ladies that just don’t “ask” or don’t think they fit the job description perfectly. Try. Fail if you must, but try and then try again. Don’t stop. Dream up what you want, and then put a tactical plan in place to obtain it. Rinse that and repeat for the rest of your career. Also make sure you know how to negotiate for higher compensation packages.
Who or what was the strongest influence in your career?
My innate hustle and work ethic was my driving force to never stop and just keep going, even after failure. It’s still what keeps me going today. I know with good character and passion that nothing (and I mean nothing) can stop me from accomplishing my goal. My CEO was a big influence in my life and career. His constant push to be better and never let an excuse get in the way and expectations of excellence were all hard to learn, but boy, did that pay off in life and within my company. Being the only female co-founder of a mobile app product in the security industry is something that I am very proud of. The path is not easy, but it never stops being rewarding.
How do you define success?
I define success by a person’s ability to be agile and adapt to reality and their drive to define their passion. Hustle and business acumen are nice-to-haves. Good character and teachability are musts.
What would you say to new upcoming women in the industry?
Speak your truth. Be brave. Be bold and beautiful. Embrace your flaws, celebrate your wins and smile because you want to, not because someone told you to. Hold your ground, spread love and take no shit. Don’t play the victim; become the warrior. Know your worth, protect your energy and tell your story. Share your magic, laugh loud and proud and don’t sweat the small stuff. Blow your own damn mind.
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