Blog Category Feed https://www.zscaler.com/ Zscaler Blog — News and views from the leading voice in cloud security. en Celebrating Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month at Zscaler https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/celebrating-asian-american-pacific-islander-heritage-month-zscaler Our people are the core of everything we do at Zscaler. Each individual brings passion, heart, and brilliance to work every day. Without diverse backgrounds, experiences, and input, our company would not be what it is today. As such, our employee resource groups (ERGs), including the Asian American and Pacific Islander @ Zscaler (AAPI@Z) ERG, enrich our cultural experience at Zscaler and build community, encourage mentorship, and elevate the powerful voices of everyone that makes Zscaler a great place to work. To celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month 2022, we spoke with some of the founders and members of AAPI@Z to get their thoughts and reflections on the importance of representation and what the month—and their heritage—mean to them. “Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month makes me think about how AAPI is seen as only one group of people, a super-label that encompasses more than 50 wholly different ethnic groups, each with centuries of their own rich and complex history,” said Oanh McClure, Director of Alliances and Channel at Zscaler. “In reality, the moniker ‘AAPI’ represents what may be THE vastest collection of uniquely and contrastingly different cultures in the world, and yet, people may only see one singular image/face when they hear ‘AAPI.’” Valerie Ng, Talent Acquisition Enablement Program Manager at Zscaler said that the month presents an opportunity. “AAPI Heritage Month is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate our historical and cultural upbringing and a chance to amplify Asian voices,” she said. “It's also a special time where we get to learn about the diversity within the AAPI community itself, we are made up of people who are so similar yet so different!” Shudong Zhou, Principal Engineer, Machine Learning at Zscaler, said AAPI Heritage Month reminds him of the past, but also sheds light on the future. “AAPI Heritage Month is a good time to reflect on my Chinese heritage and life experience in the U.S.,” he said. “Coming to the country and attending UT Austin in the mid-80's, I remember going to a supermarket and feeling like an animal in a zoo. While people were just being curious, I still felt uncomfortable. We have come a long way since then.” Ng said she celebrates her heritage year-round. “Growing up, my family was always big on Chinese holidays such as Lunar New Year, Ching Ming Festival, and Mid-Autumn Festival,” she said. “As a child, I never really asked why we did certain things to celebrate, like wearing red apparel on Lunar New Year or eating mooncakes during the Mid Autumn Festival, I just did as I was told. As an adult now, I've become more interested in the meaning behind the rituals and offerings of these holidays and realized I have a lot to learn! I often talk to my siblings and peers about how I wished I was more in tune with my heritage growing up, because it is really up to our generation to keep these wonderful traditions going.” McClure echoed these sentiments, and believes that though having a month to highlight representation is important, celebrating culture happens every day. “In my family, we don't ‘celebrate’ AAPI month or our culture - we simply live it,” she said. “For example, you can hear it in how we speak - Vietnamese is an ‘honorific language’ meaning you address each person with their title as it relates to you—an act of respect toward your elders and each person you interact with. You can taste our culture in every meal, feasts of abundance and comfort—adaptations of traditional meals, reminiscent of both my childhood (as the lone Asian kid in the neighborhood) and my parents' childhood (in a far-away land that has changed so much after the war that it hardly exists as they remember it). Our heritage is in everything we do whether we consciously ‘celebrate it’ or not.” David Vu, Technical Account Manager at Zscaler, said the month provides an important reminder, while the APPI ERG provides a welcome community. “I celebrate my heritage throughout the year by upholding the values and traditions my family have taught me, and never forgetting what was sacrificed and endured to allow me to be where I am today,” he said. “The AAPI resource group is important because it supports and promotes Asian Pacific culture and diversity. It spreads cultural awareness through social, cultural, and educational events as well as giving back to the community.” Bosco Gong, Sales Engineer, Large Enterprises at Zscaler said the month also helps him to reflect on his past and his parents. “I would say I celebrate my heritage throughout the year,” he said. “But, I do participate more during the month, and since it is the month of Mother’s Day followed by Father’s Day in June, I appreciate the sacrifice of my parents even more. Hopefully, my own children will feel the same way later in life.” To learn more about Zscaler culture and ERGs, visit our blog and careers page. Wed, 18 May 2022 16:23:24 -0700 Chris Louie https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/celebrating-asian-american-pacific-islander-heritage-month-zscaler My First Year as a Sales Engineer at Zscaler https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/my-first-year-sales-engineer-zscaler A sales engineer at Zscaler is, first and foremost, a contact partner to help future customers get their modernisation of security off the ground and provide transformative advice about network and application security. I met with two colleagues to hear about their first year at Zscaler and how they explain the benefits of the Zscaler Zero Trust Exchange platform. What was your background before joining Zscaler? Simon: “At my previous employer I was jointly responsible for introducing the zero trust exchange across the company, so I was already familiar with the solution. On the customer side, I was able to include the intricacies of the product portfolio and had already learnt to appreciate the cloud-based approach. As I'd always wanted to work on the manufacturer's side, it was a comparatively small next step as I had a good idea what the role of sales engineer entailed.” Andreas: “Over the course of my career, I've spent 20 years getting to know the different aspects of security, network, and visibility requirements. In my previous job, the focus was on security appliances; the cloud was only a sideline. During digitisation, cloud and multi-cloud solutions increasingly became the focus of company strategies, so I looked around for a manufacturer who shares this vision. For me, a cloud-based security approach was a logical move. The elaborate recruitment process that I had to go through won me over, right from the start. It was all about preparation because you were going to be presenting at the whiteboard!” What's your day-to-day work like now? Andreas: “I was won over by the fact that the account team at Zscaler is multi-layered, and everyone within it has their place and defined responsibilities. So, you are highly appreciated for what you do in your role. Each project is tackled as a team, so that tasks and external conditions on the customer's side are the focus and always addressed–which is anything but the norm. As every customer has different requirements for security, employee access rights, and existing infrastructure, it is important to not just give a textbook presentation. You need to prepare for every meeting using the facts in front of you.” Simon: “For me, in the first year, it was important that I started by gaining a wide range of experiences as to how requirements are presented in companies within the large enterprise team. The cadence of the various meetings on the customer's side, all with a range of different participants in the decision-making process, is very high. That helped me enormously to grow and, after half a year, to take the plunge as a Sales Engineer for large companies. So, for me the opportunity for further development came very quick.” “I also appreciate the teamwork approach at every meeting. Preparation is key so I can talk with the technical contact partners on the customer's side, but also demonstrate that I understand their challenges. Because I am personally responsible for the introduction of cloud-based security on the customer's side, I have a lot of credibility.” Does it take a lot of persuading to get companies to transform their security? Simon: “The strategy of handling security from the cloud via a highly integrated platform does require some change management on several levels. Arguing for a new form of security from the cloud requires a lot of tact, as a lot of companies still rely on on-premises solutions to protect their cloud data and services. However, you can be very persuasive using arguments around the added value, which also addresses worries about loss of control. We really gain momentum when we can show how a cloud platform frees up time and resources so companies can focus more on other projects. At the same time, zero trust has really arrived as a concept that supersedes conventional security solutions in the age of the cloud, so the market is really coming to us.” Andreas: “In my experience, large companies are cloud-savvy. In small- and medium-sized companies, generally the switch to Microsoft 365 is a driver to also transform the network infrastructure, and, while they're thinking about that, also consider security from the cloud. Too often the mantra of the data centre prevails here, ‘I have all my data in one location and if I need new services or security solutions, I add a suitable box each time.’ It is important that many participants engage in the conversation of a transformation process at different levels. For example, administrators generally prefer to continue with work ‘as usual,’ because for them, changes are usually associated with considerable effort. However, if you talk to IT architects and the managers at management level, opinions change. So, you really need to be able to see things from the different perspectives of all your contact partners, from administrators to decision-makers, and listen to where their challenges lie.” How has the pandemic influenced your work? Andreas: “The past few years have required companies to restructure daily business and implement new concepts in record time. Often, it was a question of whether companies were able to keep their own business going despite the government restrictions. That increased awareness to a high level of the importance of building your own strategy for security solutions that also guarantee the company agility. Part of Zscaler's recipe for success was that we were prepared for the hurdles of a completely changed working world as we ourselves use a decentralised company concept and are used to teleworking. This also helped when onboarding new employees, despite geographical distance, and it meant we developed best practices for the new way of supporting customers, which has proved to be completely worthwhile.” Simon: “I can only add that after those two years company executives now know who Zscaler is. That is because our security solutions enable us to effectively guarantee security while projects for digitisation are driven forward, among other things. With Zscaler you are, so to say, involved with the critical infrastructure of the company. If you do a good job there, then it's quickly noticed.” Wed, 20 Apr 2022 22:07:14 -0700 Gregor Keller https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/my-first-year-sales-engineer-zscaler International Women’s Day 2022 - Celebrating Powerful Women in Tech https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/international-womens-day-2022-celebrating-powerful-women-tech At Zscaler, we celebrate diversity every day. We know that we’re stronger when we have input and perspective from people of varied backgrounds, which is why we make representation a priority. We’re proud to celebrate International Women’s Day every year and elevate the voices and stories of the powerful and brilliant women that make Zscaler great. The theme for International Women’s Day 2022 is #BreaktheBias, which aims to focus on an equitable and inclusive world—free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. This can be particularly challenging for women in technology, as it has historically been a male-dominated field. As far as we’ve come, we know there is still work to be done. Through our employee resource group Women in Zscaler Engage (WIZE), we have built a vibrant community that fosters career growth, mentorship, and networking for women within the company and beyond. We asked some of our WIZE community members to reflect on their careers, what makes them most proud to be a woman in tech, and how Zscaler has affected their career trajectory. Here are their responses: “I am proud to be a woman in cybersecurity because…” “I have seen firsthand how diversity in thought, perspectives and ideas have helped mitigate the ever-changing cyber threat landscape.” - Lauren Wise, Senior Director, Global Executive Advisory “Cybersecurity knows no gender.” - Bianca Edgar, Senior Marketing Manager, APJ Enterprise “I want to encourage and empower other women to feel like they can not only join but also be successful in a male-dominated industry.” - Christina Chung, Manager, Sales Development Representative “It’s fun, it betters the world, and you're constantly learning new technology and solving problems. It’s fun to be in cybersecurity, but it's especially fun to do it at Zscaler.” - Erica Good, Sales Engineer “It's just such an interesting industry. It’s changing every day and it’s only going in one direction, so we have a unique opportunity at Zscaler not only to work with the fantastic technology but work in such an exciting time for the industry. It will be really exciting to look back in the future and say that we were a part of this era of time that really defined cybersecurity and defined the way businesses were operating.” - Georgia Bell, Regional Sales Manager, Enterprise “I am proud to be a woman at Zscaler because…” “I am proud of the company we are today. I am so inspired by the leadership, the transformational technology that we provide, and the culture we have built here—one that fosters a strong sense of community, partnership, and open communication, regardless of your gender, age, race, or background.” - Josie Smoot, Director, Public Sector Marketing “Zscaler supports and promotes diversity. We have so many women leaders here in executive leadership and different managerial positions. My leaders always make a big effort to support me and my work. I am encouraged to learn, encouraged to lead, and encouraged to grow at Zscaler.” - Pinki Gupta, Manager, Salesforce CRM “Collectively, we're changing the face of cybersecurity and the technology industry as a whole.” - Lori Hultin, Director, Analyst Relations “I feel empowered to do the most meaningful work of my career. Progressive companies like Zscaler break down barriers for women to thrive and move into leadership roles. Each day, I am excited to see how technology will help shape the next decade for a more secure, human-centered role. And women will have a pivotal role to play in making that happen.” - Suruchi Sharma, Director, Digital Marketing “I feel empowered as a woman in technology and in an environment where my opinions matter. At Zscaler, I am inspired by the women I work with and the CXOs I continue to build relationships with and learn from on a daily basis.” - Julia Cummings, Senior Executive, Customer Programs Manager “As the leading cybersecurity company today, we are uniquely positioned to improve the course of careers for women in cyber everywhere.” - Nicole Bucala, Senior Director, Business Development Read more about the incredible women of Zscaler here: Nicole Martinez on Influential Women and Giving Back Making a Difference in Africa with Agapé Pratibha Nayak, the First Female Zscaler Employee, on Shaping Zscaler and Staying Curious Tue, 08 Mar 2022 10:00:02 -0800 Kristi Myllenbeck https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/international-womens-day-2022-celebrating-powerful-women-tech WIZE Speaker Series Spotlight: Tami Booth https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/wize-speaker-series-spotlight-tami-booth Our internal employee resource group Women in Zscaler Engage (WIZE) has had the privilege of inviting powerful women in technology to speak to our group about their personal career journeys while also providing valuable advice on how to succeed as a woman in tech. The latest session in our WIZE Speaker Series, aptly titled “Growing and Leading with Authenticity,” featured Tami Booth, Vice President, Global Alliances and Leader of Women in Action at Dell Technologies. Tami detailed her career path and shared anecdotes about instances where she had to stand up for herself and her team, lead with confidence and empathy, and show up as her authentic self in both personal and professional situations. She also emphasized the importance of building rapport and trust with colleagues. “So how to grow and lead with authenticity, well, it’s about gaining trust,” she said. “And without trust—no matter if it’s in your work or personal life—things will not come together, either at all, or to meet the company needs.” Some topics that were discussed in the Q&A session revolved around common challenges we see not only for women in tech, but women in all industries, including imposter syndrome, navigating difficult conversations, earning and maintaining respect among male colleagues and superiors, and advocating for fair and equal pay. Tami’s mantra, “be graceful, have humility, and always be the only ONE you in the world,” resonated with our group, because not only did it remind us to be kind to ourselves and our colleagues, it reminded us that we each have our own unique strengths and experience to bring to our roles every day. She closed out her session with challenging the group to ask difficult questions and be self-aware. “I shared a lot of my background of stories with you here today for two reasons: to show you ways you will always learn and ways you will evolve,” she said. “And really the most important thing with these stories, is ways to reflect and help you grow to that next level. What are those things you need to overcome? And who can help you also reflect?” So as I reflect on this amazing session, I want to ask you all: how are you going to bring your best, authentic self to work tomorrow? Suggested reading: Women Making an Impact: Catherine Lee on Building a Balance Between Career and Family Women Making an Impact: Pratima Rao Gluckman on Overcoming Obstacles in Tech Fri, 25 Feb 2022 08:00:02 -0800 Suruchi Sharma https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/wize-speaker-series-spotlight-tami-booth Making a Difference in Africa with Agapé https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/making-difference-africa-agape Going through a significant loss or change often has the potential to make us drastically rethink our lives. This is exactly what happened to me when I lost my mother to cancer in 2011 and had to write her obituary. At this point, I realised how much putting other people first had been an important factor in my mother’s life, and how I wanted to incorporate this into my own life. I started reflecting on the legacy I would leave and what I could do to make a difference in the world. As giving back had been a dominating theme for my family, I started thinking about how I could ultimately impact others’ lives for the better. With my family and a fast-paced career as a marketing executive occupying much of my time, it was not until 2019 that I finally felt I could get started with my own charity project. Scribbled on a piece of paper in 2017 and officially established in 2019, Agapé was founded as a non-governmental and non-profit organisation, designed to improve the daily lives of orphans in Africa. In ancient Greek, Agapé means “love - the fatherly love of God for humans, as well as the human reciprocal love for God.” The simplicity of this word goes hand-in-hand with our organisation’s mission. The main objectives of the charity are to give warmth, love, and compassion to children who are not given the same opportunities as others. Essentially, the team and I wanted to contribute to the happiness of these children by first ensuring their basic needs were met. Agapé was founded in the Parisian suburbs, and my husband—who helped co-found the organization— and I were lucky enough to live in a modern world, one in which people have too many things which they take for granted and easily discard. I had always wanted to give back in some way or another. But being a marketing executive while raising twins meant I had very little spare time. My husband and I began by coordinating the collection of goods, which lead to others getting involved in the project by word of mouth. Many of my friends on Facebook were overwhelmed by the success of the initiative and shortly after, our family apartment rapidly filled up with donations of the goods we wanted to send to Africa. As a marketing professional, I was not only able to easily raise awareness around the charity, but also organise the logistics and set-up of events. I soon became passionate about collecting, storing, and shipping donations to Africa, where I initiated contact with various non-profit organisations on the ground. My network helped make the vision come to life, when a friend of mine with connections to a freight company offered to ship the collected goods to the Ivory Coast. There, we evaluated our first orphanages and planned social projects. Back in April 2021, at the height of the pandemic wave in France, the official launch date of activities was set. Although permission from local authorities was required to travel to Africa in that particular phase of the lockdown, I made the trip to the Ivory Coast to coordinate next steps. I was in a fortunate position as everyone in the Zscaler management team was supportive of me moving to Africa for a few weeks so I could fully commit to my role while planning and executing the first charity events on a hybrid basis with my business obligations. I was able to work in my business routine with Zscaler channel partners during the daytime and live up to my commitment to our charity project during after-work hours. My colleagues showed great understanding and flexibility, especially when I was dealing with power cut-offs and poor connectivity. My key business takeaway was that working from literally anywhere is feasible, next to the overwhelming feeling of being able to help, where it is most needed. It was a fantastic experience and very inspiring, so I started planning the next initiatives for Agapé while I was in Africa. As with every events project, it is important to allow flexibility to adjust and get creative when things started to take a different route. In December 2021, I returned to the Ivory Coast to stage the next events for orphanages and widows – this time equipped with 5G connectivity power for my laptop from my local French service provider to prevent interruptions of my business meetings. The first events I organised for Agapé were focused on orphaned children or children with one parent living in extremely poor conditions. Local African charity organisations were supportive and helped set up contact to those most in need. Two different projects were organised during my first trip to the Ivory Coast. The first was focused on widows who were living on next to nothing at the border of society without water or electricity and hardly a roof over their heads. It was decided that a food bank project next to the donations collected in France was needed for the women living in the poorest conditions and still trying to homeschool their children. My team and I delivered basic food packages to a group of widows and got involved in very personal conversations with each of these mothers – most of whom had experienced an unexpected death of the main wage earner. All people visited were invited to an event called “Day of the Lamb,” at a local orphanage. This event was set up for more than 100 children, ranging in age from newborn to 16. The children had a great day, taking part in singing and dancing competitions. This was an unforgettable experience not only for the children, but also for the charity team. Customised packages for each of the orphans had been prepared with donated clothes, toys, books, and school equipment. We also provided basic food, sanitary, and medical supplies to the orphanage. The second event in December 2021 was set around a Christmas theme. My team and I traveled more than 300 km from Abidjan, the economic capital, to spend the day with orphans of a small town called Kotobi. One of Agapé’s missions is also to reach out to the “forgottens of the forgottens”- these orphans and children in need who live in orphanages and host families getting next to no help from the government of NGOs. We spent the day with 40 children at the orphanage where together we set up a Christmas tree, danced, celebrated Christmas, and, of course, the children received toys and clothes from Father Christmas. A collection of essentials was also handed over to the head of the orphanage. In upcoming trips, we hope to focus our efforts on the children we were unable to help in previous trips. I don’t see why one child should have more chances or opportunities than another. In the longer term, the mission of Agapé is to empower these kids to go to school and sponsor their education not only for college, but all the way up to university. Who knows, we could be helping the future president of the Ivory Coast, Cameroon, or Congo. That’s why Agapé intends to be able to sponsor at least 15 children in the 2022-23 school year through a new program called “a schoolbag for a lamb” - throughout which not only the children’s school fees would be sponsored but also their school uniforms and complete school kits for the year. I feel a great sense of achievement in being able to help those children in Africa, but I always feel I could do more. Undoubtedly, it has been an exciting time for my team and me, and this is only the beginning as I am now preparing the next event due to take place during the Easter weekend. Thu, 24 Feb 2022 10:21:04 -0800 Emma Luba https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/making-difference-africa-agape MLK Jr. Day 2022: What His Legacy Means to Us at Zscaler https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/mlk-jr-day-2022-what-his-legacy-means-us-zscaler Martin Luther King Jr. Day is an opportunity for us, every year, to not only reflect on the life and legacy of Dr. King, but also assess how we are honoring him and his message, and embodying his work in our own lives. To me, this day marks a time to recognize a great American leader. We often associate Dr. King with his speech during the March on Washington and his dream that “[people] will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” While this is a part of his legacy, he was also passionate about creating basic economic and human rights for all. He truly and deeply cared about people and used his ministerial foundation to spread the message of love and positivity for fellow human beings. His adversaries saw Dr. King’s ability to bring people together as a personal attack on the established racial hierarchy rather than an opportunity to bring peace to a turbulent time in history. I’ve listened to several of his sermons and speeches, and his gift was in his ability to affect core emotions into action. He had a strong but humble presence that people gravitated toward. “The soft-minded man always fears change. He feels security in the status quo, and he has an almost morbid fear of the new. For him, the greatest pain is the pain of a new idea.” Dr. King’s words aimed to break down walls of hate and negativity that were so prevalent during the Civil Rights Movement. Dr. King also penned, “People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.” I think in my parent’s generation, and even in my own generation, we were taught to not make waves and to “fit in” to succeed in corporate America. Gen Y and Gen Z have debunked that way of thinking and have required that today’s companies address issues of equity and inclusion, or the company will not succeed. This has opened the door to discussions around race, gender, sexuality, class, and more that previously were not formally discussed within companies. The outcome of this is that people feel more comfortable bringing their whole selves to work and are open to real discussions to educate, enlighten, and bring down the wall of fear. For our Black Employees at Zscaler (B@Z) employee resource group, this MLK Jr. Day is especially ceremonious because it marks the one-year anniversary of our very active group! We’ve been busy over the past year—from leading company-wide events like our Juneteenth celebration and organizing panel presentations to hosting book and movie discussions and playing an active role in bringing a formal, corporate-wide mentorship program to Zscaler. I think B@Z embodies Dr. King’s dream of inclusiveness, equality, and peace. As such, we asked some of our B@Z members to provide some insight into what MLK Jr. Day means to them. Ambreen Lakhani, business operations manager at Zscaler, said MLK Jr. Day serves as a reminder that we need to be compassionate and of service to each other. “Dr. King was all about service to humanity,” she said. “As he said, ‘Not everybody can be famous, but everybody can be great because greatness is determined by service ... You only need a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love.’” To honor Dr. King’s words and legacy, Lakhani intends to organize a day of service for Zscaler employees in San Jose this month. Katie Campbell, regional sales manager at Zscaler, said MLK Jr. Day embodies the will to do what is right. “One of my favorite quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is ‘the time is always right to do what is right,’” she said. “[The message is simple], yet powerful: It reminds us that no matter what the circumstances or potential reactions could be, we need to do what is right every single time. This carries over into all aspects of our life - from how you treat your co-workers to how you interact with family & friends. I believe that by doing what is right and treating people right, it's hard to go wrong.” Campbell said her experience participating in B@Z has been illuminating. “Being a part of B@Z this past year has been really impactful for me,” she said. “Listening to my Black peers and hearing their experiences, I've been able to gain a different perspective and become an ally in new ways. I look forward to another year of learning from my colleagues and growing my understanding of what they go through on a daily basis both inside and outside the office.” B@Z has made great strides in our first year. As Dr. King inspired, we will continue our programming in the coming year with a focus on building community, mentorship, and open communication with the ultimate goal of improving equality and inclusion. Mon, 17 Jan 2022 09:00:01 -0800 Michelle Smith https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/mlk-jr-day-2022-what-his-legacy-means-us-zscaler Reflecting on One Year at Zscaler https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/reflecting-one-year-zscaler I just finished my first year at Zscaler, and as many do when they cross such milestones, I spent a little time reflecting on how my time at the company has gone so far. My gut-level feeling is that it has flown by and that it’s been a lot of fun, but why? What has driven those feelings? One year in and it's no mystery to me why the company is growing at such an astounding rate. Our products are very well aligned with security and networking trends, providing critical tailwinds for the business, while at the same time, we have an extremely hardworking, customer-obsessed team doing their best to stay ahead of the competition through continuous innovation. Customer obsession Zscaler is by far the most customer obsessed company that I have worked for in my career. Everything is oriented around the needs of the customer, and nearly everyone, from the top down, is expected to spend significant amounts of time directly interacting with customers. The result? Products and services that are very well aligned to customer needs. Many years ago, just after I got into Product Management, I remember being excited about a new feature we decided to build into one of the products that I was managing. The idea, built around a Microsoft feature known as Kerberos Constrained Delegation, came out of several discussions with an important customer. We (I) thought we got it, and proceeded with several months of development work. It wasn’t until we shipped the new feature that there were several elements that meant it wouldn’t work across the broader set of enterprises that I had imagined eating it up. To make matters worse, there were a couple of critical design choices that made it not suitable, even for the original customer we brainstormed with! As a company, Zscaler is very open to innovative and new ideas, however, we are constantly challenged to build conviction first. Conviction that comes not from 1 or 2 or even 5 customer discussions, but from dozens. Deep, firsthand understanding of the needs of many customers results in products that are well-aligned to the needs of the market and that could quickly achieve widespread adoption. Intensity There’s no shortcut to rising to dominance in a competitive space—it requires working hard and keeping a fast pace. Zscaler is most definitely not a place to “rest and vest.” A lot is happening all of the time, and you will be stretched and challenged constantly, but this is most often what leads to significant personal and professional growth. Over the years, I’ve found that the majority of people start to feel comfortable once they’ve truly mastered their role. After an initial struggle to get up to speed, they turn on cruise control and coast, performing their function successfully - but not to their full potential. The others? They get uncomfortable when they start to plateau, squirming until they can find the next bigger stretch assignment or role. It is folks that can find their way to this latter group that continue to grow their careers in the long run. If you find yourself in this bucket, always seeking the next bigger challenge, Zscaler is the perfect environment for you. Alignment One of the things that has amazed me most about Zscaler is that everyone is absolutely aligned on strategy. This obviously starts with a clear communication of strategic priorities and objectives from the top. But it also requires carrying forward those objectives throughout the organization. This isn’t always so easy. Early in my career, I worked for an organization where the top leadership was attempting to drive an exciting new strategic agenda. Unfortunately, the effort went nearly nowhere. Why? The next layer of leadership didn’t believe in this new strategy, and continued along the old path. Anyone that has ever tried to row a boat in different directions knows exactly how this ends... Snacks!?! Every great company has areas where it needs to improve, and I must admit that my first year has been lacking in the snack variety department. Admittedly, I have been working from home and the snacks in question are purchased by me at the local Costco, so one might argue that this is entirely my fault, and that argument would be correct. But still, how many times can I eat the same mixed nuts, hummus, and protein bars? On to year 2… This first year has been a blast, and has included plenty of interesting challenges for me to dive into. As I embark on this second year, I’m looking forward to more challenges, new snacks, and to finally meeting so many of the co-workers that I know only via Zoom meetings. Wed, 01 Dec 2021 13:04:01 -0800 Rich Campagna https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/reflecting-one-year-zscaler Women Making an Impact: Catherine Lee on Building a Balance Between Career and Family https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/women-making-impact-catherine-lee-building-balance-between-career-and-family This year, at the annual Zscaler Sales Kickoff (SKO) in August, we were joined by powerful and inspiring women who shared their stories of setbacks, persistence, and triumphs. Supported by the WIZE (Women in Zscaler Engage) employee resource group, these accomplished women are challenging gender bias head-on and changing the world for girls and women everywhere. Long before Catherine Lee became a powerful businesswoman and Partner Marketing and Enablement Manager, Asia Pacific & Japan at CrowdStrike, she knew what she wanted to be when she grew up: a mum. “I’ve always wanted it all,” she said. “But first and foremost I knew I wanted to be a mum—I’ve known it since I was a small girl. As I grew, so too did my ambitions, and while I never wanted to build my own empire, I knew I also desired a successful and fulfilling career that provided independence.” Lee, who lives in Sydney, Australia, found a way to have it all: an impressive, impactful career in communications and marketing and, in her words, “two human children and one fur-child.” But this dream wasn’t always easy to achieve and finding a balance between family and career priorities proved challenging at times, leading Lee to identify a critical flaw in the work-life balance of a woman. “Overwhelmingly for women, being a mum and having a career seem to be mutually exclusive, but they shouldn’t have to be. I was fortunate to be able to continue to build my career where I left off after having my children, however, my experience isn’t typical for many women. It’s no secret that the gender divide can happen at any point in a woman’s career, but none more glaringly so than when a woman pauses to have children.” As Lee articulated in her keynote at SKO, many women take maternity leave after childbirth (if they have the option)—sometimes for six months or more—and if a woman has multiple children, this time off can add up, leaving some women feeling “behind” in their careers. Rejoining the workforce can also have challenges of its own. “The reality is that most women who rejoin the workforce after maternity leave will rejoin on a lower scale – be it in a part-time capacity; or a more flexible, lower-level job,” she said. “And while we’re working our part-time lower-level job, we’re also feeling guilty about not being a 100% present mother.” But Lee took this feeling and turned it into action, of being impactful and intentional in both areas of life, while focusing on individual priorities and goals. “The guilt is real. But I’m here to tell you that it’s OK,” she said. “You don’t need to be mother of the year, you don’t need to be on the executive committee. Being impactful is more than that. It’s important to recognise that being impactful at work is not about the hours you work, it’s about what you do during those hours. And to be an impactful mother, it’s equally important that you’re present and intentional about what you do during the hours you don’t work.” WIZE is one of many employee resource groups at Zscaler that celebrate and elevate our diverse cultures and unique worldviews. You can be a part of it. Explore career opportunities at Zscaler to join a global team that puts its people first. Continue reading our Women Making an Impact series: Pratima Rao Gluckman on Overcoming Obstacles in Tech Wed, 24 Nov 2021 05:00:01 -0800 Suruchi Sharma https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/women-making-impact-catherine-lee-building-balance-between-career-and-family Helping Veterans Transition to a New Mission https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/helping-veterans-transition-new-mission When Nathan Green started thinking about life after serving in the Air Force, he had no idea where to start searching for a new career. He only knew military life — the requirements to be met, the mission to serve, the camaraderie, and day-to-day skills to succeed. But what to expect when making the transition to the private sector was a complete mystery to him. "I think the hardest part for me personally is understanding the perspective in the private sector,” he told me. “I'm used to leading and being put in high-pressure situations. In the military, everyone has the same priority—it's all about the mission. The mindset and perspectives in the industry are different. I want to learn these variables and how the commercial sector does business." Nathan discovered the DoD SkillBridge program through one of his mentors. A few weeks ago, he launched his internship into industry with Zscaler. Through SkillBridge, Nathan is "test driving" our company through hands-on learning, mentorship, and guidance. The program provides him first-hand experience on what to expect in corporate life, with the military still backing him. The DoD SkillBridge internship provides transitioning service members, who have at least two years Time in Service (TIS), the opportunity to test drive a company, apprentice/job shadow, and learn more about a potential new role. During the 180-day internship, the intern still remains a government employee and, as such, continues to be paid by the government. While a job with the interning organization is not guaranteed, the opportunities to deliver value are endless. Through this daily interaction, service members are able to illustrate the quality of their work, display their camaraderie, and become a known asset to the company at large. Regardless if the service member receives a job offer or not, through on-the-job training and immersion, service members transition from the military better equipped to develop their next Courses of Action (CoA) and plan their civilian career. Jeffrey Adorno is another veteran who came to Zscaler through SkillBridge, and is now someone I can proudly say is my Zscaler colleague. When I asked him about his internship experience, he said he “wishes more service members not only knew about the program, but also took advantage of the time to disconnect, decompress, and refocus.” Jeff shared how his SkillBridge experience was critical in his transition from a 21-year Army career to the civilian workforce as it gave him a framework to learn and understand the key differences between military service and the corporate world. That understanding gained through an open learning environment, which internships are designed to do, was key in setting him up for a successful transition into civilian life. Many service members enter the military at a young age, right out of school and are trained to focus solely on the mission at hand. They are not afforded the time to plan for what's next or even be aware of the options available before they take their leave of government service. SkillBridge and other DoD programs were created to help them transition and educate them on the different career paths available. Zscaler understands the value in investing in strong partnerships between the military and industry, the exchange of ideas helps to push modernization forward. The Zscaler SkillBridge Internship At Zscaler, the SkillBridge program is defined by each service member’s needs. We partner with future participants to figure out what they want out of the internship, what their goals are, what motivates them, and how they can make an impact. Once the goals and objectives are laid out, the internship plan is outlined and put in place, but we remain flexible to adapt to what the service member wants to get out of the program. Each experience is customized to the participant's personal career goals. It could be as simple as getting exposure to a tech company. This is a key component, as when I started planning my next steps after the Army, I needed to understand what I didn't want to do as much as what I did want to do. With so many options and paths to take, honestly, I was kind of lost. My biggest struggle was not knowing what I didn’t know. For 22 years, the military programmed me to think a certain way. Not really knowing what the commercial world had to offer was a big question. This is a unique and challenging transition for a vet—whether they have served two years or 20making the jump from a service career to private/industry can be daunting. SkillBridge helps service members ease into that transition by providing a “once in a lifetime opportunity” that assists vets like Nathan, Jeffrey, and myself in finding exciting post-service careers. It wasn't too long ago that I went through this process myself. I was the first person to move through Zscaler’s SkillBridge program and am now closing in on celebrating my two-year anniversary at the company. I had no idea if I would be a fit in a fast-growing cloud security company. Yet, I did know of Zscaler’s solid commitment to supporting veterans as they transition from government service into the private sector. The Zscaler team, from the leadership down to my colleagues across departments throughout the company, was not only highly supportive of my transition out of service but also in helping fuel my career growth. SkillBridge is not the only program we support—or that is available—for mid-career service members. Training With Industry (TWI) is a 10-month exchange program and Defense Ventures Program (DVP) is a 6-week immersion program, where the service member remains on active duty but joins a company where they can "see under the covers." The purpose is to understand the business model and the technology to use in the military role. The service member also brings operational experience and knowledge of the DoD's needs and culture to the company, which is valuable for organizations like Zscaler. We are just kicking off our participation with TWI and are excited to be hosting our first DVP service members now. I am proud to work for this company and grateful to be in a position to mentor and help others who may be on similar paths become aware of the opportunities out there and programs like SkillBridge and TWI. My best piece of advice for success in transitioning to civilian life: the earlier you can start the process, the more you will get out of it. I wrote a series of articles about the phases of transition that I posted on LinkedIn during my transition a couple years ago. Start here with Phase 1 because I think it's important to do some soul searching. SkillBridge and other internship/exposure programs are Phase 3. SkillBridge, as with any internship, is what you make of it. In the military, you're told who you're going to work for and what you're doing. That's not corporate America. Finding the right program and fit for you is vital. Challenge yourself, be open, and ask questions or you might not end up in the place you really want to be. That's why we let the interns help shape the program here and expose them to people throughout the company. If Zscaler seems like a place you’d like to explore, reach out. We’d love to talk to you. Fri, 19 Nov 2021 06:00:02 -0800 Patrick Perry https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/helping-veterans-transition-new-mission Honoring Vets @ Z on Veteran’s Day 2021 https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/honoring-vets-z-veterans-day-2021 Zscaler prides itself on innovation, customer obsession, and securing the future, but our people make it all possible. Because we have a hugely diverse workforce composed of people from a wide range of backgrounds and walks of life, we are stronger, smarter, and more creative. Since its inception in 2007, Zscaler has been committed to supporting veterans and those in transition from the armed forces. This Veteran’s Day, we’re honoring Zscaler employees who have served in the armed forces around the world, and we are proud to announce the formation of our new veteran Employee Resource Group (ERG), Vets @ Z. Vets @ Z aims to create a community to support, uplift, mentor, and build connections among veterans, while helping to ease the transition for those exiting military service and entering the workforce. Everyone is welcome—whether you are currently serving, have served, want to support those who have served, or simply want to learn more about the military, Vets @ Z intends to start and continue the conversation while building community. Hear from some of the founding members of Vets @ Z about what the group means to them and what it aims to accomplish: Jeffrey Adorno, Manager, Emerging Technology – Federal at Zscaler, served 21 years in the U.S. Army, supporting the Secretary of Defense, Special Operations, and the Intelligence community. To him, Vets @ Z is an important piece of Zscaler’s vibrant culture fabric. “Establishing a veteran ERG is about solidifying bonds within the veteran community and reaffirming a personal commitment to leave no veteran behind,” he said. “Transitioning from the military is a unique and continuous process that affects each veteran differently, and extends to their family, local community, and personal engagement within the company.” Patrick Perry, who has been closely involved in the veteran community at Zscaler since he joined in December 2019, is Director Emerging Technical Solutions DOD | IC at Zscaler, and served in the Army, completing seven overseas tours before retiring in 2019. He sees Vets @ Z not only as an opportunity to connect those who have served, but also to create awareness and understanding. “I think there is a lot of misunderstanding between military veterans and the rest of the civilian population, mostly due to misrepresentation in the media, but that translation gap can be eliminated,” he said. “Vets @ Z doesn’t aim to gain favor for veterans over other people, but rather to share military culture with everyone and erase misunderstandings. We want to bridge that gap, be known as a veteran-desired place to work, and become a beacon of support to the military community.” For Jake Kennedy, Regional Sales Manager – Enterprise at Zscaler, Vets @ Z provides not only community, but also the camaraderie that he valued during his seven years in the U.S. Marine Corps. “Groups like Vets @ Z provide a place to honor and support, directly or indirectly, those who have served in the military,” he said. “For veterans, it serves as a place to rekindle the camaraderie and kinship that many individuals lose touch with after their time of service. Our overall mission is to build a community for those who have served, are serving, or want to support service members at Zscaler. We also aim to support veterans both inside and outside our organization through community initiatives, partnerships, and projects.” Arne Diaz, Sr. Sales Engineer, is both a six-year Zscaler veteran and an eight-year U.S. Marine Corps veteran, traveling to more than 15 countries during his time in the service. To Diaz, Vets @ Z has the potential to provide support in many different areas. “Camaraderie is something that all veterans share no matter what branch of service or which country you served,” he said. “It's also the most missed thing about having served. It's a common bond that brings us all close together and says, ‘you can count on me.’ Anything we can do to bring everyone together gives us an opportunity to collaborate on ideas and things we can do to help others.” Diaz emphasized that Vets @ Z hopes to provide a platform to address important topics such as PTSD and transitioning out of the service, while supporting recruitment efforts for veteran candidates and fostering career development for veterans at Zscaler. On behalf of all of us at Zscaler, we want to thank military veterans everywhere for your service and wish you a happy Veteran’s Day. To learn more about our employee resource groups and why Zscaler is a great place to work, visit our careers page. Thu, 11 Nov 2021 06:00:01 -0800 Kristi Myllenbeck https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/honoring-vets-z-veterans-day-2021 Women Making an Impact: Pratima Rao Gluckman on Overcoming Obstacles in Tech https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/women-making-impact-pratima-rao-gluckman-overcoming-obstacles-tech This year, at the annual Zscaler Sales Kickoff (SKO) in August, we were joined by powerful and inspiring women who shared their stories of setbacks, persistence, and triumphs. Supported by the WIZE (Women in Zscaler Engage) employee resource group, these accomplished women are challenging gender bias head-on and changing the world for girls and women everywhere. Pratima Rao Gluckman is a woman of many talents. Not only is she a Senior Engineering Manager at electric vehicle company Rivian, she is also a dedicated mother, published author, motivational speaker, and champion of gender equality and female leadership. In her book, Nevertheless She Persisted: True Stories of Women in Tech, Rao Gluckman details the leadership journeys and mindsets of 19 successful female technologists in Silicon Valley to highlight the challenges and victories that come with being a woman in tech. "Throughout this book, there are two consistent lessons,” Rao Gluckman said. “First, persist. Regardless of what society expects of you or tells you to do, persist with your own vision of what you want to achieve in your life. The tailwinds of persistence will help you soar. The second lesson is that we all have the power to change the world for someone else. If each one of us makes it a point to intervene in one woman’s life, we can get there, slowly but surely—one woman at a time." Though Rao Gluckman knew she wanted to be an engineer from a young age, she faced hurdles along the way while navigating an industry that is largely dominated by men. “My ‘aha!’ moment arose in 2016, when I realized that the professional roadblocks my female colleagues and I were facing weren't just coincidental,” she said. “They were the result of unconscious gender bias in the tech industry. As I looked around for information on how ambitious women could break the glass ceiling, I realized there was little out there. I had to discover it on my own.” From tackling imposter syndrome to finding mentors, Nevertheless She Persisted gives readers an intimate look at what it’s like to be a woman in tech, as well as insightful advice about how to identify and overcome these challenges. Rao Gluckman’s passion and ultimate goal today is to make the tech industry a place where everyone can thrive in leadership, regardless of their gender. "In my work as a mother, a writer, and a female leader in the high-tech field, I feel as though I am casting stones into turbulent waters by telling the stories of nineteen women who hold senior positions in the high-tech world of Silicon Valley,” she said. “Why do I want to do this? I want to cast a stone representing limitless possibilities, the concept that anything is achievable, for my daughter and all the daughters out there. I want to cast a stone representing acceptance of female leaders for my sons, and all the sons out there, so they know how to accept, embrace, and love living in a world that is supportive of female leaders." WIZE is one of many employee resource groups at Zscaler that celebrate and elevate our diverse cultures and unique worldviews. You can be a part of it. Explore career opportunities at Zscaler to join a global team that puts its people first. Further reading: Fostering Corporate Inclusivity: Honoring Zscaler Leaders on International Women’s Day How Zscaler’s New Mentorship Program Elevates Learning and Growth Fri, 24 Sep 2021 08:00:01 -0700 Kristi Myllenbeck https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/women-making-impact-pratima-rao-gluckman-overcoming-obstacles-tech How Zscaler’s New Mentorship Program Elevates Learning and Growth https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/how-zscalers-new-mentorship-program-elevates-learning-and-growth It is no secret that we’re better when we work together. Learning from and working with individuals who come from different backgrounds and have varied experiences inevitably expands our own experience and allows for a broader point of view—whether personal or professional. Mentorship, in this way, is an incredibly useful tool for career growth, which is why Zscaler has launched the new Zscaler Elevate mentor program. Personally and professionally, mentorship has been invaluable to me. I’ve been fortunate to have many mentors over the course of my career, who come from all different types of backgrounds. They’ve helped me navigate career decisions, difficult projects, colleague relationships, and more. Taking a presidential approach to career development — by surrounding yourself with advisors — is a great way to learn and grow. I genuinely believe I would not be where I am today in my career without mentorship, so I know it’s important to offer the same opportunity for the brilliant minds at Zscaler. Suruchi Sharma, Director, Digital Marketing at Zscaler, shared that in her experience, mentorship often provides a much-needed outside perspective. “A great mentor elevates and inspires you to go above and beyond,” she said. “We often can’t see ourselves the way other people do, so it is valuable to have mentors who can listen, guide, reflect, and hold you accountable as you grow. My mentors have been pivotal in helping me make sound decisions that not only propelled my career but also supported me in my personal growth. And for that, I am forever grateful.” Marcus Johnson, South Area Director at Zscaler said that mentorship has made all the difference to him. “A trusted mentorship relationship enables both the mentee and mentor to reach their full potential,” he said. “As a people leader at Zscaler, I attribute past mentors for providing unbiased advice, critical insights, and relevant knowledge, which has had such a profound effect in my life. Throughout my career, mentorship has taught me the importance of feedback and that ‘all feedback is a gift.’ Without question, mentorship has driven me to find greatness in every opportunity life presents." According to a study from Olivet University, more than 75 percent of aspiring leaders want to have a mentor, yet only 37 percent have one. At Zscaler, we’re aiming to change that. The new Elevate mentor program, piloted by our internal employee resource groups (ERGs)—WIZE, B@Z, and AAPI, leverages an intuitive SaaS platform to facilitate mentoring at scale. It connects Zscaler’s best mentors with those looking to learn and grow, based on skills and development areas. The platform then guides its users through their mentoring relationships; tracking progress, skills, and feedback. The key goals of the Elevate program are to: Define and develop pathways to career goals Hone leadership and self-advocacy skills Encourage connectedness in a digitally dispersed working environment Expand professional network Foster generosity and giving with professional development The easy-to-use platform powered by Guider, provides Zscaler mentors and mentees simple sign up, mentor matching based on profile, skills, and development areas, seamless scheduling through calendar integrations, and guides and information on how to get the most out of Elevate. At Zscaler, we prioritize our people and are always searching for ways to enhance each employee’s experience to help foster growth, learning, and inclusivity. Some of the Zscaler core values include teamwork, open communication, and passion, and as the company grows, it’s important to uphold these values by connecting people. We are excited to see how our values will be supported by the Zscaler Elevate mentor program. Now is the perfect time to make the move to Zscaler! For more information, explore our culture and careers. Thu, 05 Aug 2021 10:00:02 -0700 Nicole Bucala https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/how-zscalers-new-mentorship-program-elevates-learning-and-growth Zscaler + Coursera: The Journey to Leading at Z https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/zscaler-coursera-journey-leading-z Since its inception, Zscaler has always prioritized its people, searching diligently for the best talent and making employee retention a key focus. However, every company has its challenges with hiring and retention, and Zscaler is no exception. When I joined Zscaler in August 2020, I was the first member of a new team called talent development. My first goal was to assess the health of our people and culture strategies to figure out what was working well and where we could make improvements. Over several weeks, I spoke with leaders and team members across the company. There were a number of things that were going exceptionally well—we had a strong cultural compass in T.O.P.I.C. (Teamwork, Open Communication, Passion, Innovation and Customer Obsession), we had a high-performing recruiting engine that was scaling to enable our growth, and we had a team of people and culture professionals who were seen as true business partners. That said, we also had opportunities to be more intentional with our investments in the development of our people, especially our managers. For that reason, we set out to build programming that would enable all Zscaler leaders, aspiring through senior-level, to live and lead by our Leadership Principles. Based on what we learned through our discovery process, we set four design principles to guide our work: Leadership is a journey The best leaders are always looking to learn, grow, and improve. Everyone is great at something, but no one is great at everything Each of us has strengths. The magic happens when you can help people and companies leverage them. Development can be really simple Clear expectations + an understanding of how you’re doing against those expectations + focused opportunities to improve = Development. No one likes being told what to do, but most people appreciate a bit of direction Mandating training can undermine impact. Approaching development too “laissez-faire” can lead to it being deprioritized. Giving people “freedom within a framework” will leverage the benefits of both with the challenges of neither. In February 2021, we launched Leading at Z—clear expectations, a measurement tool we call the Manager Effectiveness Survey, and focused development opportunities aimed at enabling our leaders to live and lead by our Leadership Principles. To help us drive adoption, one of the greatest measures of success, we’ve built a microsite where all Zscaler employees can access each element of the program including development content from partners including Coursera, ExecOnline, and Rapid Learning, to name a few. This site is also where our people access crowd-sourced TED Talks, books, and other materials that align with our Leadership Principles. In a recent webinar with Coursera’s Deborah Mussomeli, I described how Zscaler is elevating training with the Coursera platform as we build a workforce for the cloud. Register here for the webinar. Leadership is a journey Leadership is a journey, one without a well-defined destination. With Leading at Z, we set out to enable Zscaler leaders’ success by helping them to enhance their skills and develop new ones. We do this by helping them understand where they are in their journey, and by offering the focused development that enables them to unlock their potential. We’ve only just got Leading at Z off the ground, but we’re thrilled with the engagement. We’re now focused on creating the virtual communities that enable our leaders to learn and grow together. Further, we’re leveraging our Leading at Z learnings to build the program we call Succeeding at Z, which will enable all Zscalers to identify their professional ambitions and progress towards them. Since its founding, Zscaler has focused on building a lasting company that enables its customers to succeed in the digital world. It is incumbent on the company’s leadership to create an environment that attracts great employees and allows them to thrive. Leading at Z is just the beginning, and I’m excited about its early indicators of success and the launch of what’s next. Stay tuned. To learn about career opportunities at Zscaler, please visit: zscaler.com/careers Tue, 29 Jun 2021 08:00:02 -0700 https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/zscaler-coursera-journey-leading-z How Getting Outside Your Comfort Zone Will Change Your Career https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/how-getting-outside-your-comfort-zone-will-change-your-career We all have aspirations of the person we want to become and the things we want to achieve. Humanity has benefitted countless times from the ripple effects of such visions. But ask anyone who tasted the success of their dreams in fruition, and you will learn that you cannot become the person you are destined to be if you stay in your comfort zone. Realizing your wildest dreams requires growth, expansion, and change. You have to commit, at least temporarily, to the struggle. If something scares you a little, if you have butterflies in your stomach and you are wondering, “Can I do this? Am I going to fail?” Those are signs of leaning into the challenge. Growth happens when you stretch yourself and change the narrative about what is possible. True success stems from taking risks, being unafraid to fail, and committing to constant learning. Throughout my career, it’s also been clear to me that an individual’s path to success will accelerate through outstanding leadership. I’ve been fortunate to learn different leadership, communication, and management styles, as well as go-to-market systems, processes, and methodologies from exceptional leaders. I believe in paying it forward. As I’ve gone through my leadership career, it’s been my mission to build foundational platforms through which others can learn, grow, evolve, and become the best versions of themselves at a broad scale. Our ambition at Zscaler is about more than just numbers. We are building a true “home” for talented people who can grow with us for many years to come. I’ve had two recent opportunities to reflect and share my ideas around the building and executing a Go-To-Market motion. As I discuss in the webinar with Sandi Lurie, VP of Talent Acquisition at Zscaler, it’s imperative to present your Team with the right opportunities on an ongoing basis. It was clear to me that Zscaler was an exceptional opportunity to shape an industry and provide the platform for everyone involved to experience expansive personal growth. We have the chance to do something special and say, “let me rediscover and reinvent myself, and I’ll build a platform for others to do the same.” I also had the pleasure of joining a recent Podcast episode with People.AI. We discussed more of the methodology behind cultivating success strategically and at scale. One key element is to deliver consistent training for both individual contributors and their leaders. If we can create an environment where intellectual, professional, financial, and career growth opportunities abound—then not only will revenue inevitably follow, but we will have directly changed people’s lives. That is the legacy I strive for and is the basis of the platform we’re building and refining at Zscaler. Zscaler is growing at hyperspeed. With the broad and lasting adoption of zero-trust and working-from-anywhere, we are the entity to guide companies into the digital future and secure their cloud transformation. Our Zero Trust Exchange is a purpose-built and cloud-native, cohesive platform and is truly the only one of its kind. By believing in our mission and disruptive technology, we find and nurture the greatest minds to continue innovating and moving the company forward. When asked about the reasons why she is excited about working at Zscaler, Dawn Ambrose, Channel Account Manager at Zscaler, explained: First, it’s the technology. Zscaler is the right technology at the right time. Second, it’s the people. People truly matter. Whether you’re early in your career or you have many years under your belt, Zscaler will stretch and teach you new ways of doing things that will stay with you long after your tenure here. And last but not least, it’s the opportunity. Where else can you go to work and help address a 72 billion dollar market just over the next two to three years? It’s incredible. If you’re looking for a life-changing opportunity, want to work with a platform built for continuously evolving and learning, and grow alongside a leadership team committed to your success, explore our open opportunities. Additionally, listen to the Podcast Episode and listen to my webinar on what it means to work at Zscaler, why taking risks is essential, and how our company truly makes a difference in our customers’ lives and our people. Mon, 21 Jun 2021 12:59:55 -0700 Dali Rajic https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/how-getting-outside-your-comfort-zone-will-change-your-career Celebrating Juneteenth — Listen, Learn, and Reflect on African American History https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/celebrating-juneteenth-listen-learn-and-reflect-african-american-history Most people are familiar with the celebration and history behind Independence Day. While the United States became free with the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, Black people had not been freed from slavery at that time. As a result, many in the Black community feel somewhat disconnected from the Fourth of July holiday—a great day for America, but not for Black Americans. In fact, Black people were not declared free for another 87 years. And even still, it took an additional two years beyond Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the Emancipation Proclamation for the last enslaved people to be freed in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865. Juneteenth provides a day of remembrance and reflection for all Americans, and it’s extremely gratifying to see that Juneteenth is gaining the attention it deserves as a landmark day in American history—just this week, Juneteenth was established as a federal holiday with unanimous approval by the U.S. Senate. Let’s take a closer look at the day’s origins and how the Zscaler community can contribute positively to the conversation surrounding this annual day of recognition. The first Juneteenth: a brief history For those unfamiliar with Juneteenth, we would like to share a bit of history, beginning with the General Order that was issued on June 19. It isn't talked about nearly enough, but it is the reason behind today's reflections: “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.” —General Orders, Number 3; Headquarters District of Texas, Galveston, June 19, 1865. What does this all mean today? June 19, 1865, also known as Juneteenth, is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Juneteenth is a celebration of the journey and freedom of Black people in this country. We embrace this moment to acknowledge the many contributions that Black people have made to American culture and honor those who died for our freedom. Juneteenth is the real "Freedom Day" for African Americans. But to have true freedom, we must continue to break through the systemic barriers that have plagued African American communities for centuries around the world. To me, Juneteenth is a day of empowerment. As the company-wide programming and committee chair of B@Z—Zscaler’s internal network of African American employees and allies—I believe that empowerment is about leveraging our platforms, exercising our voices in everyday moments, and being intentional about our actions for change. Zscaler’s Juneteenth Town Hall Celebration Zscaler is honoring Juneteenth by hosting a company-wide Town Hall celebration to educate, empower, and uplift employees. Our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion resource group, B@Z, has curated a cultural visual experience along with an intimate conversation with Marvin Whitaker and Michelle Smith on the importance of Juneteenth and the impact systemic racism has had on the Black community. We also wanted to share some resources that we are excited about. These organizations not only support Black businesses, but also leverage technology to build momentum behind these initiatives: MyBlackReceipt, launched June 19, 2020, is the first “Buy Black” movement that quantifies collective purchases from Black-owned businesses. This movement encourages consumers to support Black-owned businesses and show their support by uploading receipts—starting Juneteenth, sales totals will be shown on a live counter. When you support a Black business owner, you support Black jobs, Black causes, and Black wealth building. So, find Black businesses and upload your receipts! WeBuyBlack is an online marketplace where customers may purchase everything they need from Black-owned businesses, helping to build social and economic justice globally. Sellers may register to sell their products to a diverse, open, and international market. The site was launched for public purchases on June 19, 2015, which marked the 150th anniversary of Juneteenth. I’m proud to be a part of B@Z and the Zscaler community as a whole. The services that Zscaler delivers are consequential, and it’s exciting to work alongside people who are empowered to do their best work and are passionate about bringing positive change to enterprise customers. As we all reflect on Juneteenth, let’s celebrate empowerment in all its forms—in our professional lives, in our personal quests, and in the memories and the progress the day represents. And let’s all commit to paying it forward, as there is still much work to be done. Additional resources about Juneteenth The Root: https://www.theroot.com/on-juneteenth-pulitzer-prize-winning-historian-annette-1847110783 PBS: https://www.pbs.org/wnet/african-americans-many-rivers-to-cross/history/what-is-juneteenth/ History.com: https://www.history.com/news/what-is-juneteenth Wed, 16 Jun 2021 17:56:28 -0700 Tyrin Ford https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/celebrating-juneteenth-listen-learn-and-reflect-african-american-history Celebrating Women at Zscaler: Pooja Deshmukh & Dorothy Meshack https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/celebrating-women-zscaler-pooja-deshmukh-dorothy-meshack In honor of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day on March 8, we’re recognizing influential and powerful women at Zscaler who have made a significant impact within their careers, teams, and on the Zscaler family as a whole. Pooja Deshmukh is a Principal Product Manager at Zscaler who feels proud of the impact she’s been able to make in her time with the company as it continues to grow. “When I look at my career at Zscaler, it's been an amazing ride,” she said. “I definitely feel proud of the tangible contributions I could make to Zscaler's business, including introducing a new product line, seeing our top deals, raising the top line, and building teams from scratch. It has always been fun to work with some of the most talented minds in the industry.” She said if she could give her younger self any professional advice, it would be to be more assertive to make sure your voice is heard and to get a mentor early on in your career. As far as advice for women wanting to get into technology, she recommends to always continue learning. “I would really like to quote my mentor, "the best way to learn swimming is to just jump in the pool." So just jump right in. Get a start. Ask questions. Be at it. Focus on building the building blocks,” she said. “It may be the basics of algorithms, it may be the basics of mathematics, or Have your basics right and build on it.” “The technology field is a rapidly changing field. You need to embrace the change. Know that you have to keep up with the pace, and never shy away from learning opportunities.” Outside of work, Pooja enjoys staying active and has picked up a new active hobby during quarantine. “I like to really stay active, maybe a simple walk, a jog, or a bicycle ride,” she said. “But I was never into weight training. Quarantine life gave me an opportunity to focus more on isolated activities. So I picked up doing weight training in the last year.” Dorothy Meshack is a Value Creation Analyst located in Bangalore, India. She is proud of never missing an opportunity to learn and recommends that any woman wanting to get into tech should take the plunge. “I'm extremely proud of having the ability to take up challenges and also balance that out with a mindset to learn,” she said. “I think it's extremely important for everyone to have a learning mindset because learning is a continuous process. And the minute we stop learning, we pretty much drag ourselves down.” “The advice that I have for women wanting to get into things into technology is don't think twice. Just go for it,” she said. “We need to have more women in technology, where we do not continue to have gender disparity. We are in 2021. We really need to beat that. And for us to beat that, we need to have more and more women joining technology, more and more women in powerful positions.” Dorothy cites her mother as her greatest inspiration when she was growing up. “Despite being a homemaker and not having hardly any exposure to the corporate world, she's always taught me to make the right choices and to always stand up for myself. She's given me the power to be independent. And that's extremely important.” Outside of work, Dorothy enjoys cooking, spending time with family, and gardening. "I really enjoy cooking and spending a lot of time with my nieces and nephews who are all 3, 4, or 5 years old. And I love gardening. That's actually another hobby that I picked up during quarantine. It gives me such a sense of calm to be out there." Tue, 30 Mar 2021 08:00:01 -0700 Kristi Myllenbeck https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/celebrating-women-zscaler-pooja-deshmukh-dorothy-meshack Celebrating Women at Zscaler: Pratibha Nayak, the First Female Zscaler Employee, on Shaping Zscaler and Staying Curious https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/pratibha-nayak-first-female-zscaler-employee In honor of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day on March 8, we’re recognizing influential women at Zscaler who have made a significant impact within their careers, teams, and on the Zscaler family as a whole. Pratibha Nayak joined Zscaler in 2007 and was the first female employee at the company. Located in Bangalore, India, Pratibha currently serves as a Senior Principal Engineer for the UI team that manages APIs for Zscaler Internet Access (ZIA). “The best aspect of my role at Zscaler is that I get to design and come up with software solutions that can leverage our core complex product underneath and deliver it to the customer as a sleek, user-friendly interface that meets their requirements,” she said. Q: What are you most proud of in your career? A: Joining a startup at a very early stage has given me an edge in understanding the very core fundamentals required for building a world-class product from the ground up. Looking back now, after more than a decade, I feel very proud of the gut decision I made to join Zscaler at a point in time when the startup culture in India was less experimented and sought after. Q: What advice do you have for women wanting to get into tech? A: Today, there is never a dearth of opportunity to learn and succeed in the emerging tech industry. It’s a matter of being passionately curious about what interests you. In short, just take the plunge. Q: What do you like to do outside of work? A: I like to spend time being outdoors and in nature. Even taking a stroll just to catch a sunrise or sunset across the horizon brightens up my day. I also enjoy playtime with my two young kids, especially when they include me in their role-play activities to play Madame Gazelle from Peppa Pig when they are short of participants! For more about how Zscaler is celebrating International Women's Day and Women's History Month, read this blog: Fostering Corporate Inclusivity: Honoring Zscaler Leaders on International Women’s Day. Further reading: Celebrating Women at Zscaler: Dianhuan Lin and Wendy Case Celebrating Women at Zscaler: Ashley Albiani on Staying Motivated and Effecting Change Celebrating Women at Zscaler: Wendi Lester and Marina Ayton Thu, 25 Mar 2021 15:00:02 -0700 Kristi Myllenbeck https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/pratibha-nayak-first-female-zscaler-employee Celebrating Women at Zscaler: Dianhuan Lin and Wendy Case https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/celebrating-women-zscaler-dianhuan-lin-and-wendy-case In honor of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day on March 8, we’re recognizing influential and powerful women at Zscaler who have made a significant impact within their careers, teams, and on the Zscaler family as a whole. Dianhuan Lin is a Principal Data Scientist and has been with Zscaler for two years. She prides herself on never shying away from a challenge and fully embracing opportunity when it presents itself. “In my career, I am most proud of being able to follow my passion and choose among opportunities, instead of having the opportunity choose me,” she said. “As far as advice I have for women wanting to get into tech, I’ve found that there is always this negative voice that says, ‘this is too challenging’ or ‘this difficult for women.’ And I always turn those negative thoughts into positive ones, translating it into, ‘that's exactly for me.’” Dianhuan believes big dreams can be achieved through small efforts when you put in the necessary work. “As Jay, the CEO of Zscaler, said, ‘it doesn’t matter whether you are a woman or a man—dream big. It is important.’ Once we take that first step or dream big, we must then work backward in terms of what we need to do, take little steps, make those marginal gains. And one day, you'll be surprised how far you have come.” Outside of work, Dianhuan enjoys hiking and painting, and during quarantine, she has picked up other creative endeavors. “I started learning how to play piano during quarantine with an online tutorial,” she said. “Although I'm not good at music, I try to get out of my comfort zone, and right now, playing music is my favorite.” Wendy Case is Director, Regional Sales for the Midwest Major Team at Zscaler and has been with the company for more than three and a half years. A true tech veteran, Wendy has been in the industry for more than 20 years, and didn’t initially know if it would be the right path. “I took a chance on technology years ago after graduating from the University of Iowa with a degree in finance and a minor in accounting and Spanish,” she said. “I'm so glad I did because tech has great opportunity. I gave it a chance and thought, if it didn't work out, I could always get out of it. But look where I am now, twenty-something years later, still here, still in technology.” Reflecting on the International Women’s Day theme for 2021, Wendy said that she wants to normalize the technology field as a viable option for all women, even if they don’t have a technological background. “I definitely encourage young women to get into technology. When I think about the International Women’s Day theme, ‘Choose to Challenge,’ I am passionate about challenging my own daughters, as well as their friends, to think about technology as an option,” she said. “There are so many opportunities and so many things that women can take advantage of in a technology company. I think it's an underserved market and we need to keep getting the word out about that.” She also stressed the importance of advocating for yourself, staying hyper-focused on your goals, and chasing your dreams. “If I had one piece of advice to give myself from years past, it would definitely be to lean in. I wouldn't have known what that term meant 20 years ago, but I definitely know opportunities passed me by because I didn't lean in,” she said. “I didn't voice my opinion. I didn't let leadership know what I was interested in pursuing. So I'd highly encourage my younger self to do that. And I encourage all the women at Zscaler to do that—make sure that you are heard. Make sure that people know what you want to do, and they can help make your dreams come true.” For more about how Zscaler is celebrating International Women's Day and Women's History Month, read this blog: Fostering Corporate Inclusivity: Honoring Zscaler Leaders on International Women’s Day. Further reading: Celebrating Women at Zscaler: Ashley Albiani on Staying Motivated and Effecting Change Celebrating Women at Zscaler: Nicole Martinez on Influential Women and Giving Back Celebrating Women at Zscaler: Wendi Lester and Marina Ayton Thu, 25 Mar 2021 00:00:03 -0700 Kristi Myllenbeck https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/celebrating-women-zscaler-dianhuan-lin-and-wendy-case Celebrating Women at Zscaler: Ashley Albiani on Staying Motivated and Effecting Change https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/celebrating-women-zscaler-ashley-albiani-staying-motivated-and-effecting-change In honor of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day on March 8, we’re recognizing influential women at Zscaler who have made a significant impact within their careers, teams, and on the Zscaler family as a whole. Ashley Albiani currently serves as Senior Commercial Counsel for the Legal team at Zscaler. She joined the company in November 2016, and in that time, she has not only grown in her own career, but also mentored and advised interns that have gone on to have successful careers of their own. “I’ve watched legal interns go on to work other coveted internships, pass the bar exam, and/or accept impressive full-time positions as young attorneys,” she said. “It’s rewarding to think that their success is at least, in small part, due to the mentorship and positive experience they had while working with me and the rest of the Legal team at Zscaler. I am genuinely excited to see where each of their careers takes them next.” Q: What advice do you have for women wanting to get into tech? A: ‘Cross-train’ – Search for opportunities to learn a new skill. Offer to take on a project that doesn’t fit within anyone’s current role or look to where you can add value to other internal teams. This will not only make you a more valuable employee, but keep work from becoming dull and demonstrate that you’re motivated to excel, even outside of your comfort zone. Q: What professional advice would you give your younger self? A: Do some research before attending a conference, webinar, or other professional development event and come prepared with a few questions related to the topics. This will make it easier for you to follow along with the presentations and help you get the most value out of the event. Also, I’d tell my younger self to invest more in $ZS! Q: Based on this year’s IWD theme, “Choose to Challenge,” how will you plan to celebrate women’s achievements and forge a path for future rockstar women in tech? A: I plan to actively look for areas where there is gender inequality and encourage others not only to recognize those gaps, but discuss them. Q: If you could have lunch with anyone in history (or present-day), who would it be? A: Ruth Bader Ginsburg - The amount that she accomplished for women’s rights, among so many other things, is incredible, and I’d love to hear every detail of her life story firsthand. She also had a great sense of humor and I’d like to think, along with most women in the legal world, that we’d be best friends. Q: Is there anything you’d like to add about your career journey or women in tech? A: I’d encourage everyone to check in on themselves professionally at least once a quarter. Ask: ‘Am I enjoying this work? What could make my work-life better? What progress have I made toward my goals?’ This isn’t anything original, but an important reminder that you need to carve out time to think about the bigger picture in order to grow and stay happy. Outside of work, Ashley loves to snowboard, surf, hike, play board games, and go wine tasting. During quarantine, she re-watched Jurassic Park and read the book, while also picking up a couple of other rewarding hobbies. “Since quarantine, I’ve been moonlighting as a Chair Yoga instructor for my grandparents,” she said. “I’ve also been practicing the piano again. I gave it up when I was younger, so my mom is now thrilled that those lessons did not go to waste!” For more about how Zscaler is celebrating International Women's Day and Women's History Month, read this blog: Fostering Corporate Inclusivity: Honoring Zscaler Leaders on International Women’s Day. Further reading: Celebrating Women at Zscaler: Nicole Martinez on Influential Women and Giving Back Celebrating Women at Zscaler: Wendi Lester and Marina Ayton Celebrating Women at Zscaler: Melissa Balentine on Professional Growth and the Evolution of Zscaler Tue, 23 Mar 2021 08:00:01 -0700 Kristi Myllenbeck https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/celebrating-women-zscaler-ashley-albiani-staying-motivated-and-effecting-change Celebrating Women at Zscaler: Nicole Martinez on Influential Women and Giving Back https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/celebrating-women-zscaler-nicole-martinez-influential-women-and-giving-back In honor of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day on March 8, we’re recognizing influential women at Zscaler who have made a significant impact within their careers, teams, and on the Zscaler family as a whole. Nicole Martinez joined Zscaler in 2016 and is currently Sr. Manager, Cloud Operations at the company. Throughout her career journey, she has seen significant technological evolution, learned important lessons about navigating tech as a woman, and dedicated herself to encouraging and empowering women in the industry. “I started my journey in technology many years ago directly out of college working in IT support,” she said. “I worked for a female executive who led her team with grace and encouraged the growth and development of all her employees.” “I've carried with me the grace and patience of that first female leader I had at the start of my career,” she said. “She taught me that even if you don't know how to do something, don't let that stop you—dive in and explore every opportunity, find your interest, and learn all you can about it. I've also learned that it's OK to be thought of as nice or ‘the quiet one.’ You don't have to be the loudest voice in the room to make the biggest impact.” “Technology is constantly changing and we should be changing with it, growing, and exploring,” she said. “I choose to continue to support the growth and opportunities in tech for women by always being supportive of other women and sharing what I’ve learned in my journey.” Q: What are you most proud of in your career? A: Building a team from the ground up, of which two-thirds are women. Q: What advice do you have for women wanting to get into tech? A: Do it, educate yourself, seek the knowledge, and take the leap. It's very rewarding to see the impact of your work in the world. Q: What professional advice would you give your younger self? A: It's going to be OK, say yes when opportunity presents itself. If you make a mistake, learn from it. Q: Who was your greatest inspiration when you were growing up and why? A: My mom. She was always supportive and from a very young age she told me I could do anything if I apply myself, work hard, and never give up. Q: What do you like to do outside of work? A: Help others. I sit on the board of a non-profit that provides services to Veterans and others in need. We do this by pairing them with Service Dogs taken from shelters and rescues. I am a founding member of this non-profit and we are celebrating our 10 year anniversary this year. https://operationfreedompaws.org/ For more about how Zscaler is celebrating International Women's Day and Women's History Month, read this blog: Fostering Corporate Inclusivity: Honoring Zscaler Leaders on International Women’s Day. Further reading: Celebrating Women at Zscaler: Wendi Lester and Marina Ayton Celebrating Women at Zscaler: Diana Vikutan on Developing Zscaler and Honing Multitasking Skills During Quarantine Celebrating Women at Zscaler: Melissa Balentine on Professional Growth and the Evolution of Zscaler Celebrating Women at Zscaler: How Jey Govindan Empowers Future Generations of Women in Tech Celebrating Women at Zscaler: Sandi Lurie and Karen Mayerik Thu, 18 Mar 2021 08:00:01 -0700 Kristi Myllenbeck https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/celebrating-women-zscaler-nicole-martinez-influential-women-and-giving-back Celebrating Women at Zscaler: Wendi Lester and Marina Ayton https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/celebrating-women-zscaler-wendi-lester-and-marina-ayton In honor of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day on March 8, we’re recognizing influential women at Zscaler who have made a significant impact within their careers, teams, and on the Zscaler family as a whole. Marina Ayton has been at Zscaler for a year and a half and currently serves as a Regional Director for the UK team. Her career journey has been eventful and fast-paced, and she hopes to continue that success in the coming years while mentoring and fostering career growth in others. “The thing I'm most proud about in my career has probably been my progression over a short amount of time. I have been promoted about eight times in the last six years,” she said. “And I think just the nature of working for a high-growth company that operates on a totally meritocratic basis gives you a huge opportunity to grow.” “I would say that recently, my complete career highlight has been having the opportunity to become a leader,” she said. “And with that comes a huge responsibility, right? To help train, and develop all of this talent—high potential, incredible individuals—to support them on their next phase of growth.” “I think my favorite thing about working in technology and for a company like Zscaler is the environment that's built around it,” she said. “We have this incredible culture of excellence, which has been developed, which gives you this kind of huge feeling of pride as you're working alongside some of the industry's best and top performers. Outside of work, Marina enjoys being in the outdoors skiing and playing tennis and squash. She also sits on the board of the Prince's Trust RISE program, which is a youth charity that helps young people aged 11 to 30 get into jobs, education, and training. Wendi Lester began her journey at Zscaler in February 2020 and is currently the Director of Global Real Estate and Workplace Operations. She has served as a mentor to many and believes in the power of personal connections to succeed and build a career you love. “What I am most proud of in my career is the people that I've mentored and worked with that have grown and matured and become leaders at other multinational companies,” she said. “The advice I would give to women who want to get into tech is: be brave and be willing to network and be willing to get out there, try something new, and to want to engage with people, because it's through building relationships and networking that you will find your best success,” she said. “And you will be able to find advocates, and you'll be able to find people that you can mentor, and that will be very fulfilling in your career.” For more about how Zscaler is celebrating International Women's Day and Women's History Month, read this blog: Fostering Corporate Inclusivity: Honoring Zscaler Leaders on International Women’s Day. Further reading: Celebrating Women at Zscaler: How Jey Govindan Empowers Future Generations of Women in Tech Celebrating Women at Zscaler: Sandi Lurie and Karen Mayerik Celebrating Women at Zscaler: Melissa Balentine on Professional Growth and the Evolution of Zscaler Wed, 17 Mar 2021 08:00:01 -0700 Kristi Myllenbeck https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/celebrating-women-zscaler-wendi-lester-and-marina-ayton Celebrating Women at Zscaler: Melissa Balentine on Professional Growth and the Evolution of Zscaler https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/celebrating-women-zscaler-melissa-balentine-professional-growth-and-evolution In honor of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day on March 8, we’re recognizing influential and powerful women at Zscaler who have made a significant impact within their careers, teams, and on the Zscaler family as a whole. Melissa Balentine, Senior Vice President, Finance has been with Zscaler for more than five years. In that time, she’s seen Zscaler grow and go IPO and has honed her professional skills to make a difference and find fulfillment within the company. Q: What are you most proud of in your career? A: Going through the IPO process at Zscaler, and the ultimate public offering, was one of the most important projects in my career. Having built internal reporting to support being a public company, I got the opportunity to see firsthand how this information is shared and used by the outside analysts who would eventually value Zscaler. Having all of this preparation leading up to the day we listed the stock, and to be in NYC for the big event, was exhilarating. Q: What is one of the most valuable skills that helped you get to the role you have today? A: Executive presence. As I’ve grown in my career, the ability to project confidence through effective communication and presentation skills has become more critical. I work to “read the room” when I host meetings to be sure my message is understood. Additionally, one of the most valuable skills I have honed is complex financial modeling. I spend time researching modeling inputs and understanding their relative impact on the financial results of the company. The models I build can be very large and cumbersome. What I’ve learned is building the model is only half of the work; the other half is taking the result and simplifying the message to be easily understood and explained. It isn’t necessary to show all of the steps and analysis, but instead to draw clear, concise conclusions allowing executives to digest and act. This step takes as much effort as building the model itself and is equally important. With this skill, I have the tools to not only prove out certain trends and theories through financial modeling, but also the ability to enable key decision making based on the modeling results. Q: What do you like to do outside of work? A: I like to unwind by working out, from my early morning workouts on my Stairmaster to local hikes on weekends. I also enjoy reading–mostly historical fiction. Since the shelter-in-place orders, I have enjoyed watching home renovation shows. For more about how Zscaler is celebrating International Women's Day and Women's History Month, read this blog: Fostering Corporate Inclusivity: Honoring Zscaler Leaders on International Women’s Day. Further reading: Celebrating Women at Zscaler: How Jey Govindan Empowers Future Generations of Women in Tech Celebrating Women at Zscaler: Sandi Lurie and Karen Mayerik Tue, 16 Mar 2021 08:00:02 -0700 Kristi Myllenbeck https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/celebrating-women-zscaler-melissa-balentine-professional-growth-and-evolution Key Takeaways From a Year of Remote Work https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/key-takeaways-year-remote-work It's a Monday morning in January. Heavy snowstorms move across Germany leading to traffic chaos on the roads and in the air. My first thought when I opened my eyes was, “nice, you don’t have to race to the airport, potentially get into a traffic jam on icy roads, rush through security to reach a flight in order to attend a business meeting in Hamburg, London, or Prague, only to find that the flight was cancelled due to the weather conditions.” Since mid-March 2020, our everyday working routine has changed considerably. Negativity aside, many of us simply have a different day-to-day now. Today, not only can I sleep a bit longer, but I can also start my day with my new routine of doing sports, getting a healthy breakfast and my favourite coffee from my own espresso machine, while still arriving on time at my laptop for my first meeting, without having travelled a single mile (except for walking from the kitchen into my home office). This is what I consider to be a luxury in my new normal way of working. Working for Zscaler enables me to work totally remotely, in line with the required contact regulations of the pandemic, and still be productive. Due to the time I don’t have to invest to reach customer headquarters, I’m even able to facilitate more remote meetings per day than I would have been able to via in-person meetings. Moreover: working remotely was always part of my employee contract, as I am enabled technically via Zscaler to work from wherever I want to. Nevertheless, a huge percentage of my working life was filled with meetings across European cities and sleeping in hotel rooms to be on time for early morning workshops on infrastructure and security requirements for the future way of working. Before COVID-19 hit, I was travelling at least four out of five workdays to attend in-person meetings with customers and prospects to consult them on their digital transformation strategy. Miles were piling up on my Lufthansa frequent flyer card and my car’s tachometer, not to mention the heavy use of my Bahncard. Looking back at the first year of working constantly from home, I’ve come up with a positive balance in many areas. Before the lockdown, approximately 284 days of the year would have started with a stressful early morning routine. Working from home saved me about 24,750 kilometres on motorways and 195,000 air miles. I even had the time to dive deeper into this calculation: the amount of carbon dioxide that this workload of travelling would have created is equal to the production of 41.58 tons ...just produced by me, myself, and I. The last year was record-breaking in many ways, but I want to take a moment to emphasize these staggering environmental statistics. My normal working habits in my role on the road is causing an average of 41t of CO2 per year. Just as a reference, a normal German habitant should produce something around 7.9 tons. Besides the stress and amount of money that travelling eats up, I was astonished by this high number. Every single kilometre with my car produces 102g of CO2, and each air mile by plane produces 200g. Of course, it would be possible to optimize the number, for example by replacing my diesel with an electric car (which would require 62g per km instead which would be a marginal gain already) or I could try to reach my targets more often by taking the train and calculate with longer travel times instead. All in all, my personal carbon footprint would still be high. The real change was forced on me by the pandemic with the consequence of exchanging face-to-face meetings through online interactions with colleagues, partners, prospects, and customers. Having a look at my individual contribution to air pollution, I can only underline efforts of various green organisations to more regularly avoid travelling for the sake of working from home. Greenpeace has requested to have a certain amount of work-from-home days each week. The organisation has found that at least one third of the German workforce (25 - 37%) has been working from home since the first phase of the German lockdown in mid-April 2020. The Work from Anywhere Trends Dashboard from Zscaler replicates these findings - the amount of remote user traffic has risen steadily since the first lockdown, showcasing that companies have adopted the new working from anywhere paradigm slowly. For reference, making a permanent habit of working remotely one or two days per week would save up to 5.4 million tonnes of CO2 in Germany. Personally, I’m of the strong belief that the possibility of being able to work from home is one of the positive side effects of the dark times resulting from the global health crisis. However, I’m coming across a lot of different opinions, and offices are still full of employees (not only in industries where remote working is not feasible). I was curious to understand the reasons for these different habits of continuing to work from corporate offices. Outside of technological reasons, like missing infrastructure to enable efficient and secure remote access, other factors prevent people from working from home. Not being able to structure a working day while working from home is just one of the arguments I’ve heard let alone families who have to share limited space in a household with kids and try to juggle between facilitating a job and monitoring homeschooling efforts while also keeping children happy and motivated. Not seldomly, it was the employer that demanded to work from office spaces as there still seems to be a certain reluctance to trust the productivity of remote workers. Experience proves these sceptics to be wrong, as best practise examples of Zscaler customers show (Working from Home: Greater Efficiency brings productivity). Given the right technology infrastructure for fast and reliable remote access, staff is as productive working from home, if not more productive, as some of the typical office distractors are being reduced. Some early adopters have embraced the work from anywhere mentality full-heartedly and don’t regret it. My daily online conferences show the differences, reflecting which companies have adapted fast and are able to enable their workforce to keep the business productivity going. My personal takeaways from this “new normal” are that you have to adapt to get the most out of your daily online meetings. Virtual interactions require as much preparation time, if not more, to live up to all expectations of a group of meeting participants. You can’t have a face-to-face chat during a coffee break or at the bar in the evening to make sure that you have brought your point across. You need to follow up with more phone conversations or meetings and need to invest more time to accomplish a mutual understanding for a project’s success. I also have found out that it is super important to stay motivated about little successes, as we all miss the bigger events to look forward to, like our next big adventure in a foreign country. The last year has shown that this way of doing business is feasible. I, for one, have grown to be an expert timekeeper and learned how to differentiate between working hours and leisure time, and I don’t want to miss my newly-won freedom that I don’t have to spend travelling. Even if it might still take some time to convince all remaining sceptics, the year of lockdown has catapulted many organisations into the future way of working today. We have grown accustomed to video conferencing and will have to keep the habit of making an educated decision, when a personal contact is the preferred option for a meeting, once contact restrictions will be loosened. So the question has to be: what did we learn in the last year, that is here to stay? I personally have made up my mind already. I’ll have a closer look at my carbon footprint moving forward. The environment will profit from it. Mon, 15 Mar 2021 01:00:02 -0700 Kevin Schwarz https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/key-takeaways-year-remote-work Celebrating Women at Zscaler: Diana Vikutan on Developing Zscaler and Honing Multitasking Skills During Quarantine https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/celebrating-women-zscaler-diana-vikutan-developing-zscaler-and-honing In honor of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day on March 8, we’re recognizing influential and powerful women at Zscaler who have made a significant impact within their careers, teams, and on the Zscaler family as a whole. Diana Vikutan, Director of Cloud Operations at Zscaler, manages a team of Program and Project Managers and was the first Program Manager at Zscaler when she joined six years ago. Diana and her team oversee platform and private infrastructure programs as well as cross-functional and internal CloudOps projects. “I’m so proud to be a part of Zscaler’s success and growth story and part of the great team that helped to move a promising private company to a global player and an industry leader in the cybersecurity space,” she said. Q: What advice do you have for women wanting to get into tech? A: Just do it! Make that first step, whether it’s getting a technical degree, completing that training course, or landing a first job, you have to make an initial effort no matter how small it seems at the time in order to see results in the future. Without trying, you would never know what you are capable of. If I could give my younger self any professional advice, it would be to not be afraid to take risks! Q: Who was your greatest inspiration when you were growing up and why? A: I’ve never considered a particular person as my inspiration. I’ve always preferred to set my own goals. At the end of the day, you can only be successful when you don’t compare yourself to others but compete with yourself instead. Q: Have you picked up a hobby during quarantine? A: During quarantine, I’ve definitely taken my multitasking skills to the next level as a working mother of a toddler! For more about how Zscaler is celebrating International Women's Day and Women's History Month, read this blog: Fostering Corporate Inclusivity: Honoring Zscaler Leaders on International Women’s Day. Further reading: Celebrating Women at Zscaler: How Jey Govindan Empowers Future Generations of Women in Tech Celebrating Women at Zscaler: Sandi Lurie and Karen Mayerik Thu, 11 Mar 2021 08:00:01 -0800 Kristi Myllenbeck https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/celebrating-women-zscaler-diana-vikutan-developing-zscaler-and-honing Celebrating Women at Zscaler: Sandi Lurie and Karen Mayerik https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/celebrating-women-zscaler-sandi-lurie-and-karen-mayerik In honor of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day on March 8, we’re recognizing influential women at Zscaler who have made a significant impact within their careers, teams, and on the Zscaler family as a whole. Karen Mayerik Karen Mayerik is a Sales Engineering Manager for customers that are in education and state and local governments. “If you love problem-solving, tech is an amazing place to be,” she said. “I get a lot of satisfaction from meeting with customers, understanding where they're having challenges, and being able to solve those problems for them. There's something that is really creative as part of that process.” Outside of work, Karen enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters, ages 10 and 12. “We love to go to the lake as a family,” she said. “And we actually have a rule that when we're on the boat or around the campfire, we put all of our devices away, so it's always a nice break!” Sandi Lurie Sandi Lurie has been Vice President, Talent Acquisition at Zscaler since July 2020. “Our job is to attract and hire top talent into the company while maintaining an exceptionally high bar for candidate experience,” she said. “Watching the careers of people that I've worked with and hired in my past companies is extremely rewarding. Everything from leaving the talent acquisition career to go into HR business partner or operational roles, or seeing people that I hired into their first job now running talent teams at scaling companies themselves, I love seeing people succeed.” Outside of work, in non-quarantine times, Sandi loves to travel, attend live theater shows in New York, and spend time with friends and family. Within quarantine, however, she is mastering eyelashes and the art of banana bread baking. To learn more about the powerful women at Zscaler and how we’re celebrating throughout the month, read our International Women’s Day blog. Further reading: Celebrating Women at Zscaler: How Jey Govindan Empowers Future Generations of Women in Tech Wed, 10 Mar 2021 08:00:01 -0800 Kristi Myllenbeck https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/celebrating-women-zscaler-sandi-lurie-and-karen-mayerik Celebrating Women at Zscaler: How Jey Govindan Empowers Future Generations of Women in Tech https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/celebrating-women-zscaler-how-jey-govindan-empowers-future-generations-women In honor of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day on March 8, we’re recognizing influential and powerful women at Zscaler who have made a significant impact within their careers, teams, and on the Zscaler family as a whole. Jey Govindan, Director of Service Operations and Enablement, joined Zscaler in July 2020. Her role is focused on enablement, onboarding, and implementing tools and processes to help her team succeed. We spoke with Jey to get some insight into her career, what gives her fulfillment, and how she plans to inspire future generations of women in tech. “I’m really proud of my career,” she said. “First of all, I want to thank the great leadership that we have here at Zscaler and also the leadership that I’ve worked with in my previous companies. That trust and confidence that they had in me gave me an opportunity to think out of the box and come up with innovative solutions—whether it is setting up teams, creating hiring strategies, or implementing tools and automation—that really helped me deliver results that made our customers happy.” Q: What advice do you have for women wanting to get into tech? A: Don't fear technology. Getting into tech is the same as getting into any space. We all have to develop our skills to be the best, regardless of the field. As long as we commit to working hard and giving it our best, there is nothing to fear—go for it! My advice to women is to not succumb to labeling and stereotyping—all that we need to do is self-analyze and understand from our deep, calm, inner self what we want to do, and stick to it. Q: What professional advice would you give your younger self? A: Have long-term goals. I planned my career, for the most part, in the technology industry and how I wanted to work within it, with goals to contribute to the leaders of that space. These were three- to five-year plans. If I were to advise my younger self, I would say to career plan ten years, or even 15 years, into the future and dream the full journey a bit more. Q: Who was your greatest inspiration when you were growing up and why? A: My dad has been my inspiration from day one, and he still is. He was a true multi-talented gentleman and we were very close. He was an elite sportsman, engineer, and math wizard. He worked hard and was always very kind and humble. For me, there is so much that I continue to learn from him. Q: Based on this year’s IWD theme, “Choose to Challenge,” how will you plan to celebrate women’s achievements and forge a path for future rockstar women in tech? A: I love this year's International Women’s Day theme! We all need to commit to ourselves to "Choose to Challenge." I am who I am because I chose to challenge in the past. With growing awareness, I am 100 percent sure that in a matter of years we won't have to fight it so much! Q: Is there anything you’d like to add about your career journey or women in tech? A: I am here as a sounding board, a mentor, or just simply to share my experience with young women. For more about how Zscaler is celebrating International Women's Day and Women's History Month, read this blog: Fostering Corporate Inclusivity: Honoring Zscaler Leaders on International Women’s Day. Further reading: Celebrating Women at Zscaler: Sandi Lurie and Karen Mayerik Tue, 09 Mar 2021 08:00:01 -0800 Kristi Myllenbeck https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/celebrating-women-zscaler-how-jey-govindan-empowers-future-generations-women Fostering Corporate Inclusivity: Honoring Zscaler Leaders on International Women’s Day https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/fostering-corporate-inclusivity-honoring-zscaler-leaders-international-womens This post also appeared on LinkedIn. International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month notably elevate the platform for celebrating women’s accomplishments. And there are many new accomplishments to celebrate: Kamala Harris was sworn in as the first woman Vice President of the United States. Dr. Swati Mohan landed the Perseverance rover on the surface of Mars. Kim Ng was named the general manager of the Miami Marlins, the first woman to hold such a position in Major League Baseball. And Nigeria's Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala became the first African and first woman to lead the World Trade Organization. “Firsts” are potent symbols of advancement towards equality. But often, seconds, thirds, and fourths are just as noteworthy: This year’s “Top Women in Cybersecurity” articles featured little overlap with previous lists. The mere anecdote that more women merit such recognition signals tangible progress. Highlighting Zscaler’s remarkable women leaders This month, we celebrate the accomplishments of women leaders driving innovation at Zscaler. They include Cloud Operations Director Diana Vikutan, who oversees the operations of more than 150 Zscaler data centers around the globe; Director of Service Enablement and Operations Jey Govindan, who ensures service excellence for every Zscaler customer; Data Scientist Dianhuan Lin, who crafts the complex Machine-Learning algorithms behind Zscaler threat protection; Finance SVP Melissa Balentine, who keeps the company’s financial operations running smoothly; and many more. A modest proposal: Build a culture of inclusivity For all of the progress that women have achieved in the past year, there is still work to be done. Women lead more Fortune 500 companies than ever before, but they still represent only 7.4% of F500 CEOs. The gender wage gap persists, and maddeningly, true wage parity may be a century away. As corporate leaders, we have a responsibility to address such inequities. Aside from the ethical and moral purpose of such an effort, it’s just good business. Accenture has reinforced what should be accepted, common-sense knowledge: the more equal a corporate culture, the greater the innovation. Report author and Accenture Chief Leadership and Human Resources Officer Ellyn Shook promotes strong cultural inclusivity almost as a corporate superpower, calling it “a powerful multiplier of innovation and growth.” To foster that innovation and growth, corporate leaders can take action now to establish their own cultures of inclusivity. Remove barriers to advancement. A McKinsey study found that the recent COVID-19 pandemic impacted women more than men, noting that “Working mothers have always worked a “double shift”—a full day of work, followed by hours spent caring for children and doing household labor. Now the supports that made this possible—including school and childcare—have been upended.” Want women leaders to succeed? Support childcare programs so they don’t face an unfair choice between family and work. Set women up for leadership success. Research by Catalyst suggests that “Women are over-represented in support functions like administration, while men tend to be concentrated in operations, profit and loss, and research and development—all viewed as critical experiences for CEO and board-level positions.” Corporate leaders must recognize their own companies’ blind spots. It’s no simple fix, but it can start with aggressive diversity recruiting, establishing mentoring programs for women employees, institutionalizing pay equity, and ensuring that all voices -- especially those that have been traditionally marginalized or diminished -- are heard and amplified. Invest in STEM. Growing up, girls must fight to dispel gender stereotypes in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields. Those obstacles keep many girls from pursuing further education and careers in STEM fields. But there is something we can do about it. Organizations that depend on technology -- and that’s most of them -- must invest in STEM programs for girls to ensure that the next generation of technical talent is even more diverse. (Here at Zscaler, we support Girls Who Code.) At the Australian Open tennis tournament last month, Alexis Ohanian wore a t-shirt featuring a picture of his spouse, Serena Williams. Next to her image were the words “Greatest Female Athlete.” The description—apt as it was—was all the more accurate because the word “Female” was crossed out. On this International Women’s Day, and throughout this Women’s History Month, we acknowledge the achievements of women like Diana Vikutan, Jey Govindan, Dianhuan Lin, Melissa Balentine, Kamala Harris, Dr. Swati Mohan, Kim Ng, and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. And we’ll continue to appreciate them, this month, next month, and every day after that. Mon, 08 Mar 2021 10:55:30 -0800 Kavitha Mariappan https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/fostering-corporate-inclusivity-honoring-zscaler-leaders-international-womens Honoring Black History Month at Zscaler https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/honoring-black-history-month-zscaler At Zscaler, we pride ourselves on many things, but most of all, we take pride in our people and the wide range of expertise, cultures, and life experience they contribute. Our goal is always to build working connections among employees in a way that fosters learning, understanding, and collaboration. This Black History Month, we’ve been celebrating not only the beauty in diversity and collaborative success that comes with bringing together people of varied backgrounds and experiences, but also important Black pioneers in history that paved the way for a brighter future. For me, Black History Month is a time to stop and reflect on the numerous Black people who contributed to building our country—too many of whom were not celebrated during their time, nor are mentioned during our school-age years when we learn about U.S. History. We spoke with several Zscaler employees to get their thoughts and reflections on Black History Month and how they’ve chosen to celebrate and remember. Brian Simmons, Senior Manager, Creative Services at Zscaler, sees Black History Month as an opportunity to reflect and honor those that came before, and also educate and inform future generations of the importance of digging deeper. “I would say what Black History Month means to me personally, it’s a focus on a history that is neglected. In school, we always learned about the same Black history figures—it’d be Rosa Parks or Frederick Douglass, the same history kind of regurgitated,” he said. “Black History Month taught me that I should take it upon myself to learn about my culture and history beyond the month. I have expressed also to my children, beyond Black History Month, the importance of knowing your roots and culture, especially since I had to search for it myself. Taking the opportunity to learn about the history, and the fact that they’re living history now, is important to us.” Allison Doughty, Global Benefits Manager at Zscaler, also reflects on Black pioneer representation in American history. “Black History Month has driven the process of un-learning and re-learning American history that was not taught when I was in school,” she said. “It concerns me how much I do not know as an adult, and how little oversight there is on what is taught in the classroom on the Civil War through The Civil Rights Movement to give a better picture of how to we got to where we are today. I hope that today's students will have a more balanced curriculum and they will continue to educate me with these history lessons they've learned back in grade school.” Tyrin Ford, Regional Sales Manager – Large Enterprise at Zscaler, explained the origins of Black History Month and how it has evolved. “Black History Month began as ‘Negro History Week,’ and was created in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson,” he said. “He built Negro History Week around traditional days of commemorating the Black past to extend the public’s study of Black history. It became a national month-long celebration called Black History Month in 1976.” For Ford, the month holds significance in honoring the past and also reflecting on the values it instills in his life. “I celebrate Black History Month all year long, but the month of February is extremely important because this is an opportunity for me to live out the legacy of my ancestors while the rest of the nation celebrates Black culture,” he said. “Black History Month is a time of rejoicing, celebrating, and reflecting on our past. Black History is about integrity, leadership, and determination—it’s about showing your true character and embracing your heritage.” The importance of communication and understanding At Zscaler, we launched an Employee Resource Group, called B@Z, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2021 to “recognize the culture of Black employees at Zscaler, and drive initiatives that educate, celebrate, and develop a purposeful sense of value for the experience of the African/Black Diaspora.” Our group, though developed to be active in every month of the year, took on a special significance during Black History Month. Additionally, throughout February, group participants have shared daily facts and participated in film viewings and discussions to foster understanding and gain perspective. Personally, I’ve enjoyed facilitating film discussions through our B@Z Employee Resource group. So far, we've discussed The Hate U Give, Black Panther, 13th, and will discuss Hidden Figures this week. It's important to have a safe space for people of different backgrounds to come and discuss, with the intent of learning and action. Wendi Lester, Director, Global Real Estate and Workplace Operations at Zscaler, and Ambreen Lakhani, Business Operations Manager at Zscaler have made efforts to contribute one Black History Month fact per day in the B@Z group discussion. “Black History Month is American History Month viewed through the lens of a minority population in this country,” said Lester. “I was fortunate this year, because of the B@Z group, to be able to share daily Black History Month facts. Through this, I learned about the Negro Motorist Green Book, which was a way for Black people to (mostly) safely drive throughout the segregated south.” The B@Z group not only aims to remember and honor the past, but also look toward the future and what improvements can be made at Zscaler, in the tech industry, and in the country as a whole to promote learning, understanding, and communication. “Being part of the B@Z Employee Resource group is such an honor. It's a collective group of like-minded Black professionals that are looking to be change agents for diversity at Zscaler,” Ford said. “I'm really impressed with the progress we're making in such a short amount of time. We're just getting started, and there are many positive things in store in 2021 and beyond. We have to increase the percentage of Blacks within our organization and it starts with sourcing and recruitment.” Sandi Lurie, Vice President, Talent Acquisition at Zscaler, made clear the efforts the company as a whole is making to ensure Black representation and diversity in hiring at the company. “At Zscaler, instead of focusing on making sure every role has one diverse candidate to interview, the talent team has worked diligently to make sure every open role has a diverse pipeline. We have seen the results change quarter over quarter.” Honoring Black pioneers and inspirations Black History Month is a time to not only reflect on the countless Black trailblazers that have made significant contributions to our nation, but also honor other inspirational figures in each individual’s life that have made an impact promoting Black pride and strength. “Robert Frederick Smith is one of the monumental figures that I admire,” Ford said. “He is an American businessman, philanthropist, chemical engineer, and investor. He is the founder, chairman, and CEO of investment firm Vista Equity Partners. Forbes has named Smith on several business lists, including its list of the 100 greatest living business minds, and the wealthiest people in America. Robert's actions are motivational for other African American males in Tech and his philanthropic efforts are unmatched. I'm striving to replicate his success in many ways.” Other inspiration and motivation is pulled from musical means. “Bob Marley was and is very influential to me,” Simmons said. “When I was first introduced to Bob Marley’s music, and then the man himself, it was his early works, when they were just the Wailers, and the music was a bit more pro-Black. It was definitely more focused on standing up for your rights. What I find inspiring is that there was a point in time when he realized that this was not just an internal cultural concept, and it was the world that needed to gravitate toward, not only just a pride for yourself, but also an acceptance and a oneness—one love—combining the world and stepping outside of your bubble, and that’s what I learned from that music. From this, I started to feel more confident about myself as a person of African descent.” For others, Black History Month is a time to appreciate ancestors and family members that not only paved the way during many divisive moments in history, but also taught important lessons. “My biggest inspiration is my mother because she ensured I learned as much of the history about People of Color as possible, despite it not being included in the history books or taught in schools,” Lester said. “She taught me to question and ask "Why?" It is through asking those follow-up questions that we get to the root of the challenges our country faces and how we can overcome them.” Personally, my influence and inspiration come both from home and Hollywood. Cicely Tyson was my favorite actress, and while I was sad at her passing, I am proud of the full, unapologetic life she lived. She was such an inspiration for so many Black actors, both male and female, and it was lovely to see so many that celebrated her during her life and upon her passing. Cicely reminds me of my grandmother, in size, stature, and age—my Grandmother will be 97 in April, and she has been my absolute rock of strength and encouragement. At Zscaler, we plan to celebrate Black history year-round and honor the significant contributions Black Americans have made to the company, the industry, and the nation. To learn more about some of the Black pioneers that have been featured in the B@Z group this month, see the links below: The History of Black History Month Amelia Boynton Robinson - Civil Rights Pioneer Arthur B. Woodson - Author, Editor, Publisher, and Historian Eunice Hunton Carter - First African-American woman to work as a prosecutor in the New York County District Attorney’s Office Fritz Pollard - Pro Football Pioneer Nina Simone Tribute Fri, 26 Feb 2021 08:00:01 -0800 Michelle Smith https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/honoring-black-history-month-zscaler A Day of Service in Honor of MLK https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/day-service-honor-mlk “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?’” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Every year in mid-January, my daughters and I have an adventure. In the early years, it was picking up trash with other volunteers at a local park, but as they’ve grown, so have the tasks. Two years ago we planted trees at a local park. Last year, we helped clear and plow hard-packed soil to create a 100’ x 8’ community planting bed as a part of a church’s “Dream” garden. This year, in addition to donating to Dorcas ministries (link below), we are building hygiene kits for uninsured Wake County residents. It is climate-controlled and much cleaner than past projects, but still impactful. And whatever we do, it’s always rewarding. As we celebrate Martin Luther King’s birthday this year, there is a different kind of urgency than I’ve felt in years past. We are all facing challenges in the wake of the pandemic, with concerns about our own health and that of our loved ones, as well as the need to juggle work responsibilities with caring for children at home. With so much upheaval, it’s tempting to hunker down and simply try to get through it. But difficult times are exactly when those of us with the good fortune to have our health, a home, and stable jobs should come together to help the most vulnerable members of society. Across the country, communities that were already struggling with low wages, high poverty rates, and food and housing insecurity have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic. As a member of Zscaler’s new Black networking group, B@Z, I’m proud to announce that B@Z is leading a day of service on Monday, January 18, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, and we are inviting all United States Zscaler employees and their families to participate. Regrettably, it won't be in person this year, but we look forward to widespread participation as the needs are tremendous. The B@Z team has identified six organizations we are encouraging employees to “shop” for or donate to. They include: CityTeam HomeFirst Services Raleigh Rescue Mission Dorcas Ministries Feeding America Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina Dr. King’s life’s work centered around giving a voice to the voiceless and, in that spirit, we hope to share our good fortune with others. We also hope to celebrate his life by offering a broader sense of his legacy and an opportunity to learn more about him. About Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Many Americans know Dr. King for one speech he delivered in August 1963. It was truly great and consequential, but it was just one of more than 2,500 speeches King delivered in his 13 years of public life. He wrote five books and his papers are preserved in seven volumes. America’s most influential advocate for peace and justice, Dr. King campaigned, protested, and preached on behalf of people who had been marginalized by those in power. He was deeply committed to nonviolence, but he pushed hard against laws that he believed were unjust and was arrested repeatedly. He was a skillful strategist and teamed with powerful thinkers and doers who coordinated the complex and dangerous Civil Rights Movement. With his father, Dr. King was the co-leader of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, which gave him his first platform for addressing social ills. He spoke against the Vietnam War, segregation, and the mistreatment of poor people, regardless of color.1,2 He formed alliances with politicians, including Robert F. Kennedy, whose support enabled his release from prison during one of his many arrests.3 He engaged with leaders, including Malcolm X and Billy Graham, from other religions and social standings to advance his ideals. He didn't always find support, but he was willing to give others an opportunity to be on the right side of history. Whether he was sitting at a “whites-only” lunch counter or leading a peaceful march or demonstrating for voting rights, Dr. King was seen as a threat to the American status quo.4 He was arrested at least 30 times in various civil rights protest actions.3,5 Here are some examples6: January 26, 1956 – He was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama, as part of a “Get Tough” campaign to intimidate the bus boycotters. Four days later, on January 30, his home was bombed. October 19, 1960 – He was arrested in Atlanta, Georgia, during a sit-in while waiting to be served at a restaurant. He was sentenced to four months in jail, but after intervention by then-presidential candidate John Kennedy and his brother Robert Kennedy, he was released. July 27, 1962 – He was arrested and jailed for holding a prayer vigil in Albany, Georgia. April 12, 1963 – He and Ralph Abernathy were arrested in Birmingham, Alabama, for demonstrating without a permit. During his time in jail, he wrote what is now known as his historic “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” February 2, 1965 – He was arrested in Selma, Alabama, during a voting rights demonstration. Demonstrations continued and a young man was shot by police. In response, organizers planned a 54-mile march from Selma to the state capitol in Montgomery. Marchers were brutally attacked by law enforcement as they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, a day that came to be known as Bloody Sunday. Dr. King was instrumental in the successful actions of multiple civil rights groups, including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). And in the mid-1950s, the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) was formed with the executive committee of the NAACP and the officers of the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP (which was banned at that time in Alabama) to improve the living conditions and end segregation in the city. Rosa Parks was the secretary of the local organization, and her defiance on the bus gave Dr. King, the leader of the MIA, a wider platform that extended beyond the church congregation he led at the time.7 The steward of King’s legacy A theme in the musical Hamilton is that one has no control over “Who lives, who dies, who tells your story.” And just as Elizabeth Hamilton became the champion of her late husband’s legacy, Dr. King's widow, Coretta Scott King, worked tirelessly through the remainder of her life (she survived him by almost 40 years) to ensure her husband's legacy wasn't tarnished by those who did not share his vision. Because of Coretta Scott King’s efforts, we celebrate Dr. King’s birthday as a federal holiday and his story is told to schoolchildren across America. While his life has been filtered and packaged in many ways to adapt to various audiences, we know that when history is being made, it isn't always neat and tidy. Undeterred in the face of threats, setbacks, arrests, and violence, Dr. King knew that “forward” was the only way to go and that, ultimately, the arc of the moral universe would bend towards justice. Dr. King’s efforts continue to inspire new generations of organizers and activists in pursuit of justice and equality, and his commitment to nonviolence provides a roadmap for societal changes. Three facts about Dr. King you may not know: 1. King’s birth name was Michael, not Martin. The civil rights leader was born Michael King Jr. on January 15, 1929. In 1934, however, his father, a pastor at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, traveled to Germany and became inspired by the Protestant Reformation leader Martin Luther. As a result, King Sr. changed his own name as well as that of his 5-year-old son.10 2. King entered college at the age of 15. King was such a gifted student that he skipped grades nine and 12 before enrolling in 1944 at Morehouse College, the alma mater of his father and maternal grandfather. Although he was the son, grandson, and great-grandson of Baptist ministers, King did not intend to follow the family vocation until Morehouse president Benjamin E. Mays, a noted theologian, convinced him otherwise. King was ordained before graduating college with a degree in sociology.10 3. King received his doctorate in systematic theology. After earning a divinity degree from Pennsylvania’s Crozer Theological Seminary, King attended graduate school at Boston University, where he received his Ph.D. degree in 1955. The title of his dissertation was “A Comparison of the Conceptions of God in the Thinking of Paul Tillich and Henry Nelson Wieman.”10 I am grateful to be a part of the Zscaler family, working among kind, compassionate professionals all across the organization. My B@Z team members and I look forward to a successful and rewarding day of service in celebration of Dr. King’s life and legacy. 1From MLK to John Lewis, Ebenezer Baptist Church has been a haven for civil rights (nbcnews.com) 2 https://www.huffpost.com/entry/martin-luther-king-jr-causes_n_5090748 3 https://kinginstitute.stanford.edu/mlk-topic/martin-luther-king-jr-arrests 4https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/22/us/billy-graham-mlk-civil-rights/index.html 5https://www.bet.com/news/national/2020/04/03/martin-luther-kings-arrest-record-cleared-by-fulton-county-offic.html#! 6Martin Luther King, Jr. Was Arrested 29 Times For Committing These “Crimes” (blackhistory.com) 7NAACP | Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 8Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) - Civil Rights (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov) 9Martin Luther King Jr. - SNCC Digital Gateway SNCC Digital Gateway 10 https://www.history.com/news/10-things-you-may-not-know-about-martin-luther-king-jr Mon, 18 Jan 2021 08:00:02 -0800 Wendi Lester https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/day-service-honor-mlk Zscaler Named a 2021 Glassdoor “Best Place to Work” https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/zscaler-named-2021-glassdoor-best-place-work Zscaler is hiring company-wide—check out our careers page. To all of our employees who have taken the time to review Zscaler on Glassdoor, thank you. We appreciate your feedback and for taking the time to share your perspectives on what makes Zscaler one of the best places to work in 2021 and beyond. We know that the phrase “a place to work” took a new, less-literal meaning last year, as COVID forced all of us around the world to swap our in-office setups for a myriad of impromptu home offices. Unlike other awards, there is no self-nomination or application process with Glassdoor. Instead, it's entirely based on the candid feedback Zscaler employees have voluntarily and anonymously shared. To determine the award’s winners, Glassdoor evaluates all company reviews shared by employees over the past year. For that reason, it’s incredibly humbling, particularly for those of us in People and Culture, to see Zscaler named to Glassdoor's 2021 list of Best Places to Work, even as we navigate these strange and unprecedented times. Despite the challenges of not being able to see each other and work together in person for almost a year now, Zscaler has yet to slow down from either a technology or business perspective—and we whole-heartedly attribute this to our employees’ dedication to customers, driving innovation and executing on priorities, hiring great people (including hundreds that have never been inside a Zscaler office), and collaborating and celebrating team wins in spite of physical distances. Zscaler is powered by five core values Zscaler's success, both in terms of business trajectory and as a great place to work, has been built on our core values, which have always been fundamental to everything we do. Here’s a closer look at those values: Teamwork We celebrate together. We openly share information. We move as one. Open communications (candor over politics) When it comes to discussing what’s right, what’s wrong, and what we can do better, nothing is off the table. Although we have and continue to grow at a rapid pace, it’s important to foster an environment where employees feel secure sharing their opinions with others. Passion (over self-interest): We are fiercely passionate about our work, our company, our colleagues, our customers, and our partners. As an incredibly diverse company, we understand that the passions of our employees may differ, however, this is what continues to make us successful. Innovation: We are driven to not only innovate cloud transformation through our products but to also innovate in our jobs, whether an engineer, marketer, salesperson, or lawyer. Customer obsession We are, above all else, obsessed with our customers’ success. I see us consistently succeeding at this by how we treat customers as partners — not prospects. Want to join the Zscaler team? In 2021, Zscaler plans to grow our team as we continue our mission of securely enabling digital transformation for enterprises across the globe. We’re always looking for top-notch talent to join our organization and I encourage you to learn more about some of our current openings. Since the beginning, Zscaler has been a critical business enabler for companies as they move toward a secure, cloud-enabled digital future. If you thrive in a fast-paced environment that will challenge you to do your best work, join us! You will find a supportive culture that celebrates collaboration and creative thinking. You can see your ideas make a tangible difference at Zscaler and for Zscaler customers. And that can have a very real impact on your career. Wed, 13 Jan 2021 08:00:02 -0800 Greg Pappas https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/zscaler-named-2021-glassdoor-best-place-work Helping Changes You: Zscaler Employee Raises Funds for an Orphanage in Burkina Faso https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/helping-changes-you-zscaler-employee-raises-funds-orphanage-burkina-faso Zscaler strongly believes in being a leader when it comes to giving back and helping others. And one of the great things about working at Zscaler is that it is filled with people who feel the same way and go out of their way to exhibit this philosophy. At the beginning of this year, Kadir Erol joined Zscaler as EMEA Director of Channel and Alliances, taking on the responsibility for expanding sales partnerships. His new partner program promotes collaboration with VAR partners, enabling the company to support its customers through their secure digital transformation and to provide holistic advice on all aspects of the process. And that’s just his day job. When he’s not at work, Kadir dedicates his time and skills to Hummaid, an organization that he co-founded to support social aid projects. Kadir’s personal mission—at work and for the charity—is to work with others to achieve great things, and this is reflected in his latest achievement. During a 200-hour, eight-day fundraising marathon, Kadir appealed to Zscaler employees around the world to raise money to build an orphanage in Burkina Faso. If that wasn’t enough, he (quite easily) convinced Zscaler to match every euro donated during this marathon. All of this was in an effort to raise 200,000 euros of initial capital needed for the orphanage project. In a little more than one week of fundraising, Hummaid made huge progress toward its goal. In July 2020, Zscaler employees donated 75,000 euros via the fundraising platform GoFundMe. After the corporate match, the total raised by the Zscaler family reached 150,000 euros. This GoFundMe campaign is ongoing, and private donations are continuing to come in, with the total now at 196,000 euros. Kadir’s interest in social engagement and charitable activities was set in motion by his university friend Ali Altunay. In early 2018, Ali encouraged Kadir to donate money to help build a well in a village of 6,000 inhabitants in one of the most impoverished regions of Africa. Together they raised the money for this first project. After a while, something surprising happened. Kadir received an invitation to the official inauguration ceremony for the new well. This unexpected trip—and the insights it provided into life in Burkina Faso—had a lasting impact on Kadir. His feelings of gratitude that he was born in a more affluent part of the world began to manifest as a desire to help others. Together with Ali, he founded Hummaid as an independent platform for further global projects aimed at providing support to those who need it most. The name of the organization comes from the words human, umma (a community of all people), and aid. Transparency is key to the way this registered charity works. The organization wants its donors or sponsors to see where their money is being spent. When donations are handed to recipients, such as 400 pairs of shoes for children in the Atlas Mountains or food packages for widows, the organization takes photos to share with the donors. After Kadir and Ali visited an orphanage on their first trip to Burkina Faso, they quickly began to lay plans for their next major project. Shocked by the conditions in the region, the pair wanted to build their own orphanage. Architectural plans for the building, developed by Ali, came together quickly, and the organization obtained a plot of land via a local coordinator. Local builders submitted tenders for the construction of a property with living space and communal areas for 120 children, their caretakers, and teachers. The figures gave the pair an idea as to the amount they would need to raise. This month, Kadir and his colleagues will once again make the journey to Burkina Faso to watch the official groundbreaking ceremony for the orphanage in person. “We were amazed at how willing employees were to respond to our appeal for donations,” said Kadir. “It doesn’t matter to us how much any individual donated; we are so thankful for every cent that brought us closer to making this project happen. For me, after my first trip to Africa, I knew that helping changes you.” Fri, 06 Nov 2020 09:00:02 -0800 Kristi Myllenbeck https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/helping-changes-you-zscaler-employee-raises-funds-orphanage-burkina-faso Day in the Cloud: Education and Entertainment For a Good Cause https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/day-cloud-education-and-entertainment-good-cause Trying to get a large group of people together—even for a good cause—seems like a near impossibility these days. Still, it’s important—maybe more important than ever—to continue learning and interacting and supporting others, while taking every opportunity to enjoy a bit of entertainment whenever we can! The philanthropic spirit is an important part of the Zscaler culture and guides many of our actions. And it was this culture of giving back that compelled us to host our first Day in the Cloud—an online educational and entertaining event for Zscaler customers and partners. The day began with a webinar titled “Zero Trust Architecture with Amazon Workspaces,” hosted by business and security leaders from Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Zscaler. That session was followed by, “Ensuring Business Continuity by Securing Your Remote Workforce,” hosted by CrowdStrike and Zscaler, which provided insight into enabling the new work-from-anywhere workforce. Both webinars included live Q&A with the hosts, and both sessions can be viewed on-demand. See the AWS webinar here and the CrowdStrike webinar here. Attendees also had the opportunity to gather information at the virtual AWS and CrowdStrike booths, as well as the Learning Lounge, Knowledge Hub, Partner Zone, and Virtual Briefing Center—all hosted by Zscaler. The highlight of the event was an online concert by Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Jason Mraz. For each concert attendee, Zscaler had pledged a donation to No Kid Hungry, a campaign dedicated to ending childhood hunger in America. Jason’s performance was intimate and a complete delight for long-time fans and new ones—and it helped us raise $31,380 to help No Kid Hungry continue its essential work. We’re grateful to our partners, attendees, Jason Mraz, and No Kid Hungry for making this concert a great all-around success! Following the show, I had the opportunity to join in a small, virtual meet-and-greet with Jason along with some Zscaler customers and their families. It turned into an inspiring conversation about creativity and collaboration (musical and otherwise) and how they are able to continue in full force in spite of the restrictive confines of the global quarantine. The Day in the Cloud was our first event in our new, virtual environment, which includes our Virtual Briefing Center, where you can find videos and other resources to guide you on your cloud journey. We invite you to explore the space and schedule a customized briefing based on your interests and your organization's specific needs. If you missed the Day in the Cloud, we hope you will join us next time! Steve Grossenbacher is a Director of Product Marketing at Zscaler Mon, 17 Aug 2020 08:00:02 -0700 Steve Grossenbacher https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/day-cloud-education-and-entertainment-good-cause Meet Zscaler: Language, Localization, and Learning - How Isabella Muma Found Her Way to Zscaler https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/meet-zscaler-language-localization-and-learning-how-isabella-muma-found-her-way-zscaler From the journalism spotlight in Cameroon to making waves behind-the-scenes at Zscaler in Munich, Isabella Muma has had a remarkable journey. Fluent in three languages, she supports almost every team at Zscaler and is passionate about clean content, collaboration, and her co-workers. Outside of work, she loves to draw, write poetry, appreciate art, and study history and ancient civilizations. See why Isabella makes Zscaler a Great Place to Work! What is your background? I was born and raised in Cameroon in Central Africa. My full name is Ngela-ah Isabella Muma, but Ngela-ah is hard for people to pronounce, especially in Europe, so I go by Isabella or Bella. My background is in journalism. After getting a bachelor’s degree in journalism, I got my first job at a prominent non-profit organization as a communications officer, then transitioned to radio and print journalism. I also had the opportunity to work in the film and entertainment industry as a scriptwriter for a time. That was a very adventurous part of my career and it was something I really loved. In 2014, I moved to Germany to get my master’s degree in trade journalism and corporate communication. When I came here, I really had no knowledge of German, so I had to go through the process of learning the language before proceeding with my studies. After learning German and completing my master’s studies, I got a job at a PR agency in Munich, which specializes in IT security. So I moved from the nice small town of Würzburg to Munich in 2018, and that’s how my journey to Zscaler started. Tell us about your journey to Zscaler I joined the PR agency not long after Zscaler became a client and I was put on the team to manage the account and projects. At the kickoff meeting with the Zscaler management team in Munich, my boss at the time introduced me, saying, “This is Isabella. She speaks English, French, and German, so she’s really valuable to us when it comes to handling information in English.” At the time I didn’t realize that someone in the Zscaler management team was taking note of my language skills! I continued working on the Zscaler account at the PR agency. Then, one blessed afternoon I got an email from someone at Zscaler about a content localization role that needed a candidate who could speak English, French, and German. It was a tough decision because I loved my job at the agency, but I eventually decided to take a leap of faith and apply, and I got the position. My transition was really easy because I not only had the language requirements for the job, but had also been working on the Zscaler account for ten months and was quite well-versed in Zscaler’s vision and products. I officially joined Zscaler in October 2019, and my first day was the Zenith Live event in Portugal, so I really hit the ground running. It was so fun—hectic—but fun! My coworkers made all the difference. They were always ready to help me out and point me in the right direction, so they made it easy for me to settle into the new role. I like to refer to them as the “ready to help team.” I think this is the type of team every ‘freshman’ needs, and I was lucky to have that. What do you do in your role at Zscaler? In my role, I manage all localization projects, so every white paper, video, eBook—every asset coming from HQ that is relevant to the European or Japanese markets—I make sure they are translated into the local languages and adapted for the respective markets. I collaborate closely with the field marketing teams to pick out and design what’s relevant to a specific region or country, make sure all the assets are transcreated, and send them back to field marketing so that they can easily run their campaigns within the targeted regions and countries. What is your favorite part of your job? I really love that I have the chance to work with so many different people. I work with almost every team at Zscaler: field marketing, sales, product management, sales enablement, public relations, dev, digital, you name it! I also work with two translation agencies, one in the UK and the other in Japan, that have team members all over the world. It’s been really great to work with a wide variety of people who have very different ideas, ways of working, and ways of dealing with a particular situation. It helps me to always keep an open mind and constantly work on my teamwork and leadership skills. What’s your favorite Zscaler memory? Not long ago, during a conference call with the entire EMEA team, I learned I had been nominated for the Bravo Award. I had no idea I was even nominated, and I ended up being chosen! That made me feel really good, and it showed that even though I work very quietly behind the scenes, my work is being noticed. We live in a fast-paced world where people tend to focus more on themselves and their work, and may not take the time to recognize others and the work they do. This award said loud and clear to me, “we see you, and your work is valuable.” That was a really beautiful surprise and had a big impact on me. What do you like to do outside of work? I love to be creative and my hobbies definitely reflect that. I’ve always loved writing and drawing, so I try to continue those when I can. I’ve also picked up writing poetry. I like to call my work “alternative poetry.” I actually have a whole collection of poems now, and am hoping to publish them in the future and integrate them into another very creative project I have in mind. I also love to take long walks and travel when we’re not in a pandemic. I usually try to travel home to Cameroon to visit my family, but unfortunately couldn’t do that this year. Chatting on the phone and catching up over video chat has been a great way to decrease the distance and stay connected. What advice would you give to someone looking to get into your field? Love what you do and always keep an open mind - we’re constantly learning. If I didn’t keep an open mind, I wouldn’t have made the decision to join Zscaler in the first place, and I wouldn’t have contributed as much as I have so far. Also, approach tasks and goals with the “we” mentality instead of “me.” I work with different groups, I manage different people within projects, and I always approach it with a “we” perspective. When dealing with a challenge or project, I like to ask questions and work together rather than dictating what I think is right. Especially when working with outside agencies, you have to understand that it’s a team effort that requires being patient and flexible, but firm. At the end of the day, it’s not just about me or the team, it’s about the company as a whole. Join Isabella and the rest of the team! Visit our careers page to explore opportunities in marketing as well as the many other roles in which you can help Zscaler drive secure digital transformation for enterprises around the world. Read Next: Meet Zscaler: What Three Years at Zscaler Means to Carolina Monge Meet Zscaler: Mission Accomplished — How Patrick Perry Transitioned from The Force to Being a Force For His Team Meet Zscaler: From Sales to Enablement - How Megan Allen Found Her Passion Mon, 03 Aug 2020 09:00:01 -0700 Kristi Myllenbeck https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/meet-zscaler-language-localization-and-learning-how-isabella-muma-found-her-way-zscaler Meet Zscaler: Mission Accomplished — How Patrick Perry Transitioned from The Force to Being a Force For His Team https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/meet-zscaler-mission-accomplished--how-patrick-perry-transitioned-force-being-force-his-team You would never know from his unfailingly positive disposition and lighthearted nature that Patrick Perry has done seven overseas tours with the Army. He brought his team-first philosophy and technological know-how into his role at Zscaler, where he is a Zscaler advocate for federal prospects. First and foremost, however, he is a family man, and loves spending time with his wife and five children. Read his story to learn why Patrick makes Zscaler a Great Place to Work! Tell us about your background and career in the Army I grew up in Southern California in an area outside of Los Angeles and ended up moving to Washington to finish up high school. Nineteen days after I graduated high school, I decided to enlist in the Army. I did basic training, then did what we call advanced individual training, and received my first duty assignment in Korea. I spent a year in Korea, then did what’s called a consecutive overseas tour and went directly from Korea to Germany and lived there for two and a half years. During that time I also did a deployment in Kosovo. I got some promotions in Germany, and everything was going well with my career, so I decided to stay in longer. I re-enlisted and moved to Fort Lewis, Washington, in the Seattle-Tacoma area. That’s when a lot of my life changed. Over the course of five years, I deployed to Iraq twice, went to about five different military schools to continue my training, moved to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, met my wife, joined the special operations community, and went to airborne school. During that time, I also went to Afghanistan three times. That brings us to 2010, when my family and I moved to Stuttgart, Germany. While there, I stayed in special operations and worked for the special operations command for Africa where I traveled to the continent a few times. When we decided to move back to the U.S., I joined a unique unit in northern Virginia and stayed there until the end of my career in the Army. In that time, I did more military schooling, deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan a couple more times, made some of my best friends, and fell in love with a place where I never thought I’d want to live: the D.C. Metro Area. What brought you to Zscaler? When I retired from the military and started my transition into the civilian workforce, I was blessed to be able to intern at Zscaler. I did a two and a half month internship last summer, where I was brought on board, learned the Zscaler culture, and really got good firsthand experience with life outside the military. Obviously, I’d only known the military my entire adult life, and interning at Zscaler exposed me to a lot of things. Whether it was company culture, job capabilities, or how the business works, executives gave me their time, and it was just an all-around amazing experience. While interning at Zscaler, I also was offered an internship with Major League Baseball (MLB), so I respectfully requested to do both. Zscaler was fine with it, but made me promise to come back! Though I loved the work and the people at MLB, my family and I weren’t willing to move to New York City, as my wife is still active military and there isn’t an Army base in NYC. So I finished my MLB internship, wrapped everything up with the Army, and started with Zscaler in December 2019 while on terminal leave. Tell us about what you do at Zscaler My role is constantly evolving, integrating with product management, sales, architectural support, and engineering—all geared toward our federal team efforts. I have a foot in the product management world to try and help shape Zscaler products to meet DoD (Department of Defense) and federal compliance requirements. I also do a bit of business development and outreach, and I assist in the meetings with federal and military organizations to explain and evangelize Zscaler and our products from an engineering and architecture perspective. How did your role in the Army relate to your current position at Zscaler? My specialty has always been in (IT) networking, which has obviously changed quite a bit since 1998, especially in the Army. But I’ve always kind of been in the IT world, and I’ve evolved through those changes, being a part of major IT transitions in the Army’s networks and growing IT environments as well as its different security levels. For the last 13 years in special operations, I was given a lot more flexibility to work outside of the specific Army toolset that we would normally use. So I was able to get my hands on more commercial equipment and do more commercial-like IT stuff, which I think prepared me well for my current role at Zscaler. From my time in the military, I’ve built a network of trust with many people throughout the military, especially at an objectivity and technical level, so it’s been great to be able to sit down with these people, some of whom I’ve known for 20-plus years, and tell them all about Zscaler and how it can help solve problems for the DoD. Above all, the military prepared me for Zscaler company culture. Honestly, the principles at Zscaler are very close to what we preach in the military, with cohesive teamwork being one of the top priorities. Nobody is too good to do anything that will benefit the organization. Helping others is always a focus: if you’re not bringing somebody up, then get out of the way. What is your favorite part about your role at Zscaler? First of all, I love that every day I’m learning something new. The organization is truly trying to sell transformation, not just a product that does something else a little better than another product. That’s big to me. But to get your mind wrapped around that, you’ve got to learn every day how to rethink problem sets. I really enjoy that because I like the challenge of a continuous education model. But in regard to performing my job, I love sitting down with people in the DoD and IC (Intelligence Community) and really working through how Zscaler capabilities work, with the goal of shifting their mindset. With 22 years of experience, I can talk to customers quickly and relate to them, and when they get that “aha” lightbulb that pops up above their head, it’s just magic. What do you like to do outside of work? First and foremost, I’m a father and a husband, so outside of work I spend most of my time with my family. Our kids are very active—our girls do competitive Irish dancing and horseback riding, one of our sons plays baseball, the boys have done wrestling, they’re in Boy Scouts—so we spend a lot of time shuttling our kids from event to event. It’s like a part-time job! Since COVID, a lot of their activities have been postponed, but we still try to focus on spending quality time and interacting with our kids outdoors. Other than that, I enjoy fitness, sports, hanging out with friends, reading, and brewing beer. I also love to take on home improvement projects. That’s increased a lot since work-from-home orders and I’ve never gotten more done on my honey-do list than I have in the last three months! What advice do you have for someone looking to get into a role similar to yours? You’ve got to find something you’re truly passionate about, and it’s got to be pretty specific. It’s easy to say, “I like to talk to people,” or “I like to guide teams.” But that could be a million different things. And a big thing for people coming out of the military is, “I like to lead people.” Well that doesn’t really mean anything outside the military—because organizations want to know, what specifically do you want to “lead people” to do? Finding something that you’re passionate about and narrowing that down to a specific focus is really important. Secondly, find a company with a mission that you’re excited about and truly believe in. Don’t take a job just for the money or because they have good perks. When you believe in the mission of a company, it truly takes that passion to an exponentially higher level. Specific to emerging technology, my advice is to never think that the way you already think is the right way to think. You should spend a great deal of time questioning and challenging your own assumptions. Don’t be afraid to change the way you think, because that’s the only way you will learn and truly create new ideas. Join Patrick and the rest of the team Visit our careers page to explore opportunities in emerging technology on the federal team as well as the many other roles in which you can help Zscaler drive secure digital transformation for enterprises across the globe. Read Next: Meet Zscaler: What Three Years at Zscaler Means to Carolina Monge Meet Zscaler: How a Busy Family Man, Salesman, and Outdoorsman Just Keeps Truckin’ Meet Zscaler: From Sales to Enablement - How Megan Allen Found Her Passion Tue, 30 Jun 2020 09:00:01 -0700 Kristi Myllenbeck https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/meet-zscaler-mission-accomplished--how-patrick-perry-transitioned-force-being-force-his-team Meet Zscaler: From Sales to Enablement - How Megan Allen Found Her Passion https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/meet-zscaler-sales-enablement-how-megan-allen-found-her-passion Though Megan Allen’s enthusiasm for sales may have started at age five, she wasn’t afraid to pursue a new career direction at Zscaler. Enablement and helping others is where she finds her passion. In her spare time, she runs with her dog, goes to UNC Chapel Hill basketball games with her husband, and loves refurbishing old furniture. See why Megan is one reason Zscaler is a Great Place to Work! Tell us about your background I grew up in central North Carolina, near Chapel Hill, and went to college at Methodist University in Fayetteville, NC, where I got a degree in business administration with a minor in club and resort management. After college, I moved to Charlottesville, Virginia, and took a job at a Forbes Five-Star resort called Keswick Hall. I worked originally in food and beverage there, as the club manager, then moved into sales for group events. In 2016, I took a job at Marriott International as a sales executive and fell in love with sales even more. My first year in the role, I achieved President’s Circle, and months later received a promotion to senior account executive and relocated back to North Carolina. In this new role, I supported 20 enterprise accounts that were headquartered in Greensboro, NC, and helped with their group travel needs—including large conferences and tradeshows—and organized any transient rates they needed set up globally. What drew you to Zscaler? I had always wanted to get into the tech industry, but never thought I could because of my hospitality background. Despite my doubts, I decided to look into tech jobs because Raleigh is a booming area for tech companies. In January 2019, I found a sales development representative position at Zscaler. Though I was taking a few steps back from where I had progressed in the hospitality world, I knew that was what it was going to take to get into a new industry. I took on the sales development rep (SDR) role at Zscaler in the Raleigh office and absolutely loved it! During that time, I specifically focused on SLED (public sector) East accounts. I loved the team, the fast-paced environment, the grind, and the competitiveness that naturally came with the job. I performed really well in the role and crushed my goals. I like to think that my success came from having a different lens since I had a hospitality background, but I am sure it was a mix of several different things. How did you transition to your current role as a sales enablement program manager? When I first started, the SDR team had five or six people in the Raleigh office, and it’s now about 18. We grew quickly, so I had the opportunity to help managers onboard several new SDRs, and I really, really loved it. I loved enabling them, helping them learn, and I found a lot of passion in something I didn’t know I was passionate about. After nine months at Zscaler, I talked to my manager about potentially focusing solely on onboarding. At the time I didn’t know enablement existed, and I didn’t know that the enablement team was growing. We tossed around different ideas and several weeks later, the sales enablement manager for the commercial sales team was posted. I took the role in December and have been moving a million miles a minute since then, but I’m truly enjoying it. What do you do in your role at Zscaler? My role is constantly changing, which keeps it interesting. I’m mainly focused on onboarding all new commercial reps, so that includes SDRs, corporate and territory reps, and renewals reps. I’m dedicated to onboarding them for their first two weeks and then setting up continued enablement for those teams across the globe when they need help in specific areas. Continued enablement might include objection handling, creative pipeline generation (PG), or anything sales process-related. On top of my focus areas within the commercial sales team, I also help out the sales strategy and enablement team (SSEN) on various other projects. A side fun gig is hosting our bi-weekly Rev Up LIVE webinar for our sales organization. This is a fun, segmented show where we bring new updates to the team, talk about best practices in the field, and highlight a variety of other topics. What’s your favorite Zscaler memory thus far? I have a lot of favorite memories at Zscaler! As part of the public sector team, watching it grow, and being part of its success has been a big highlight. Also, being promoted internally to a job where I have found my passion is a huge milestone in my career. I love helping people. Coming up with creative ideas, collaborating, and helping people where they need help is where I find my passion, and being able to identify a role that aligns with that has been amazing. I think one of my favorite memories at Zscaler thus far was having the opportunity to launch a new enablement tool at our Halftime event in February for our entire sales organization. Originally, I was tasked with leading a breakout session but was then asked to host a main-stage launch, which was terrifying but really exciting all at the same time. Presenting on a stage in front of more than 300 peers gives you a new appreciation for public speaking. What’s a fun fact about you? I was a competitive figure skater growing up. It’s a really random sport for someone from North Carolina, but I started when I was five years old and reached Junior level before quitting to go to college. Looking back, figure skating could potentially be what really sparked my career in sales. I remember wanting to go to a skating camp in Canada, but my mom told me I’d have to raise money in order to go. So I recruited my mom and grandmother to help me make our family recipe for chicken Brunswick stew and made it to sell to friends, family, and members of my church. Every summer, when it was time to go to skating camp, I’d break out my list of previous customers and call down the list. I’d even upsell them and say, “You only ordered two quarts last year, do you want to order three this year? You can freeze them!” Looking back, 8-year-old me was fearless, and this is probably the first glimpse into my future sharky salesperson mentality. What do you like to do outside of work? I enjoy anything outdoors—I like hiking and running. I go on runs with my husky Afton and sometimes he’s the one pulling me along. My husband and I are huge fans of UNC Chapel Hill and go to most of the home basketball games - GO HEELS! We also love traveling and are avid (Baltimore) Ravens fans, so we have a goal of seeing an NFL game in every stadium, which gives us the motivation to explore many great cities around the country. I also really enjoy refurbishing furniture. I buy cheap old furniture that’s scuffed up, and I sand, repaint and install new hardware as needed. I’ve made pieces for friends but sometimes keep them for my own home. My mom owns an antique consignment shop at the beach, so I sometimes redo furniture and put it in her store for sale, though I’m then often limited to painting everything a different shade of blue because it’s by the beach. I get really excited whenever something sells, and love to think that something I’ve made will be enjoyed in someone else's home. What advice do you have for someone looking to get into sales or enablement? Don’t be afraid to start back at the bottom. I know that can be a scary thing, especially for someone entering a new industry, but don’t be afraid to take a step back and learn from the ground up. Take chances, whenever an opportunity is presented to you. I’m not saying become a ‘yes man,’— you need to know your bandwidth—but also know that if a leader has given you that opportunity, it’s because they know that you’re capable of achieving it. Take on that challenge to demonstrate your creativity, leadership skills, and to develop your career. Take on those challenges, don’t be afraid to speak up, and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! Join Megan and the rest of the team Visit our careers page to explore opportunities in sales enablement program management as well as the many other roles in which you can help Zscaler drive secure digital transformation for enterprises around the world. Read Next: Meet Zscaler: How Becky Miller Balances Profession and Passion Meet Zscaler: What Three Years at Zscaler Means to Carolina Monge Meet Zscaler: How a Busy Family Man, Salesman, and Outdoorsman Just Keeps Truckin’ Wed, 17 Jun 2020 09:00:01 -0700 Kristi Myllenbeck https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/meet-zscaler-sales-enablement-how-megan-allen-found-her-passion Meet Zscaler: How a Busy Family Man, Salesman, and Outdoorsman Just Keeps Truckin’ https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/meet-zscaler-how-busy-family-man-salesman-and-outdoorsman-just-keeps-truckin More than 20 years in sales makes Ted Rutsch a veteran on the Sales America Public Sector team, but he couldn’t be more excited to be part of the Zscaler family at a time of great transformation. Outside of work, Ted balances his time as a family man and outdoorsman, while also making time to see his favorite bands in concert. We interviewed Ted for his one-year work anniversary on May 13, 2020. See why Ted makes Zscaler a Great Place to Work! What is your background? I started my sales career in the dregs, cold calling in my early 20s, doing more than 100 calls per day. I worked my way up through the ranks, mostly in telecommunications. I worked for Cable and Wireless USA, AT&T, and British Telecom. Then the telecom bubble burst in the early 2000s, and one of the last projects I worked on in telecom was some IT security-related stuff. I thought it was really interesting and knew that was the path I wanted to take. So from there, I started working for some small startups around firewalls and VPNs and it just went from there. I fell into security, I loved it, and I stayed there. What drew you to Zscaler? A few years ago I had the foresight to see that cloud was going to be the trend going forward and so I started looking for a cloud security company. After looking at companies like Salesforce, OKTA, and Saviynt, I saw the Zscaler presentation and was like, “Are you hiring? I’m in.” It took two years of pursuing Zscaler and waiting for them to get their FedRAMP certification before they were ready to build out the Public Sector team, but once they were ready I was on board. Give us an overview of your role at Zscaler I’m in sales, so naturally, I’m driven by money, but personally, I’m driven by the win. Most importantly, I want to continue to deliver something of value to my customers and we are in an amazing position to do that here. In my role, I cover the Federal financial and regulatory agencies, which include the Department of Treasury, SEC, FDIC, SSA, the Federal Reserve System, and a bunch of independents. I leverage my relationships and the strength of my team to bring the value of the Zscaler platform to these agencies. In my first year, we have already onboarded four new accounts including a large, recently awarded five-year deal. What’s your favorite Zscaler memory? I loved the new hire onboarding training. I got to meet new hires from across the company including product managers, inside sales, sales engineering, and new leadership coming over to Zscaler from other competing companies. It also helped me establish relationships within the company that I still leverage today. It really defined that I was in the right place. They worked us through real-world scenarios for selling Zscaler and it definitely showed how much the company was investing in their people, which was great to see. I actually just brought a friend of mine over to be a Sales Engineer for Zscaler. He told me, “I’ve never been in a place where everyone was so invested in my success. At my previous company, they brought me in and said ‘good luck.’” Everybody has been super supportive here in making sure he gets up to speed and is getting the training he needs. How has COVID-19 affected your role? I’ve been working from my home office for more than 20 years now, so not much is different for me. I do like to get out every once in a while, but we don’t really have the option currently. Normally I’m heading to downtown D.C. for meetings two to three days a week to meet with customers, as business gets done much more easily face-to-face. For sales, there’s nothing that’s better than an in-person meeting but we are making do with Zoom, Teams, and Webex as best we can. We are not really complaining since the current crisis has actually helped accelerate our business! Do you have any tips for working from home? Working from home, I’ve actually found myself working too much, if anything. I’ve always been driven, I’m very competitive, so if I don’t do certain things throughout the day where I feel like I’ve accomplished something, I don’t feel good about myself, so I focus on specific goals each day. Once I get those done, I’m like, ‘okay, today was a good day, I made these paths forward and things are good.’ I break those goals down every morning, focus on those, and check them off as I go. I do think it’s important to still get dressed up for meetings—I put my suit coat on, and I always put my video out there, because it shows that I’m vested and interested and taking this seriously. Do your best to still put your best foot forward. Make sure you have that personal drive and ambition to be focused. Working from home isn’t for everybody, some people get easily distracted, but for me, working from home has always been a blessing. What are your hobbies outside of work? I’m a big live music fan. I have been to countless concerts and more than 80 Grateful Dead shows. All of the concerts I was planning to attend this summer have been canceled or postponed though, so I’m pretty disappointed about that. I also love to get outdoors to hike, mountain bike, fish, hunt, and ski. Outside of music and outdoor activities, my family takes up most of my time. I’ve been married for 20 years and have two sons and one granddaughter. My youngest son is about to head off to college. He got a football scholarship to Stevenson University, so we’re really proud of him and excited we get to watch him play for four more years. And we see our granddaughter (pictured above) very often and she is a lot of fun. Any last thoughts about your role, your team, or Zscaler? We’re a successful 12-year-old company that just started our Federal initiatives, so the Federal team is over-the-top excited about the opportunity. They’re serving it up to us on a silver platter, so we’re about to explode, and the Federal team is ready to deliver. The use case is just too good to pass up. It’s a very exciting time for our team. Overall, if anyone is thinking about coming to Zscaler, they’d be lucky to be here. It’s the perfect place to be right now, and there are not many companies that can say that right now. Join Ted and the rest of the team! Visit our careers page to explore opportunities in regional sales management as well as the many other roles in which you can help Zscaler drive secure digital transformation for enterprises around the world. Read Next: Meet the People Who Make Zscaler a Great Place to Work Meet Zscaler: How Becky Miller Balances Profession and Passion Meet Zscaler: What Three Years at Zscaler Means to Carolina Monge Kristi Myllenbeck is a copywriter at Zscaler Mon, 08 Jun 2020 09:00:01 -0700 Kristi Myllenbeck https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/meet-zscaler-how-busy-family-man-salesman-and-outdoorsman-just-keeps-truckin Meet Zscaler: What Three Years at Zscaler Means to Carolina Monge https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/meet-zscaler-what-three-years-zscaler-means-carolina-monge Carolina Monge’s career has spanned two continents and multiple industries, but her role at Zscaler has solidified her success. Her love of spreading knowledge doesn’t stop at training new hires—she also has a social media presence that makes a difference in the lives of others. We interviewed Carolina for her three-year work anniversary on May 22, 2020. See why Carolina makes Zscaler a Great Place to Work! What is your background? I am originally from Venezuela, but I moved to the UK six years ago to learn English and ended up staying. My background is in systems engineering, but I started out as a pharmaceutical rep in Venezuela, speaking with patients and doctors, and realized I liked sales. When I came to the UK, I studied English for about nine months, then started looking for a job here. I realized that tech companies had a lot of roles in a multicultural environment, so I started looking into it. I thought, ‘wow this is interesting because I’m going to be in sales IT, so I can apply both my engineering background and my sales experience.’ I thought it would be fun and also challenging because everything was going to be new for me: a new country, a new language, and a new industry. But I really liked it. I found a position as a renewals rep at a tech company, but after about a year and a half there, Zscaler reached out and offered me a position in customer advocacy. Originally, I was supposed to handle small accounts in southern Europe, but after three months, I was handling large accounts and had expanded to manage other countries in Europe. Give us an overview of your role at Zscaler As a major renewals account manager, I am responsible for making sure existing customers renew their Zscaler services. It’s fun because when you are a regional sales manager, you have your specific accounts, you are the owner, and you have to build the relationship. But for renewals account managers, it’s like a cycle. Every quarter we have different accounts, every quarter we have different opportunities, every year we have different renewals. Each month is different, which keeps it interesting. We work very closely with the customer success team, so there’s a lot of teamwork. I really like the way Zscaler approaches and manages customers, especially for large accounts, because each one has a regional sales manager, a customer success manager, and a renewals account manager. That’s something I didn’t see in my last company. What’s something you're proud to have accomplished in your role? Being at Zscaler for three years now, I’m one of the more senior members of my team, so I’ve had the opportunity to support our managers and help train newer team members. About a year and a half ago we had a program for graduates. We had to create a three-week new hire boot camp for 12 graduates, and I was in charge of the renewals part. We taught them about forecasting, about channels, about time management, about customer interaction, and how to qualify an opportunity. I feel very proud of that because we prepared them and trained them before sending them out to call customers or go onsite. How has COVID-19 affected your role? I normally work onsite in the office here in Reading. I do work from home some days but normally, my daily routine is going to the office every day. But since we’ve been working from home, I’ve tried to keep my routine consistent. For me, I wake up, exercise for 30 minutes, take a shower, eat breakfast, then start work at nine like I normally would. I’ve been trying to get the team together every week for a 20-minute coffee chat to catch up and see how everyone is doing, so that’s been helpful! Do you have any tips for working from home? It sounds cliché, but I think it’s important to create an everyday routine. Also prepare a specific place in your house to work, so you feel like you’re going into the office even if you’re not. Make sure to take breaks, because sometimes when you’re working from home, it can feel like you’re working more. If you can, go outside for a short walk to get some fresh air. What are your hobbies outside of work? I love social media, so I created a healthy lifestyle Instagram profile about five years ago to track my own fitness journey and share healthy recipes and fun exercises. I love trying new exercises and doing fitness classes like spinning and yoga. Since we’ve been in quarantine, my boyfriend and I have been doing the keto diet, and I’ve been coming up with my own recipes. At the beginning it was hard, but I’ve been able to adapt a lot of my favorite foods to be keto. I’ve made keto churros, gnocchi, sushi, and even Nutella! Any last thoughts about Zscaler or your role? Zscaler is an amazing company to work for, and if anyone is interested in becoming a renewals account manager, they will have the opportunity to work on a fun, multicultural team. Zscaler gives you the opportunity to grow professionally and really cares about its employees. Join Carolina and the rest of the team! Visit our careers page to explore opportunities in renewals account management as well as the many other roles in which you can help Zscaler drive secure digital transformation for enterprises around the world. Read Next: Meet Zscaler: How a Busy Family Man, Salesman, and Outdoorsman Just Keeps Truckin’ Meet Zscaler: From Sales to Enablement - How Megan Allen Found Her Passion Meet Zscaler: How Becky Miller Balances Profession and Passion Kristi Myllenbeck is a copywriter at Zscaler Mon, 01 Jun 2020 08:00:01 -0700 Kristi Myllenbeck https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/meet-zscaler-what-three-years-zscaler-means-carolina-monge Meet Zscaler: How Becky Miller Balances Profession and Passion https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/meet-zscaler-how-becky-miller-balances-profession-and-passion Working at Zscaler has been a transformative experience for Becky Miller, deployment services project manager on the deployment services team, but her love of animals and sports helps enrich her life outside of work. We interviewed Becky for her two-year work anniversary on May 14, 2020. Becky is one reason Zscaler is a Great Place to Work! What is your background? I grew up here in San Jose, then went to undergrad in Wisconsin at Marquette University. I’d decided to live in the snow for a bit, but that was horrible so I came back. When I returned, I worked at a recruiting company as a software development project manager for about six years. What drew you to Zscaler? I decided it was time for a change after six years in my previous role, so I started applying and heard back first from Zscaler. It sounded like a really great opportunity and a good learning experience. Everything fell into place really easily and now I’ve been at Zscaler for two years. It’s been really fun so far, so I’m happy about the move I decided to make. Give us an overview of your role at Zscaler The deployment services team helps customers who purchase our products get started, get set up, then actually deploy. I help with a lot of the scheduling and organizing and keep track of project schedules to ensure we set each customer up for success and deploy within the project timeframe. What’s an example of a project you worked on recently? I helped lead the initial COVID-19 customer assistance effort. At first it was only China, then it expanded to Japan and Korea before evolving into a global business continuity program. We helped our customers fast-track their deployment to get employees set up working from home. It was definitely rewarding to help our customers out when they needed us most. I’ve also worked on some of the bigger accounts as well, including one company that rolled out ZPA for 11,000 users in a matter of days. That was an interesting one. Speaking of working from home, how are you adjusting? It’s not too bad. My desk is in my bedroom, so I’m a little sick of working in there. I definitely miss my standing desk, my coworkers, and the snacks, but other than that, it’s not bad. Most of my work is remote anyway, since my position is customer-facing, so it hasn’t been too big of a change. My dog Minerva is very happy to have me home though! Do you have any tips for working from home? Getting your day started and changing out of your pajamas is definitely important. I also think having a dedicated workspace with your monitor and keyboard and other equipment helps to ease the adjustment. Be sure to get outside, take a walk, and get some fresh air. And lastly, set a work cut off time so you don’t overwork yourself. It’s so easy to do when we’re home all the time. What are your hobbies outside of work? When there isn’t a pandemic, I coach volleyball for girls at City Beach Volleyball Club in Santa Clara. I grew up playing volleyball and played competitively in high school and then did intramural volleyball in college. I also volunteer at the Humane Society on the weekends. What advice would you give someone looking to get into project management? Be organized, be friendly, and be helpful. Finding creative ways to stay organized is so important, because it’s my job to keep everybody else organized, so if I’m a bit of a mess then everything else isn’t going to follow through. Being friendly is a good way to ensure that people will want to work with you again in the future. And going out of your way to find ways to be helpful makes a good impression and takes some of the burden off of other team members and customers. Join Becky and the rest of the team! Visit our careers page to explore opportunities in project management as well as the many other roles in which you can help Zscaler drive secure digital transformation for enterprises around the world. Read Next: Meet Zscaler: Mission Accomplished — How Patrick Perry Transitioned from The Force to Being a Force For His Team Meet Zscaler: How a Busy Family Man, Salesman, and Outdoorsman Just Keeps Truckin’ Meet the People Who Make Zscaler a Great Place to Work Kristi Myllenbeck is a copywriter at Zscaler Wed, 27 May 2020 08:00:01 -0700 Kristi Myllenbeck https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/meet-zscaler-how-becky-miller-balances-profession-and-passion Two Zscaler Leaders Recognized as CRN Women of the Channel https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/two-zscaler-leaders-recognized-crn-women-channel I’m excited to announce that two members of the outstanding Zscaler channel team have been recognized by CRN in its annual Women of the Channel awards: Alison Leonard-Morgan, Channel Alliances Manager, and Dawn Ambrose, Channel Account Manager. The CRN Women of the Channel Awards recognizes women for their expertise and vision as well as the key roles they play in the success of their organizations, and we couldn't be more proud of these two exemplary Zscaler women. Alison Leonard-Morgan Alison has worked in the IT channel in various leadership and sales roles for 18 years and, for the past four years, her focus has been on building VAR relations. She has a keen understanding of cloud services and infrastructure and, in 18 months at Zscaler, has enjoyed the fast-paced cloud security environment. Dawn Ambrose With more than 20 years in tech sales and in the channel, Dawn attributes her success to her passion for building and maintaining relationships. With most of her career in IT and security, she enjoys mentoring women entering the technology sector. At Zscaler, she is focused on helping business partners realize their objectives and the success of their customers. Alison and Dawn are integral to the Zscaler mission as we work to drive strategic value for our partners, help secure their digital transformations, and become even more deeply engrained in their initiatives that drive business transformation. Their experience and perspectives not only help us achieve our goals but, with their decades of experience, these two leaders are also role models to other women looking to enter or expand their roles in the technology industry. We are proud of their recognition from CRN this year, and grateful for their leadership every day. Congratulations to you both! We are always looking for exceptional people with unique perspectives to join the Zscaler family, and we’re hiring across the board. Micheline Nijmeh is the Zscaler Chief Marketing Officer Mon, 11 May 2020 11:12:47 -0700 Micheline Nijmeh https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/two-zscaler-leaders-recognized-crn-women-channel Zscaler Recognized as a 2020 Bay Area Best Place to Work and We’re Hiring! https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/zscaler-recognized-2020-bay-area-best-place-work-and-were-hiring Zscaler has been recognized as one of the 2020 Bay Area Best Places To Work by the San Francisco Times and the Silicon Valley Business Journal. Awards and recognition are always gratifying, but this award is particularly humbling to me and the entire leadership team because it's a reflection of how Zscaler employees feel about our company. In my mind, good companies are built by good products. Great companies, however, are built by great people — and that’s all of you. In Jay’s words: “Our employees are the heart and soul of the company. I’m proud of this award because it is a reflection of how much they love working here.” We’re hiring! Here is what it takes to succeed at Zscaler. Zscaler is hiring around the world right now. We have worked tirelessly to create a great company and culture built on the foundation of our core values. We keep our core values central to everything we do, and I wanted to quickly review them with all of you: Customer obsession: We are, above all else, obsessed about our customers’ success. I see us consistently succeeding at this by how we treat customers as partners, not prospects. This dedication to supporting our customers on their digital journey isn’t easy, but we are continuing to make this happen. Teamwork: We celebrate together. We openly share information. We move as one. I am proud of the persistence and humility demonstrated by our employees. In a world where ego can sometimes overshadow productivity, it’s always been the company’s priority to foster a collaborative work environment. Open communications (candor over politics): When it comes to discussing what’s right, what’s wrong, and what we can do better, nothing is off the table. Although we continue to grow at a rapid pace, it’s important to foster an environment where employees feel secure sharing their opinions with others. Some of our best ideas have come from employees advocating to change things that haven’t been working or from those unafraid to stand by their beliefs when seeing an opportunity for improvement. Passion (over self-interest): We are fiercely passionate about our work, our company, our colleagues, our customers, and our partners. As an incredibly diverse company, we understand that the passions of our employees may differ, however, this is what continues to make us successful. Innovation: We are driven to not only innovate cloud transformation through our products but to also innovate in our jobs, whether an engineer, marketer, salesperson, or any other job function. So many companies trust us to secure their digital transformation through our technology, and we all feel an obligation to continue to innovate and reach new milestones, such as surpassing 100B transactions per day. We are always looking for exceptional people to join the Zscaler family, so if our company sounds like something you want to be a part of, we’d love to talk to you. We’re hiring across the board. Greg Pappas is the Chief People Officer at Zscaler. Tue, 28 Apr 2020 05:28:01 -0700 Greg Pappas https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/zscaler-recognized-2020-bay-area-best-place-work-and-were-hiring Great Leaders Build Healthy Corporate Cultures https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/great-leaders-build-healthy-corporate-cultures Recently I had dinner with an exceptional sales candidate who was late because he "was having an argument with the support team in his company." I know the company well and know it has a corporate culture where employees constantly have to "fight" and "push back" to get things done (the complete opposite of the Zscaler culture). Working in an environment with infighting is tiresome, and eventually, workers begin to look outside the company for new opportunities. People often get enamored with the salary or title when changing jobs, but they should also put emphasis on the culture of the company. After all, if a worker dreads going to work in the morning, are they going to be happy or successful? Creating a great corporate culture Corporate culture played a big role in the decision to join my current employer, Zscaler. Glassdoor recently posted a list of Best Cloud Computing Companies To Work For In 2020, and Zscaler is ranked third. Our CEO, Jay Chaudhry, has a 97-percent approval rating from employees, which is an outstanding number. Jay communicates often with employees on a variety of subjects, including his “10 Zscaler Leadership Principals,” which sets the tone for Zscaler culture. Some of the key tenants within those principals include hire the best, customer obsession, and leaders are owners. The senior leadership in Zscaler is always flexible, collaborative, helpful and ready to do what it takes to help make our customers satisfied. This has never more evident than during the current COVID-19 pandemic. The Zscaler leadership team worked with a number of customers to help them maneuver their way through this unprecedented situation. Jay and the other Zscaler leaders truly felt a personal “obligation to help customers keep their employees safe and productive as they work from home.” Managing conflict Strong leadership also helps build a culture of teamwork and collaboration, which are key elements of a healthy corporate culture. However, no company is bereft of conflict. Yet, the ability to identify and resolve conflict is another key attribute of great leadership. These leaders can even identify the root of conflict before it even emerges. When resolving conflict, most people take one of three options. They overreact, get emotional or avoid it. In each case, the situation can escalate out of control and keep resurfacing. I have found the best solution is to stay calm and quickly lower the tension level amongst the quarreling parties. When talking to a colleague or customer who is agitated, stay calm and help the other person calm down before they resort to raising their voice any higher. Listen to what the other person wants you to hear, but that doesn’t mean you have to agree with it. Keep your body language neutral and non-threatening. Usually just letting the other side share their feelings will cause them to become more open and cooperative, as most people just want to feel like they are being heard. This tact can often cause many arguments to dissolve right then and there. After listening to their reasoning, find areas that everyone can agree on. Often this is the big picture, such as “We all want the project to be delivered on time to the customer’s satisfaction, so let’s review the steps we will take to get there.” In just about every conflict, there are options that can satisfy both sides. Brainstorm on those, which could bring about resolution much more quickly. In the end, both sides should agree to think about solutions and talk again. Some conflicts arise from people overstepping their bounds and moving into another person’s territory. Leadership can help avoid these situations by clearly clarifying everyone’s roles and responsibilities. Of course, there are rare instances when two employees simply don’t get along for any number of reasons. Every employee brings value to the organization, otherwise, you wouldn’t have hired them in the first place. Organizations with strong leadership likely have strategies in place to handle these situations, such as having them work on separate projects. In addition, when leaders must intervene in a conflict, it is imperative that they do so without showing favoritism and with the ultimate goal of resolving the conflict in a just and decisive fashion. Setting the tone Leaders define what is acceptable behavior in an office and set the culture for their teams. Office arguments sap the productivity of two or more workers and take energy away from important activities, such as running the business. By their words and actions, they also make it clear how employees and the business should behave in the face of difficult situations. How is the culture where you work now? Do you enjoy your job and teammates? Have your leaders put their words into action? If the answer is no, I encourage you to reflect on whether you are in the right company and consider if the grass might be greener somewhere else. Working at a company with high employee satisfaction is a luxury, and I would encourage everyone to settle for nothing but the best. Darren McKellin is the Regional Director, North Asia, at Zscaler Fri, 20 Mar 2020 08:50:45 -0700 Darren McKellin https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/great-leaders-build-healthy-corporate-cultures Rising Together: A Look at Diversity and Inclusion in Cybersecurity https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/diversity-and-inclusion-in-cybersecurity Reflecting on International Women’s Day, I’m grateful to work for an organization that empowers women in the workplace and encourages me to continue to grow. As we know from a wide range of academic research, an open-minded, diverse culture encourages the exchange of differing perspectives, which improves employee experiences, productivity, and the organization’s overall success. Diversity and usable security Diversity is critical in IT, especially in cybersecurity. Security systems must work for all users, and as these technologies are developed, a variety of perspectives can help deliver the best solution. Security solutions and protocols are often designed without enough regard for usability. Wendy Nather, Head of Advisory CISOs, Duo Security at Cisco, discussed the concept of democratizing security at RSA Security Conference 2020, using the example of a spoon. In any country, environment, or community, the function of a spoon is obvious, and users know how to use it. Security needs to be just as universal, simple, and easy to use. When a single culture designs a security solution, often that solution will work well for the users of that background, but it might not work for other communities, ethnic groups, genders, age groups, economic status, etc. Encouraging diversity in the cybersecurity community will strengthen our overall security posture. Developers can build enterprise security solutions that all users can easily adopt. Recruiting and retaining talent We are making progress, but we have more opportunities to increase diversity across the industry. We need to recruit from non-traditional sources and provide support and recognition for individuals from different backgrounds and perspectives within an organization’s workforce. There’s been a lot of effort in diversity training and providing opportunities for under-represented groups in the academic world; we need to ensure this continues in the workforce. Organizations should step outside their comfort zones in their recruitment efforts. While we want to recruit and retain top talent, that talent doesn’t always come from top-tier schools—community colleges and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) offer many smart, motivated candidates who are no stranger to hard work and overcoming challenges. Organizations should be open to candidates with backgrounds that differ from those traditionally targeted—people who represent a diverse range of educational and professional experiences. Once these individuals are hired, organizations should provide support and networking programs for women and under-represented groups to help ensure equal opportunity for individuals to thrive in the workplace. IT has traditionally been dominated by white males, and still is—culture change takes time, and being a visible minority carries an overhead on top of normal work responsibilities. Organizations with strong support systems are more likely to recruit and retain talented minority contributors. A personal perspective For any women and under-represented individuals looking to work in information security: you don't have to be perfectly qualified for a role to succeed at it! Focus on your strengths and pursue opportunities based on your talents, not just your background. Don’t be afraid to try something new, and look for employers and managers who will take a chance on you. If you work hard, and you're prepared to make mistakes along the way—and then recover and learn from them—you will find a path where you can succeed and excel. Surround yourself with people who will support you in growing these skills—through mentors, local “Women in Cybersecurity” chapters, and networking events. Take advantage of opportunities to find out what they have to offer, what you can learn, and what takeaways will benefit you in the field. And then share that knowledge and those connections with others around you! I started out in IT as a web developer doing basic HTML and was fortunate enough to work at small companies that allowed me to try things that I had no background in but was interested in learning more about. As a result, I was able to develop new skills—web server sysadmin, Linux server security, network security—and eventually work my way into enterprise security. Today, I have a rich pool of experience to share with our customers, and I continue to learn something new with every engagement. Lift as you rise There is a real balance in diversity and inclusion. Working together, we can find a way to support each other and rise together. It’s not always easy, but it is well worth the effort. Lisa Lorenzin is the Zscaler Director of Transformation Security Mon, 09 Mar 2020 08:36:21 -0700 Lisa Lorenzin https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/diversity-and-inclusion-in-cybersecurity Career Advice to Sales Reps in their 30s https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/career-advice-sales-reps-their-30s Recently, I interviewed a very impressive 30-year-old candidate for a sales role. During the interview, she asked if I had any type of career strategy when I was her age. The question intrigued me and spurred me to write this article. When I sat down to reflect on the career path of my early 30s, I realized that I made some strategic decisions that truly paid dividends. Among them, the following three strategies put me in the best position to boost my career. Pick people over jobs Choose the job where you have a chance to work with intelligent and talented people, even if it means passing up another job with a higher salary. All workers, regardless of age, should always be learning and improving, but this is especially true for workers in their 30s who have decades ahead of them. Having access to mentors and leaders who guide by example and also give good advice when needed is important for career development. In some companies, a sales rep might be stuck interacting with only their immediate sales manager, which can be limiting to the rep if the manager is not dynamic nor has the intention of being a mentor. However, other companies have plenty of valuable resources − if the role is right and if the employee can interact with senior leaders. In short, find a place where you get to work with smart people, and you will become smarter. Choose the right industry and technology Throughout my career, I have always thought "two jobs ahead" before deciding on a new company. This does not mean I was planning to job hop from day one. Before joining a new company, I always asked myself: “In three or four years, will I have received the experience to be a desirable candidate for other employers?” One way to assure this is to join a company in a growing industry. As the company and the industry grows, you will have opportunities to learn new skills and understand new technologies that other companies will find desirable. Don't settle for companies with a dead-end technology or limited growth potential, even if they offer a larger salary. Identify your strengths When people think about something they want to improve in their skillset, they automatically choose a weakness. Schools teach students to shore up weaknesses from an early age, and we have been conditioned to put our attention on improving those weaknesses. In addition to working on weaknesses, it is a good idea to identify your strengths and focus on improving what you’re good at. One good way to identify strengths is to ask your boss, colleagues, friends and family for honest feedback. Also, take note when you receive praise for work that comes easily to you. Perhaps you are good at compiling data and making presentations for meetings. Take one or two hours out of your day to go online to study how the best presentations are made. In a short time, you could learn numerous tricks and ideas that can really boost your presentation skills and impress higher ups. Basically, never stop learning and never stop improving, even in areas where you are already strong. Of course, these tips are no guarantee of career success. Many other factors will determine the overall path that your career takes. And success can mean many things to many people. But what these tips can do is put you in the best position to take advantage of the opportunities that come along on your career journey. They helped get me where I am today − working for an industry leader that is making the internet a safer place for organizations and employees. I hope they prove beneficial for you, as well. Wed, 19 Feb 2020 03:17:04 -0800 Darren McKellin https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/career-advice-sales-reps-their-30s Meet the People Who Make Zscaler a Great Place to Work https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/meet-people-who-make-zscaler-great-place-work Bettina Pschorr is a software engineer on the Emerging Technologies team. We interviewed her for her one-year anniversary at Zscaler, which is January 28, 2020. Bettina is one reason Zscaler is a Great Place to Work. What is your background? I was born and raised in Hong Kong and lived there for 17 years (in Kowloon Tong). I moved to California by myself for college, not knowing anyone here. I studied at Cal Poly for one year, then moved to Spain for six months. After that, I spent some time in Germany, then moved back to Hong Kong where I worked as a fashion designer for a few months. Finally, I came back to California to finish my degree and graduated early. How would you describe your role at Zscaler? Emerging Technologies is a fast-paced, innovative team. I work as a software engineer on the UI team for Zscaler Private Access (ZPA), and it’s like working for a startup within a startup. We’re our own product team so we have a lot of autonomy. And, because we’re a smaller team, we can work quickly and there’s a lot of room for creativity. What inspired you to become a software engineer? Did you overcome any challenges along the way? I took an unconventional route. I went to business school for an information systems degree and got exposed to software engineering on the business side—optimizing processes and documenting and translating requirements. I was lucky enough to get a training opportunity in engineering, and it’s been two and a half years now. I love my job because I get to communicate data in an interesting way and the work I do can positively impact a lot of people’s lives. As a woman in STEM, I have observed some biases, but I’ve seen a lot of support, too, from men and women. Diversity is a good thing and teams that aren’t afraid of it are usually more successful. I will say that you have to have thick skin and stand up for yourself—and be prepared to work hard. What drew you to Zscaler? I was drawn to the team dynamics. I liked that it was a smaller team. During the interview, they wanted a meaningful, two-way conversation and discussion. More importantly, everything I saw about the product I believed in. I also really admire the hard work and humility of Zscaler leaders. Do you have any passion projects at work? Feel free to share a proud moment or team win. On my first project, I created a reusable widget for a specific component that we saw was being used in a lot of places in our UI-6. They were all coded differently but they had similar uses, so I made one reusable widget that we could plug into each place. It’s been rewarding to see others use it. As a team, we’re working on creating a library of widgets. It’s really fun to find new ways to reduce code and help the team (and hopefully other teams at Zscaler) work more efficiently. At another time, I introduced a tool to our build process/tech stack. It’s hard to try to plug a tool into something that's already working, but this initiative has helped us stay updated with the latest technologies. What is something most people don't know about you? I really like to paint. I’m also very good at sewing and I tailor my own clothes. When I lived in Hong Kong, I would go to Shenzhen to pick up fabrics and make my own clothes. In a sense, it’s similar to software engineering—you have to design and execute and iterate after learning from mistakes. If you could switch jobs with anyone for a day, who would it be? I’d love to see what our CEO Jay Chaudhry does in a day and interact with Zscaler customers, which I don’t get to do too much right now in my own role. What would you do for a career if you weren’t a software engineer? I’d probably work at the Embassy as a translator. I pick things up quickly and it’s easy for me to see patterns—and that’s essentially what languages are. In addition to English, I know some German, Mandarin, and conversational Cantonese, and I picked up Spanish when I lived in Spain. Any advice for people who want to apply to be software engineers at Zscaler? Be yourself. Zscaler cares about how your personality fits into the company. I don’t come from a networking background. I remember one interviewer asked me about some networking concepts and I didn’t know exactly how it worked, but I made my best guess and walked the interviewer through my logic. She liked it and now I’m here! Join Bettina and the rest of the team! Visit our careers page to explore opportunities in software engineering as well as the many other roles in which you can help Zscaler drive secure digital transformation for enterprises around the world. Read Next: Meet Zscaler: From Sales to Enablement - How Megan Allen Found Her Passion Meet Zscaler: What Three Years at Zscaler Means to Carolina Monge Meet Zscaler: Mission Accomplished — How Patrick Perry Transitioned from The Force to Being a Force For His Team Tue, 28 Jan 2020 12:58:24 -0800 Crystal Xue https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/meet-people-who-make-zscaler-great-place-work A New Year and a New Home https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/new-year-and-new-home I’ve been fortunate to have had many memorable days in my lifetime and my career. Today will be one of those days. A primary goal for just about every company is healthy growth in all aspects of the business—its product offerings, customer base, revenues, workforce, and more. Everyone likes to see the graph moving steadily upward on the x-axis. But sometimes growth becomes pronounced and requires a company to take action. Since our humble beginnings around a dining room table in 2007, we have outgrown several offices. Zscaler headquarters has been at its current location in San Jose since 2015, and it has served us well. It was where many of our product innovations were born. It hosted numerous customer meetings and all-hands meetings (until we could no longer fit in the cafeteria). It was where we welcomed hundreds of wonderful new employees to the Zscaler family, and it served as our command center as we prepared for our IPO. This location was perfect when we were a smaller organization. However, by the end of 2019, we had grown to more than 1,600 employees, with about 400 in San Jose, and we had simply outgrown our space. Today, we are pleased to open the doors to our new Zscaler headquarters in San Jose, just a block from our previous location. The new offices will be more than twice the size of our current facilities and we expect to make good use of all that space — we are hiring across all departments. Our new headquarters will help to keep the team happy, too, with plenty of parking, and a gym and cafeteria we’ll share with a couple other leading companies on this campus. Something that is especially exciting to me is that we’ll be able to see many more customers at the new HQ, with superior meeting spaces, and more of them, and cutting-edge accommodations for events and architectural workshops. And our new executive briefing center is truly world-class and something I frankly obsessed over as we built out the design. It’s so gratifying to mark this move with our San Jose teams that include many great people I’ve come to know well over the last dozen or so years, and many more who are newer to Zscaler and whose contributions are already making an impact on our company’s success and that of our customers. Zscaler’s success has been, and will continue to be, a result of delivering the most innovative solutions to solve customer problems, forward-thinking customers who recognize and embrace our vision of a more secure digital world, and creative, talented employees with the passion to bring that vision to life. This move is an exciting next step for Zscaler, and I can’t wait to see where we go from here. Jay Chaudhry is the Founder and CEO of Zscaler Mon, 13 Jan 2020 11:18:33 -0800 Jay Chaudhry https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/new-year-and-new-home Giving Back to our Community https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/giving-back-our-community Silicon Valley may seem like it is enjoying unprecedented prosperity, but a record number of kids, families, and seniors rely on food banks and public services for food every month, and the number is growing at an alarming rate. According to Second Harvest of Silicon Valley, one in four people in Silicon Valley faces food insecurity, which is defined as a household-level economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food. One in 10 people receives food from Second Harvest. The booming economy has sent the cost of housing soaring, leaving many families and seniors with little remaining for food. It’s something called the Silicon Valley hunger paradox — as the economy grows, so does the number of people who need food. Even those we depend on to make our community run can’t afford to pay for housing and put nutritious food on the table — cooks, cashiers, health care workers, teachers, and too many more. As a member of the Silicon Valley community, Zscaler strongly believes that we must be a leader in giving back and helping others. One of the ways we are doing this is with the 2019 Second Harvest Virtual Race to End Hunger. This 48-hour online competition rallies nine Silicon Valley companies in a friendly competition to raise funds from employees with the goal of reaching $1 million in donations. At the end of the 48 hours, the nine companies had raised nearly $950,000 toward the goal. Our employees took the program to heart and were a key player in this effort with an amazing 82.5 percent of employees donating to this cause---and I announced that we would be participating in this race just a week ago! I want to personally thank all the Zscaler employees who donated over these two days. I am delighted, but not surprised, by how readily our employees stepped forward to donate—the next highest participation rate was 50 percent. I believe the high participation at Zscaler speaks to the values we each hold as a member of this organization. We truly have an amazing family of employees and they are key to what makes Zscaler a “Great Place to Work.” “When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.” These words from Maya Angelou perfectly define this recent campaign. And it is only the beginning of the ways we can play a role in helping our community. Please consider giving back yourself to support your local community. Here is a link to how you can help Second Harvest of Silicon Valley. Dr. Amit Sinha is Zscaler President of R&D, Operations & Customer Service, CTO Fri, 15 Nov 2019 17:57:18 -0800 Dr. Amit Sinha https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/giving-back-our-community What makes Zscaler a great place to work? https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/what-makes-zscaler-great-place-work Zscaler was born around a dining room table by our founder and a small, select team of technologists, and it’s grown into a company of more than 1,500 people worldwide. We’ve experienced a lot of excitement and a few growing pains in our 10-year hyper-growth state. To stay focused on the factors that have allowed us to grow—our culture and values—we prioritize hiring people who embody those values, have passion for our mission and their role in it, and who want to make a difference. Our leadership team models Zscaler values, believing they are the foundation for scaling a high-performing culture. I’m proud of what we’ve all built together, and I love our employees’ passion for what they do and where they work. It’s all become evident in our most recent accomplishment: Great Place to Work certification. What makes Zscaler a great place to work? It goes back to our values. Of course, every company around the Valley has values. You can read them on a poster in the cafeteria at some companies or on a slide during new-hire training. Living them, however, is an entirely different proposition. I’m proud to share that 94 percent of Zscaler employees believe that “our executives fully embody the best characteristics of the company,” and I can tell you that all of our employees do the same. You can see our values in the way our people work together, pursue our shared goals, and serve customers. Zscaler values Customer obsession: We are, above all else, obsessed about our customers’ success. Everything we do is about helping our customers succeed in their business transformation to the cloud. Part of this, too, is valuing results over activity. Teamwork: We celebrate together. We openly share information. We move as one. We value serving others over personal prestige. We value humility over ego by showing respect and recognizing the truth in all situations. Humble leadership empowers our employees to speak their mind and innovate. Open communications (candor over politics): We have open discussions about what’s right and what’s wrong. Put another way, we don’t enable politics. We value real feedback and relationships built upon honesty and trust. Passion (over self-interest): We are fiercely passionate about our work, our company, our colleagues, our customers, and our partners. We put grit over image, that unique combination of passion, courage, and long-term perseverance over innate talent and intelligence. Innovation: We are driven to not only innovate cloud transformation through our products but to also innovate in our jobs, whether an engineer, marketer, salesperson, or lawyer. Zscaler is a place of career transformation. I know that I’m biased as Head of People and Culture, so check out our Glassdoor ratings, read the Zscaler page on the Great Place to Work site, and then find the role that’s right for you, because Zscaler is hiring! - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Greg Pappas is the Zscaler Chief People Officer Tue, 15 Oct 2019 07:20:57 -0700 Greg Pappas https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/what-makes-zscaler-great-place-work Women in Cybersecurity – Day 5 https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/women-cybersecurity-day-5 In recognition of International Women’s Day 2019, we are spotlighting some of the women who comprise Zscaler’s international workforce. These women were selected for their passion for their work, their contributions to their teams, and their support of the Zscaler values and vision. We are pleased to introduce you to two of our honorees, and we are grateful that they are part of the Zscaler family. Ayanna Sawyer, Sr. Staff Technical Writer Ayanna has been interested in cybersecurity since 1999 when all eyes were fixed on the Y2K bug. In 2001, she joined a network security startup and, though she’s explored other technology opportunities, she is most drawn to cybersecurity and believes it’s where she can add the most value. One aspect of her job she finds interesting is being able to see what’s on the product horizon. She enjoys learning about new developments and writing about them from a variety of perspectives. The people in Ayanna’s life who have influenced her the most are her parents, who sacrificed a lot so that she could get where she is today. When she’s not at work, Ayanna enjoys getting far away into the AR and VR worlds of gaming. She’s been a passionate gamer since the introduction of Intellivision. Fun fact: Ayanna was in the running to become a member of the Mickey Mouse Club television show. While it would have been fun to see her on TV, we’re glad to be able to see her in the office, where she brings considerable experience to the documentation team and is known to be an absolute expert in her product areas. Gretchen Reynolds, Sr. Writer, Content Marketing As Gretchen was growing up, Silicon Valley was growing all around her. She was always interested in technology and had imagined being a part of the action, working alongside the innovators who were changing the world. She first became interested in security when writing for Network General, the company that developed the Sniffer. Today, she’s glad to have found herself amongst the innovators at Zscaler. Her favorite part of the job is learning about complex concepts to the point where she can write about them in plain language. Gretchen’s mother was her greatest influence, particularly due to her lifelong passion for learning. She was always surrounded by books and often heading off to class in the evenings. Gretchen loves puttering around her house in the Santa Cruz mountains, baking, and walking with her dogs. She plays tennis for a local team and even though she’s realistic about her abilities, when she connects with the ball, for that moment, she feels like Serena. We’re happy to have her on our team. Congratulations, Ayanna and Gretchen! Each day of the week leading up to International Women’s Day—March 8, 2019—Zscaler has been introducing women of Zscaler whose lives, locations, and roles are diverse but who share a commitment to a world where information can be securely accessed no matter where it lives. Read about previous honorees: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, and Day 4. Fri, 08 Mar 2019 09:04:45 -0800 Micheline Nijmeh https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/women-cybersecurity-day-5 Women in Cybersecurity – Day 4 https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/women-cybersecurity-day-4 In recognition of International Women’s Day 2019, we are spotlighting some of the women who comprise Zscaler’s international workforce. These women were selected for their passion for their work, their contributions to their teams, and their support of the Zscaler values and vision. We are pleased to introduce you to two of our honorees, and we are grateful that they are part of the Zscaler family. Michelle Radlowski, Head of Americas Field Marketing To Michelle, every one of us should be deeply concerned about security because all our systems are interconnected and cybercrime represents an existential threat. She is glad to have been doing her part to bring IT security to organizations since 2015 when she joined Zscaler. She enjoys working with a variety of people inside and outside the company, from internal sales teams to external customers at leading companies. Michelle appreciates the creative freedom she enjoys at Zscaler and the open culture that encourages collaboration across teams. Outside of her busy role crisscrossing the country, Michelle is happiest when spending time with her husband and children. Michelle’s greatest influence was her grandmother, who was born in Ukraine and lived through difficult times, including both World Wars and the pogroms, yet maintained a positive outlook throughout her long life. We are glad to know where Michelle draws her inspiration, as she has in turn inspired many others at Zscaler to push themselves, strive for excellence, and to always stay positive. Lisa Lorenzin, Director of Emerging Technologies Lisa became interested in cybersecurity in the early nineties when she was working for a web services startup and its servers got hacked. Since then, she has pursued various security roles, including firewall/VPN administrator, SOC monkey, security analyst, and systems engineer. Her favorite part of her job in emerging technologies is talking with customers, understanding their needs and pain points, and helping them reduce or eliminate obstacles to achieve their goals. Lisa takes after her father but tries to emulate her mother, a quietly resolute woman and the most influential person in Lisa’s life. Lisa describes herself as risk-averse, but all that means is she’s really prepared when rock climbing (having ascended and rappelled a 2,600-foot rope on the nose of El Capitan), wriggling through caves, and mountain biking. We’re so glad to have Lisa in the Zscaler family, sharing her vast knowledge with teammates and customers, while inspiring us to ask the right questions, seek better solutions, and to pursue our own kinds of adventure. Congratulations, Michelle and Lisa! Each day of the week leading up to International Women’s Day—March 8, 2019—Zscaler will introduce women of Zscaler whose lives, locations, and roles are diverse but who share a commitment to a world where information can be securely accessed no matter where it lives. You can read about previous honorees here, here, and here. Thu, 07 Mar 2019 11:53:07 -0800 Micheline Nijmeh https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/women-cybersecurity-day-4 Women in Cybersecurity – Day 3 https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/women-cybersecurity-day-3 In recognition of International Women’s Day 2019, we are spotlighting some of the women who comprise Zscaler’s international workforce. These women were selected for their passion for their work, their contributions to their teams, and their support of the Zscaler values and vision. We are pleased to introduce you to two of our honorees, and we are grateful that they are part of the Zscaler family. Hina Chikarsal, Sr. Manager, Value Creation When Hina joined Zscaler in December 2010, she had been working for a manufacturing company in India. Today, she works at Zscaler headquarters in San Jose and says, even after eight years, she continues to learn and explore new challenges every day. She credits her husband with supporting her and guiding her throughout her career, continually inspiring her to take up new opportunities. Hina has had a lifelong interest in science, particularly biology, and dreamed of opening a holistic healing center one day, using natural remedies to restore people’s health. For now, she satisfies her desire to improve people’s health by teaching yoga, while doing her part to bring holistic security to enterprise IT. She loves to experiment in the kitchen, trying new recipes, and she’s an avid reader, particularly fond of ancient Indian books. We are so fortunate to have had Hina in the Zscaler family for so long. She’s a deep well of knowledge and an esteemed ally on (at least) two continents. Rym Sullivan, RSM France – Major Accounts Rym entered the world of cybersecurity by chance through a blind testing day with McAfee back in 2004 and has stayed in the field ever since. She joined Zscaler in 2016 and, in addition to working closely with customers, says one aspect of her role that she always enjoys is staying up to date on evolving threats and market trends. Fun fact: Rym and her husband met in a body combat class, punching and kicking their way into each other’s hearts. They have two children, each pursuing a range of activities with passion, and Rym enjoys supporting them and encouraging them to achieve the success they are striving for. When she was young, Rym wanted to be a psychoanalyst. She sought to understand people and help them understand themselves. At Zscaler, we understand how fortunate we are to have Rym on our team in France. She is dedicated, professional, and, after 15 years, brings a wealth of knowledge about IT security to her customers and colleagues. Congratulations, Hina and Rym! Each day of the week leading up to International Women’s Day—March 8, 2019—Zscaler will introduce women of Zscaler whose lives, locations, and roles are diverse but who share a commitment to a world where information can be securely accessed no matter where it lives. You can read about previous honorees here and here. Wed, 06 Mar 2019 08:59:33 -0800 Micheline Nijmeh https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/zscaler-life/women-cybersecurity-day-3