Women in Digital: Sharon Trachtman

Sharon Trachtman, chief operations officer at cybersecurity and application delivery specialist, Radware, on her influences, best career advice and evolving the business over 20 years.

Posted 21 March 2022 by Christine Horton

Did you enjoy school?

Yes, I did. I majored in computer science and philosophy. It was an interesting mix. I liked the combination of the practical and very modern study of programing and computers with the classical and thought-provoking study of philosophy.

What qualifications do you have?

I have a bachelor’s degree in computer science and philosophy. Choosing two fields that are so different was great preparation for my career, which led me into a variety of roles across product management, marketing and business operations. A broad perspective and integration of multiple points of view were critical for success.

Has your career path been a smooth transition, a rocky road or a combination of both?

My career path was smooth but also challenging. Most of my career and professional growth has taken place at Radware. I joined the company when it was a startup and was leading marketing from the get-go. The challenge was not on the personal path but more on the company path — in learning how to grow a business as it evolves over 20 years and across various markets and domains.

What is the best career advice you can give to others?

Focus is the most critical success factor. In the current work environment, there is always more to do and address than you can handle. That’s why it’s important to choose the right areas to focus on, and then find the time and resources to make those carefully selected initiatives successful. The key to success is defining and keeping the focus on your top priorities and not letting other things distract you.

If you had to pick one mentor that had the biggest influence on you, who would it be?

My mother. She was an incredibly strong, brave and intelligent woman. She reinvented herself at the age of 47 and started her own business. I learned a lot from her integrity, business knowledge and desire to learn new things.

From where do you draw inspiration?

I draw inspiration from women who are actively doing things to make the world a better place.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced to date?

Working at Radware and being part of the company as it evolved from a startup into the international cybersecurity solution provider that it is today was a great challenge and achievement.

What qualities do you feel makes a good leader?

A good leader should have a vision and a goal that people can identify with. A good leader should be collaborative and able to bring the best out of people. Integrity, transparency and openness are critical to gain the trust and loyalty of a team. To empower a team to innovate, a leader should create an environment in which people can dare to try, fail and learn.

From a work viewpoint what has the last 12-24 months been like?

In the world of cybersecurity, the last 24 months have been a roller coaster of business intensity. It was a very successful period for our business and also very demanding, requiring quick adaption to a fast-changing reality.

What would you say are the biggest tech-based challenges we face today?

The market is changing fast. One of the biggest challenges we face is enabling the pace of innovation while dealing with cybersecurity threats, which are becoming more sophisticated, more targeted and more difficult to address. There’s a delicate balance to strike in innovating fast enough to stay relevant without exposing a business to cyber risks.

Give us a fact about you that most other people wouldn’t know.

I was a hiking guide during my army service.