Interviewed by Tessa Robinson
Meet our WTP7 Talent, Tatiana Chamis-Brown, VP Global Marketing at Orange Cyberdefense. In this interview, Tatiana talks about her career journey from Brazil to Europe, why she is so passionate about cybersecurity and the role of Marketers in increasing visibility for women
You have extensive experience at Orange where you started as an Internal Consultant in Business Efficiency Transformation in 2007 and became head of B2B customer transformation in January 2015, a position you occupied for almost 3 years. Can you describe your journey into this leadership position?
My career journey began in Brazil, where I am from, and where I joined the telco Oi as a strategic planning trainee. After graduating, I moved to France and then to the UK, where I worked in strategy and operational management consultancy in smaller firms. This allowed me to have responsibility and autonomy early on and offered me the opportunity to work in a variety of fields and projects, like market entrance strategies for new players, M&A due diligence, competitive benchmarking, and operational efficiency. Most importantly, these experiences enabled me to collaborate with people from the shop floor to the Board in different parts of the world.
This was a rich start to my career, and I really enjoyed the consulting side, but I wanted to have an impact on a longer-term basis. That's when I joined Orange. At the time, Orange had telecom operations in the UK and they were running a transformation programme to improve cost efficiency. My previous experience in consulting was a good fit for that. The programme reported to the CEO at the time and when he went onto a new role at a group level position, he invited me and my team to come along. From there I moved to other roles, eventually pivoting to cyber security marketing.
In each of my roles, I've always been curious and proactive in developing new initiatives, and convincing others to contribute and support them. This has allowed me to have an impact, be visible, and to meet and work with people across the business. I have also had plenty of support and great mentors along the way, to whom I am grateful.
I've always been curious and proactive in developing new initiatives, and convincing others to contribute and support them.
You are currently the VP for Global Marketing at Orange Cyberdefense. Can you tell us more about your responsibilities? How have these responsibilities changed over time?
Cybersecurity’s growth has gone hand in hand with the world becoming more digital. It has transformed and is still transforming the way we live, work and do business, and I believe it's changing our society in many ways for the better. But it also comes with risks, as cybercriminals explore weaknesses to make money and gain some leverage.
As a marketer, I care about delivering our mission in this wider context, which is to build a safer digital society and allow us all to enjoy the benefits of the digital world. When I joined Orange Cyberdefense, the organisation had businesses and operations primarily in France. Since then we’ve made two acquisitions and expanded our footprint primarily in Europe, improving the capability and type of services that we provide. I really enjoyed the process of integrating the new organisation together and setting the vision, positioning, strategy, and roadmap within the marketing team, at the global level, and country level teams.. This was an interesting experience to get a first-hand view and have a role in shaping this new organisation.
In my current role, I lead a team of amazing global marketers across Europe and the world. Together we promote Orange Cyberdefense and take to market the services that we provide to organisations around the globe. We contribute to business growth via digital marketing, analyst relations, events, thought leadership, sales enablement, and many other activities, alongside experts across the business. I'm lucky to work with brilliant professionals from whom I learn every day. This is a dynamic and growing industry with lots of challenges from a marketing point of view.
As a marketer, I care about delivering our mission in this wider context, which is to build a safer digital society and allow us to all enjoy the benefits of the digital world.
What is it that inspired you to shape your career towards marketing, cybersecurity, and tech and what is it you like the most about these fields?
Cybersecurity and tech are fields that attract people who are very passionate, think differently and innovate. They are evolving fields, so the potential to learn and to develop is immense. What interests me about cybersecurity is that it concerns all of us as citizens and professionals, organisations of all sizes, across sectors. It's a growing challenge.
In our annual threat report Security Navigator, where we analyse statistics from our operations and trends in the cybersecurity ecosystem, we've noticed a 13% increase of cyber-attacks compared to the previous year. There are of course technology solutions to address this challenge but they alone are not the solution. Even with the most advanced technology, there still is a need for human intervention. For instance, in our report we noted that 60% of the security alerts were false positives and not real cybersecurity incidents. Technology can raise the alerts and contain some incidents, but you still need real people to investigate and guide you during a cyber security crisis. That's where marketing can come in: we are ensuring that this and other challenges that organisations are facing are understood. We focus on establishing trust and being an advisor to our community and to our customers, outlining what they can do to address these challenges. That’s why we are a good partner to help them navigate through them.
I like to think that marketing is a combination of art and science. Our tools and touchpoints have evolved which makes our job more precise and effective, but the basics remain the same. It's gratifying to make an impact in marketing within the cybersecurity field and its innovative people.
You are an economic empowerment and entrepreneurship advocate: you were a Volunteer consultant for GROW movement and you have now joined our 7th edition of Women Talent Pool Programme. What inspired you to join us? Could you describe the different career paths that lead into cyber security?
I'm very conscious of the responsibility that I have to elevate other people and to use my skills, my experience, and my platform to do that. However, I felt there was more that I could do, and the Women's Talent Pool Programme is equipping me via learning, coaching, networking and sharing experiences with other women to nurture not only my own leadership skills, but to empower others. It has inspired me to reach out to other women within our organisation and hear their stories and to understand how I can support them to be more visible in our marketing initiatives. This is important because cybersecurity is a sector where only 24% of the workforce are women despite being 51% of the global population. There is a real issue here in making sure that more women are attracted to the field.
By speaking to these women, I discovered very different paths that lead them into cybersecurity. One, for example, was a psychologist who brought her criminology studies background to the sector and moved into cybercrime research. Another used to work in the public sector and went back to university to retrain in cybersecurity after the birth of a third child and she's now an ethical hacker. I also came across a fellow marketer who pivoted into a security service delivery role. There are so many different profiles that can make an impact and have a role within cybersecurity. What was also interesting to me is that all the women I spoke to share a willingness to have a greater impact and a desire to harness their skills and support other women into the business. They also feel that representation matters within our industry, including to provide role models for others.
When I look into what other organisations are doing to increase gender diversity in the sector, I see some promising initiatives out there. For example, the Women4Cyber / European Cyber Security organisation who promote the upskilling and reskilling of girls and women towards cybersecurity education and professions. And in the US, the Department of Homeland Security partners with the Girls Scouts Organisation to give girls the opportunity to learn about cyber security, to practice key concepts and get interested in a career in the field.
I felt there was more that I could do, and the Women's Talent Pool Program is equipping me via learning, coaching, networking and sharing experiences with other women to nurture not only my own leadership skills, but to empower others
As part of our interviews, we usually end with a question from our Proust Questionnaire. Therefore, what is your most marked characteristic and why do you think it has helped you in your career?
I think it's vision and perhaps curiosity; to see what could be around the corner. These characteristics have allowed me to pursue not so obvious opportunities along the way, to pivot roles in my career, and to encourage and empower my team to innovate.
Video edited by Tessa Robinson