Women in Resilience (WiR) Spotlight: Mikaela R. Mitchell

  • 13 Jun 2023
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Mikaela R. Mitchell is a Global Business Resilience Manager with more than 12 years of experience working with security organizations across global hypergrowth tech companies.

She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Master’s degree in Leadership Studies. She spent 9 years of her childhood living in Southeast Asia, where she was first introduced to the security industry through her father’s security firm. Mikaela has a multifaceted background in corporate security where she has built and scaled global programmes, processes, and security teams.

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Mikaela was asked to pivot to a new role and rebuild a Global Business Resilience programme following a large company reorganization. After just a few months of learning on the job, she earned her CBCI certification from the BCI and went on to win the Continuity & Resilience Newcomer Award at the BCI Americas Awards in 2022.

However, before reaching her current position, there were challenges she had to face along the way. She says, “being both a woman and a millennial in the resilience industry is challenging because the lack of diversity makes it harder to bring new ideas and creativity to the table. It was even more difficult to build commitment with stakeholders after the pandemic forced us all to work in a strictly virtual setting.”

Although, a turning point in Mikaela’s career was when she did a brief stint working for the federal government. She says that it made her more resilient to being outside of her comfort zone and “having the time away from my family and my profession in the corporate world was humbling, but also eye-opening. It helped me realise that I thrive the most when I am able to engage people and be creative with the work that I do.”

Currently, Mikaela leads the BCI Americas D&I Collaboration Stream and would like to see the industry move towards celebrating inclusivity. She believes that the industry will attract younger generations and more women to become resilience professionals if conscious decisions are made at the highest level to do so.

Indeed, Mikaela believes that authentic leadership includes an inner journey toward humility and compassion. She says, “building self-awareness and accepting vulnerability are foundational to practice leadership in any setting”. Mikaela feels that the WiR initiative is a perfect example because, “empowering women and allowing them to connect and share their experiences with one another creates a safe space to be vulnerable and proud of their accomplishments”.

Finally, she concludes that more people should join the resilience industry because “what we do in this field is always relevant to everyday life. Our work is challenging every day because of the unpredictability of world events. There is also so much room to create change and help shape the future of the industry because there is an imminent need for younger generations to step in with fresh ideas”.

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