Marty Overman, Vice President of Enterprise Sales for Presenting Sponsor McAfee sharing her perspective at the CyberWire's 6th Annual Women in Cyber Security Reception, Thursday, October 24, 2019, at the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC.
Dave Bittner: [00:00:09;13] Without further ado, from McAfee, please join me in welcoming Marty Overman.
Marty Overman: [00:00:18;05] I sometimes get called Mandy, actually, I think Marty's an uncomfortable name for some people, but thank you, Dave. Hi, I'm Marty Overman with McAfee, I am the VP of sales for our Enterprise organization. But I have a more important role at McAfee and that is serving as president of our organization called WISE. WISE is Women in Security and it's a global organization within McAfee for the women of McAfee.
Marty Overman: [00:00:51;27] We have 11 chapters world wide that are specifically designed to educate, develop and empower the women of McAfee. We say that it's an opportunity for every women at McAfee to experience her version of success, because it looks different for everybody. A huge piece of it is, as all of the ladies tonight have talked about, mentoring. So, we launched a global mentoring program within WISE this year that will be expanding to all 11 of our chapters in Q4. So we're very excited about being able to get that out and use that as a tool to further empower our women.
Marty Overman: [00:01:26;19] Well why is mentoring so important? It's come up often tonight for a very good reason. I myself benefited greatly from mentoring early in my career. In 2005 I was actually a service manager at a hotel and somehow stumbled into a job at Cisco Systems. They had a training program for fairly recent college graduates. It was designed to be more general in the technology that you covered. But there was a leader there who believed that he could turn one of us into a security product sales specialist. Ever a fan of science experiments, I put my hand up. I was like, it sounds fun, I'll try it. And part of his recipe for my success was to pair me up with a mentor.
Marty Overman: [00:02:11;22] He paired me up with a gentleman named Rich Taylor. And at the time I looked at Rich, I said, "Why are you doing this? It's completely volunteer work, you're not getting paid any more, it's not putting you on track for a promotion, why?" He said, "Well Marty, I've got two young daughters and I would really like for them to have a career in cyber one day and I figure one of the best things I can do to help with that is by helping you now. You will pave the path for them." Rich also at the time made a joke that he would probably work for me one day... I'll come back to that. So Rich and I stayed in touch, we made a point of keeping up our connections, you know, the theme of tonight is creating connections. I hope everybody here tonight has met someone and I challenge you to keep up with that connection that you made tonight.
Marty Overman: [00:03:03;12] Rich and I kept up through the years and in 2015 I came to work at McAfee and he reached out to me and he had seen that I'd gotten promoted. And he said, "Hey I need a favor, Katrina's graduating from college, she'd really like to do that program at Cisco, could you write a referral letter for her?" I was like, "Yeah, to get a referral we got to have a conversation." So, she and I sat down, we had lunch, talked about what she wanted to do with her career and I was of course impressed by her. I would have been anyways. But, she took the step. She actually said, "I don't want my dad to keep doing this for me." And so she made the effort to stay in touch with me. I wrote that referral letter, she got the job.
Marty Overman: [00:03:46;19] A year later I called her dad and I said, "Remember when you said you were going to work for me one day?" He said "Yeah." I was like, "Are you ready?" He was like, "You know what I am." And he came to work for me, he still works at McAfee today. But, Katrina kept up that connection with me and then a couple of years later she wanted to get a job in cyber, who did she come to for a referral? Me. So, it was really fantastic when she actually landed that job. A couple months later I didn't know she hadn't taken the step to let me know that she got it, but she changed her job title on LinkedIn and then the first thing she did, she sent me a message on LinkedIn and said, thank you. She's said, "I actually always looked up to my dad, I really wanted a job in cyber. You helped me get there."
Marty Overman: [00:04:33;08] I love that story because Rich helped me get into my role and excel in my role. I still say Rich taught me everything I know. But then we were able to bring it full circle by me sending that elevator back down for Katrina. You know that's what they say, when you reach the top it's your responsibility to send the elevator back down. Well frankly elevators stop at all floors, you don't need to be at the top to send it down.
Marty Overman: [00:05:03;19] So, the mentoring is absolutely key to both your success but then also when you're able to give that back to somebody else. We all learn by teaching and I gain so much by serving as president of WISE and what I'm able to bring to the women of McAfee, it is truly empowering to see them take their next steps in their careers and continue moving down that path.
Marty Overman: [00:05:26;22] And you know, on the note of sending the elevator back down, just congratulations to all of you tonight for coming, I know this isn't necessarily a comfortable thing for a lot of women. We aren't known for our networking prowess and thank you to CyberWire for recognizing that we need these opportunities because it does make such a huge difference. But I encourage you to make those connections tonight, stay in touch, reach out to each other because we can help each other.
Marty Overman: [00:05:50;12] I was talking to a young woman earlier tonight, we were just chatting about the power of when women get together. It's energizing, we give each other great ideas and yeah we do help with diversity and inclusion. This is where our ideas come from and it's well known that the top performing companies in the Forbes 100 have female board members. So, it's up to us, it's our duty. Send the elevator back down.
Marty Overman: [00:06:15;00] And then the final thought I'll leave you with, I was asked to kind of maybe give a piece of career advice, and this is where the connections come into play, not everybody's going to be a mentor. Not everybody's going to be somebody you stay in touch with for years and years and have these extensive conversations. They don't have to be. I've built a board of directors, so just like any company, a board of directors has diverse expertise on their board, various people you go to for various things. And I actually tell people when I meet them if we've created that connection, maybe they've been a mentor at some point to me in my life, or even if it's not necessarily an acquaintance but, you know, not quite that level of mentorship, I'll say, "Hey can I ask you to serve on my board of directors. Let me explain to you what that means. I may need a piece of advice on X, it may come down to this and do you mind if I reach out to you and follow up with you on that?"
Marty Overman: [00:07:11;13] And nine times out of ten they are flattered to be asked and say, "Yes, I would love to help you" and they always do. They always come through for me. So, find a mentor, be a mentor, send the elevator back down and really actively manage your career. One of the best ways you can do that, my personal advice is to have that personal board of directors. And I'll leave you with that. Thank you.