Q: What do you do at DocuSign?
I am the Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer responsible for information security both from an internal company standpoint as well as externally in terms of working with our product teams for our customer security. Information security is very dynamic and, in the news every day, which means there are constant challenges for us and our focus is constantly changing. Primarily, we concentrate on protecting our customer’s documents and data as well as our employees’ personal data and information along with the intellectual property of the company.
Q: What do your friends and family think you do?
My friends think I stop hackers.
Q: What is the best thing about working at DocuSign?
Both my team and the partners are very supportive of security efforts at DocuSign. In terms of the culture, everyone understands how important security is to our company. Our customers care about security. We’re very innovative, and people are very open to trying new things.
Q: How is that team different than other teams at DocuSign? Is there anything special about your team’s dynamic?
My team is also very direct with one another. We challenge each other. We hold each other highly accountable. If somebody were to sit at our internal meetings they might be shocked at how much fierce conversation goes on — we sometimes disagree with one another. Yet, in the end, we walk away as a team and everybody is heard.
Q: What is the best advice you can give to somebody starting a new job in your department at DocuSign?
I encourage new team members to understand how the product works. Get a sense of what our customers are talking about. Spend time learning how things are operating around here such as our product, our networks, our services. Listen and take the information in. Secondly, don’t be afraid to express your viewpoint. Ask questions. I think some people fear asking questions, but truthfully, it’s easier to ask questions when you’re new, because at some point people will expect you to know things. Be curious and keep an open mind.
Q: What traits do you most admire in your colleagues at DocuSign?
I admire their optimism and their ability to see opportunities. I have colleagues who are willing to listen and truly partner without territorial boundaries and concerns regarding hierarchy. They are doing the right thing for DocuSign and their colleagues– not necessarily just looking out for themselves.
Q: What traits do you think your DocuSign colleagues most admire in you?
My knowledge around security and the expertise. I have an ability to build high-performing teams that deliver.
Q: What is something most of your colleagues at DocuSign don’t know about you?
I have two boys, and I work quite a bit with their school district. I help them with emergency planning and preparedness, am active in the PTA boards, and also work with the superintendent. I believe in volunteering in the community whenever you can. I’ve gotten to know our local emergency responders, police, and firefighters. I went to the school board and organized an effort about four years ago which kickstarted an entire program in the district to uplevel our emergency disaster preparedness program. It’s a small school district where I am, but it’s had a lot of impact in terms of changing what the district is doing.
Q: What is your favorite snack from the DocuSign kitchen?
I’m not a big snacker, but lately I’m really liking the hummus and carrots. And, of course, the cashews.
Q: Where is your favorite place to work or have a meeting at DocuSign and why?
I personally love to work in cafes. There’s these really cool local, funky cafes in Duvall. There are lots of artsy antique shops, an art store there. At the Duvall coffeehouse, which is a really cool place to visit, there are lots of arts and crafts, and all the furniture looks like it was bought at a garage sale. I go work there sometimes.
Q: If you were not working at DocuSign and could do anything in the world, what would you be doing/do next?
I would be more involved with nonprofits. I’m very big into nonprofits, particularly those that are committed to helping the environment or working with high-risk youth.
Q: What is the secret for you to happiness?
The secret to happiness is being connected with what your unique gifts are as an individual and how you bring those into the world. If you know yourself well and know what you’re meant to bring to the world, you can self-actualize. When you do that, everything flows because you’re doing what you were meant to do.
Our “We Are DocuSign,” blog series places the spotlight on employees from a variety of departments and provides a peek into what it’s like to work at DocuSign. This week, we sat down with Vanessa P., Chief Info Security Officer, to chat about her day-to-day work, what she admires about her colleagues, and something none of her coworkers know about her.