everywoman wisdom: Mariangela Fierro

Mariangela Fierro is Application Security ICEG Lead, Security Senior Manager at Accenture. Here, she gives an insight into her working life.

I completed my computer engineering degree in 2005 and joined Accenture in 2010. I love my job, am passionate about IT security and everything relating to protecting customer data and today have responsibility for the application and data security and privacy offering for Italy, central Europe and Greece.

When I’m recruiting new members to my team, I look for dynamic, highly motivated and honest people. With these soft skills, you can manage every task.

My three top tips would be: never give up, be authentic and remember ‘the people’ are our strength. And if someone was particularly looking to work in my kind of role, I’d advise they hone their people management, leadership and technical skills.

The most memorable thing anyone’s ever said to me is: ‘When you joined Accenture 10 years ago you were a good technician and security expert, but now you’re a slick executive!’

I believe honesty and trust is key to building rapport with people, and to ensure I’m an inclusive leader I share tips from my personal life in a work environment and try to include everyone in everything we do. I’ve also had specific diversity and inclusion training.

Networking is fundamental to building a relationship and acquiring visibility. If anyone felt uncomfortable networking, my advice would be: don’t worry about bias and other opinion. Just be yourself.

One of the most pivotal moments of my life was ‘coming out’ to my mother when I was 22, and today I live in Bergamo with my girlfriend (and my cat, Pulce). Whenever I have a success to celebrate, we go out to dinner or find new places to visit, and I love swimming and reading.

The biggest challenge in my life was the loss of my mother and two other very loved and important people. It was very difficult to overcome, but I leveraged on my internal power to manage it.