One of the things I noticed when I joined RGA is how willing people were to pitch in to solve problems, regardless of their functions or roles.
Currently, I lead security, privacy, and risk reporting as part of RGA’s Global Security and Privacy Office, but for 25 years, I’ve held positions across many areas of information technology, starting in desktop support and working in networking, information security, IT audit, project management, and then compliance. One thing you learn swiftly is that everyone has a specialty. I don’t think anyone in IT knows everything; the profession is so broad and constantly changing that collaboration is a necessity. At RGA, that sense of teamwork permeates the environment. Everyone just chips in with his or her expertise and knowledge, even if the project isn’t formal or mandated.
That openness is part of what I enjoy most about this place. I love figuring out how new technologies work and then how we can leverage them to securely meet business needs. Too often, when we look at advances in technology, the focus is on the next big thing. We celebrate the innovative product, but we forget the process that got us there. The way we learn together, and work together, is often ignored, and this process of continuous learning, of acquiring new skills and new experiences can make all the difference. When I think about innovation in IT, I go back to the Model T – the original cars rolling out on assembly lines in the early 1900s in Detroit. These weren’t all that impressive by our standards. They had limited engine horsepower and barely held together. Today we have smart cars and electric vehicles (EVs) that leave these original autos in the dust, but both EVs and Model-Ts are the results of transformative teamwork.