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Meet the women and men of Worldline – Ellen Verbruggen

Meet the women and men of Worldline
Ellen Verbruggen

Ellen Verbruggen

Head of Security Risk and Compliance for Production Services at Worldline Belgium

What is your line of work? Why did you join the technology business in the first place? What motivated you?

On December 1st 2018, I was appointed Head of Security Risk and Compliance for the Production Services (PS) organization. In parallel of this new role and its responsibilities, I am also in charge of Operational Risk Management for PS and for all the operational units of Worldline and equensWorldline. I am located in Brussels, Belgium.

I have always been passionate about science and its applications in daily life, even at a young age. This is the reason why I decided to start my career more than 20 years ago as a System Telecom Engineer at Worldline after obtaining an Engineer's degree. I spent the major part of my career in operational roles and then switched to Support Functions but I still have a high focus on technology.

I am highly interested in Worldine's business and activities. For instance, the payment industry is very dynamic and it is amazing to see how fast things are changing in this domain. Today, the major part of payment operations is made via credit cards or electronically and cash tends to disappear. All these new usages and consumer behaviors are significantly transforming our business. Furthermore, the emergence of new technologies in the areas of digitization, Artificial Intelligence and robotization also enables Worldline to embrace a wider array of new interesting activities and challenges such as e-Healthcare, e-Government and transportation services, among others. This brings more value to our work and allows us to offer nicer value-added services to customers. 


What do you find more challenging in your profession?

Working in a global and transversal organization such as PS is really challenging. This gives me the opportunity to manage a wide scope of activities covering all of Worldline’s Business Units and regions and to collaborate with many colleagues from different countries and cultures. This has enabled me to work in a more collaborative way, to identify together with colleagues the best way to achieve our targets and to move forward together in the same direction even if nothing is certain in a fast-changing environment. In Risk Management, one of the main difficulties is to accurately identify what the real risks are. It is motivating to reflect on this issue in a collaborative way to better take them into account and act accordingly to mitigate these risks. 


What are you most proud of in your work?

Working together with all my PS colleagues to achieve our common goals and to make things happen in a collective way is a really satisfying experience, even if it can sometimes be challenging! Risk Management is not part of the core operations, it is a supporting process. But the process itself is not the purpose. So you need to be able to coordinate all the key contributors, to listen to the people, to understand the business requirements and to adopt a pragmatic approach in order to demonstrate that the process will bring real added-value and improvements to the operations. In the end, it is very rewarding to see that the successful implementation of these processes contributes to the improvement of our operational efficiency and quality.  


Being a woman in a technology company, which is a business sector where women are less represented in average than in banking or media and communication for example, what would you say to young women thinking about their future professional orientations?

I would tell them that choosing the Technology path is picking the path of everlasting evolution. When working in a technological environment, you are sure to encounter more challenges and discover new information during your entire career. There will be no stagnation in your learning curve over the years.


What would you advise your female colleagues to do within Worldline to successfully develop their career path?

I would advise them to be confident, identify their strengths and develop them even further as these will help them in developing the right career path for them. Furthermore, they should dare to speak up, collect information on evolving strategies, ask to participate to events such as International Lead, mini MBA, and create their network.


What would say to your male colleagues?

I would tell them the same thing I tell my female colleagues, that Worldline does not favor gender when it comes to developing a career path.


What advices would you give to achieve work-life balance?

Firstly, you need to clearly identify your stakeholders and to know what their main expectations are, and then you can better plan and adapt your activities and organize your work accordingly. Secondly, when you introduce new insights, always make sure that the organization and the teams are willing to move forward alongside with you and do not be too much self-oriented. This way, you can avoid spending a lot of energy for a poor return on investment. Finally, achieve your goals and if you consider that the targets set are not achievable with the current allocated resources, dare to speak up and propose solutions. 


How has Worldline helped you to advance in your career and reach your professional goals?

Within Worldline, you have the opportunity to build your own career, taking into account your personality, your specific needs and your professional motivation. Everybody can feel valued and recognized for her/his skills and capabilities, while expressing her/his own personality. The company also offered me the possibility to discover several activities such as crisis management, business, HR, technical processes that contributed to develop my skills and to reach my professional goals. Thanks to all the support provided by Worldline and my management’s trust, I have been able to grow in my career and reach my current responsibilities.