Join us in celebrating Women’s History Month! We honor the strong pathfinders and trailblazers who came before us and those who continue to push for a more just, equitable society. While International Women's Day was first celebrated on March 8 in 1911, Women's History Month grew from a Women's History Week, first celebrated in 1978. Two years later in 1980, March was designated Women's History Month.
This whole month is a time to recognize the strides Women have made throughout the years and continue to make across the world. We had the amazing opportunity to connect with a female leader here at Palo Alto Networks, Maria Bordach, Sr Ops Project Manager. She wants to share her experiences and advice with all of you. Maria continues to inspire others in the workplace, and we are excited for you to learn more about her.
LIVEcommunity Team: How long have you been working in IT/cybersecurity, and how did you get into the field? Can you talk a bit about what it’s like to be a woman in a historically male-dominated field, and how the industry has changed since you’ve changed (if at all)?
Maria: I’ve been working in IT for the past 6 years. After many years in creative, marketing, and advertising fields, I decided to make a career change, and while studying to receive my Master's in Business and Information Systems I went from a being marketing communications manager in a nonprofit to marketing ops in Tech.
Coming from Israel where I started my army service from an IT course, and where many of my friends (men and women) work in Tech, the transition to this industry felt really natural to me. I’m surrounded by so many brilliant women at work, at all levels and positions - the industry has definitely changed for the better.
LIVEcommunity Team: How do you think women have shaped and changed the workplace / PANW?
Maria: I would say that women are truly driving innovation and serving as an inspiration in the workplace. They have had to overcome significant barriers to get to where they are today. Many have challenged traditional gender stereotypes and have been pioneers in fields where there are few women. They’ve helped to change perceptions and pave the way for more women to follow in their footsteps.
LIVEcommunity Team: Who are the women you look up to? Are there any important mentors or influences in your professional or personal life you’d like to share with us?
Maria: For me the most influential woman was my mother - I learned a lot from her perseverance and intelligence. She was a single mother who came to a new country and had to completely restart her life and career. She managed to stay optimistic and positive throughout it all.
LIVEcommunity Team: We would love to hear more about your relationship as a mentor to other women in the field. Are you involved in any women's organizations or groups? Is mentorship part of your professional ethos? If so, tell us more!
Maria: In Israel, the community of women in tech is very strong and supportive, and I learned a lot about helping and mentoring each other from being a part of it. I moved to Canada last year, and although there’s no equivalent infrastructure here, I try to find places to contribute to other women by getting on informational interview calls, advising on career changes after maternity leave or immigration; providing marketing consultation to a woman-led nonprofit and being involved in a local ex-pats women’s group.
LIVEcommunity Team: Do you have any morning rituals that you can’t go without? Or: What’s one thing you do to set your day up for success?
Maria: My morning usually starts with getting my kids ready for school - I really try to be present during this time and although we’re all always in a hurry I try to have a fun morning with music and some laughs, to set a positive vibe for the rest of the day.
LIVEcommunity Team: What’s your favorite part of your job?
Maria: I partner with a lot of teams throughout the company so for me the best part is the opportunity to work with so many different people, from different backgrounds and professional experiences. I love how dynamic this company is and that we’re in the industry of doing good and providing a much-needed service.
LIVEcommunity Team: Where will we find you on a weekend?
Maria: With my family and friends, enjoying some good food and the outdoors (usually rain or shine).
LIVEcommunity Team: What’s one piece of advice you would give your younger self?
Maria: Coming to a completely new and different country at a very young age, it took me a long time to realize - it’s ok not to blend in 🙂.