‘I Love My Job’: From a Chance Encounter to a Cybersecurity Manager at a People-Centric Company

Sponsored by Delta Dental Ins

Photo courtesy of Delta Dental Ins.

Photo courtesy of Delta Dental Ins.

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Fairygodboss
April 18, 2024 at 6:1PM UTC

Welcome to I Love My Job, the series where we hear from women who really love their jobs. In this edition, we sat down with Christie Gross, the Manager of Cyber Risk Management at Delta Dental Ins.

Gross’ journey to Delta Dental Ins. is a unique one. After starting a career in cybersecurity at a government organization, Gross began to speak at conferences in order to build her public speaking ability. Not only did this initiative help Gross develop her skills, but this also resulted in Gross connecting with a Director at Delta Dental Ins.! 

Gross impressed the director, who reached out to Gross the very next week about working at Delta Dental Ins. Today, Gross is four-and-a-half years into her journey at Delta Dental Ins., and is so happy she made the leap.

“My favorite part of Delta Dental Ins. is definitely the people,” shares Gross. “The folks in the cyber organization who I work with are very innovative, very collaborative, and very focused on continuous improvement. I found the same thing to be true within the larger technology organization and within the rest of the organization… It's nice to know that you have a community of people within Delta Dental Ins. who are very open to sharing what they work on, their skills, mentoring, and allowing people to shadow them.”

At the end of the day, Gross tells us that Delta Dental Ins. is an organization filled with nice people who take pride in the collaborative culture they’ve created together.

In the video below, Gross tells us more about why she loves working at Delta Dental Ins. We also provide lightly edited highlights from the video discussion in the following article.

In case you have trouble watching this video, please click here to watch it on YouTube.

Talk to us about why you like working in cybersecurity and a project you’re working on that you find really exciting.

First, working in the cybersecurity area is always very exciting to me because there's something for everyone. There are a lot of different domains in cybersecurity, so I like to say that you can have multiple careers. You can work in a particular area and still have other areas that you can work in during your remaining years, which is really exciting! It also moves very quickly. There are always new technologies, new initiatives, and new solutions available. 

Something that I'm currently working on is around vulnerability management. We're building out automation and working to help better analyze and prioritize the vulnerabilities that we see in our environment. We see quite a few, and we can't fix them all, right? So, we try to get the best bang for our buck with the resources that we have. We're building out an attack surface management capability that will help us to identify ownership and identify the importance of vulnerabilities that we see in our environments so that we can better prioritize how we approach fixing those.

How would you describe the culture at Delta Dental Ins.?

People forward and people centric, which is something that's very important to me when it comes to the field of cybersecurity… The people that I'm working with and the culture of the organization often drive the success of initiatives or projects that I’m working on.

So, being at Delta Dental has been really fantastic because it is people forward. It's very collaborative, and people are always very excited to share what their teams are working on and to educate you about what's valuable and important to them. This creates a level of trust that teams are doing what's in the best interest of each other and what's in the best interest of the business, which I think is very important.

I also appreciate that there is a very deliberate focus on culture at Delta Dental Ins., which is something I haven't necessarily seen at a lot of organizations. There are significant resources devoted to understanding the culture, understanding the improvements that people would like to see, [...] and making an effort to take action on those.

How does Delta Dental Ins. support you?

Delta Dental Ins. is a very people-focused culture and, as a part of that, they perform a number of check-ins with employees about how we can better drive a good work-life balance, how we can better manage things like anxiety and stress, and what is important to the people who work at Delta Dental Ins. Then, we tailor benefits and initiatives to match these findings.

For example, since I've started working here, they have an entire diversity, inclusion, and belonging area that's fully staffed with managers and directors who are focused on making sure there are initiatives and groups available for all people, including historically marginalized groups that need a level of support and visibility within the organization. They've been focused on ensuring that there is flexibility in the workplace if you need additional work-life balance, if you are having children, or if you have a family — they make sure that people have the time that they need in order to perform at their best when they're in the workplace.

These benefits have been very valuable to me and many other people.

What advice do you have for other women looking to work at Delta Dental Ins.?

Identify what you're really passionate about and look for roles and opportunities that are available within Delta Dental Ins. This can be in any field, even those that are historically male dominated. For example, in the field that I am in, which is historically male dominated, Delta Dental has a lot of opportunities for women in STEM. This is not only for individual contributors, but also if you're looking to get into people leadership or even executive roles.

There are also significant mentoring opportunities and educational and professional development opportunities within Delta Dental Ins. I would encourage you to identify what you want your career path to look like and look for those roles and opportunities within Delta Dental Ins.



Interested in joining the Delta Dental Ins. team? They’re hiring! Click the link below to browse opportunities.

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