Companies achieve more when a variety of perspectives are represented at the table. In this month’s blog series, Robin Trickel explains why having a culturally different, or non-traditional, background may be the key to success in cybersecurity.
How long have you been at American Express and what is your role?
Robin Trickel: I’ve been with American Express for almost six years now! I am responsible for Policy, Data Standards, and Industry Engagement for our Global Network and have represented American Express on the PCI Executive Committee since 2018.
How did you get started in cybersecurity? What led you to that career choice?
Robin Trickel: I have a degree in accounting, so attention to details comes naturally for me. What led me in to cybersecurity was a unique job opportunity 14 years ago, that included key management responsibilities and leading the security engagement with the card brands before PCI was rolled out for my former employer. I had a leader that saw my curiosity, desire to grow & learn, and was willing to take a risk on me – I haven’t looked back since.
What do you see in the future for women in the cybersecurity industry?
Robin Trickel: The future for women in the cybersecurity industry is full of opportunity as the financial services industry continues to need more and more cybersecurity professionals. The industry needs women, and more broadly, people with non-traditional backgrounds, from varied cultures, and of different ages. There’s a known shortage of cybersecurity professionals which offers an amazing opportunity to come in and bring us new and different perspectives like we’ve not had in this industry before.
What advice would you give to young women who are interested in a career in cybersecurity?
Robin Trickel: Put yourself out there. Take career risks. Raise your hand and volunteer for that stretch opportunity. Know that your career is a journey, not a destination. Don’t be afraid to ask for training. It’s okay to acknowledge you don’t know things – but request support in your desire to grow your knowledge. Make a case as to how training or letting you take a stretch assignment will benefit the company long-term. Then when you do get that stretch assignment or training opportunity – embrace learning and growing – be excited and passionate about what you know and share it with others.
What aspects of your job do you enjoy?
Robin Trickel: As a self-proclaimed “payments geek”, I love being on the forefront of innovation and evolution within the payments industry. , But personally the best part of my job is helping others grow and then watching them flourish. It’s rewarding to bring a diverse team together with different backgrounds, encourage them to bring their ideas and perspectives to the table, then watch them shine.
What value does the Board of Advisors contribute for PCI SSC?
Robin Trickel: The Board of Advisors are critical to the PCI organization in helping us understand what’s going on in the industry. When we bring in perspectives from across the payments ecosystem, we can better understand broader implications of change. These members make suggestions that help shape and augment the standards in pragmatic ways. Engaging with the Board of Advisors is my favorite part of being on the Executive Committee – these voices and listening posts are a critical part of making standards relevant to our industry.