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Forcepoint - Maverick of the Year


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Company: Forcepoint
Company Description: Forcepoint is transforming cybersecurity by focusing on what matters most: understanding people’s intent as they interact with critical data and intellectual property wherever it resides. Our uncompromising systems enable companies to empower employees with unobstructed access to confidential data while protecting intellectual property and simplifying compliance.
Nomination Category: Individual Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Maverick of the Year

Nomination Title: Reimagining the Role of HR to Drive Human-Centric Innovation for a Global Cybersecurity Company

Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated woman since the beginning of July last year (up to 525 words):

As Chief Human Resources Officer at Forcepoint, Kristin Machacek Leary is acutely aware of the importance of hiring with security in mind. While protecting organizations from cyber threats has traditionally been the role of the CISO and CIO, she knows that preventing data breaches should be a priority for everyone.

Leary joined Forcepoint in October 2016 with the goal of shifting security professionals’ perspective on cybersecurity and human resources. Her role brings to life a vision of centering cybersecurity around people at the intersection of information systems and data. In this new era, old approaches to security won’t work, and neither do the traditional approaches of HR. Instead of the traditional HR role of hiring, firing and filing, she has reshaped HR to become a true business partner.

Her first course of action was to get a pulse on Forcepoint’s culture and worldwide employee base. While the company is headquartered in Austin, TX, it is important to Leary that employees across the globe are in sync with the mission at hand. She led an unprecedented international Executive Vision Tour, engaging 1,700+ employees across 14 offices worldwide. This allowed executives to speak directly with employees from all countries to communicate Forcepoint’s mission, vision, values and leadership qualities.

Leary later helped unify four distinct business units – network, cloud, data protection and governments - under one overarching culture. Partnering closely with CEO Matt Moynahan, she has defined Forcepoint’s mission, vision, values and leadership qualities. She has ensured that Forcepoint encompasses qualities that reflect a positive culture, hiring based on collaboration, trustworthiness, innovation, respect, accountability and relentlessness. This has laid the foundation for two additional acquisitions, Skyfence cloud-access security in Israel and RedOwl security analytics in the United States, further enhancing Forcepoint’s global culture and human-centered security systems.

Another way that Leary has bucked the traditional role of HR has been to champion a culture of innovation and trust at Forcepoint. As part of a new internal security program to protect Forcepoint’s intellectual property, Leary partnered with IT and legal colleagues to develop a pilot program, procedures and process for internal communication. As one of the key stakeholders in the program, Leary worked to preserve transparency and trust for employees.

She also up-leveled the organization’s use of technology and benefits, unifying HR resources under a SaaS-delivered platform and providing new sabbatical programs and rewards and recognition opportunities worldwide. Under her leadership, this has allowed the broader talent acquisitions team to recruit and retain the best of the best - growing by over 450 employees globally.

Leary is passionate about evangelizing the partnership between HR and cybersecurity to create an ethos for a human-centered security business both in culture and product strategy. She has collaborated on major global IT projects with Forcepoint CIO Meerah Rajavel, business transformation with CEO Matt Moynahan and thought leadership with Chief Scientist Richard Ford. This month, Leary will be co-presenting at two prominent security conferences later this year: Forrester Privacy & Security Summitand VirusBulletin 2017on turning insider threats into insider assets. Kristin Leary is a maverick by driving to put a human face on the cybersecurity industry from the inside out.

Provide a brief biography of the nominated woman (up to 125 words):

Kristin Machacek Leary serves as chief human resources officer for Forcepoint. She has more than 25 years of progressive leadership and human resources experience, including executive and leadership development, workforce planning, organizational development, talent and performance management and employee recruitment and retention.

Before joining Forcepoint, Leary held HR leadership roles at Alphatec Spine, Quintiles, Hewlett-Packard and Boston Scientific. She has also held senior management roles within Human Resources at Dayton-Hudson Corporation, Select Comfort Corporation, and Andcor Companies.

Leary holds a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Communications & English from Concordia College.