Coral Gottlieb has a history of wearing multiple hats. Gottlieb describes her “first real corporate job” as a Business Operations Specialist at Boeing with a focus on program management.

“’We’d get assigned to different directors and executives and help them manage their business,” Gottlieb says. Working within different departments, Gottlieb had to familiarize herself with various systems and balance what everyone needed to succeed. This experience allowed her to seamlessly transition into the security field.

Today, Gottlieb is the Director of Business Resilience and Safety at Levi Strauss & Co (Levi’s). Gottlieb built and currently leads the business resilience program at Levi’s, including crisis management, business continuity, environment health/safety and enterprise security risk management. Gottlieb is also a member of the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) Women in Security group.

Gottlieb received her Bachelor of Arts in communications and began her career in project management following graduation. After a move to Seattle, Gottlieb found herself in the business operations department at Boeing. As Gottlieb collaborated across departments, she began working with the Chief Information Security Officer.

This is where Gottlieb began her security career. She used her project management experience to transition into a business continuity and international security position at Boeing. Gottlieb described her area of operations as “anything that touched international employees and processes.”

Gottlieb then transitioned to Starbucks’ crisis management department in 2017. At the time, Starbucks was focused on reinventing the company’s crisis management strategy, so Gottlieb worked to help implement those new systems. Building a crisis management program informed Gottlieb’s security approach to her current role at Levi’s, where she’s worked with her team to develop ways to protect the organization from emerging threats.

Gottlieb started working at Levi’s in early 2020, right before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. This tumultuous time meant Gottlieb was thrown headfirst into her role as Director of Business Resilience and Safety as she worked to ensure business continuity among both corporate and retail locations. Safety remained a priority as Gottlieb worked on the COVID-19 response plans implemented across the organization.

“For corporate, it was working from home and ensuring that we all had the right capabilities,” Gottlieb said. “We needed to understand the critical jobs that needed to be in a physical location. So much of this was tracking our operations and being able to provide one view for our executives. How many stores are closed? How many are open? Are they open on a reduced schedule? My team led all of that work on behalf of the company to ensure that we were prepared and that the executives had all of that visibility.”

This involvement ranged from large-scale changes, such as converting entire store locations into shipment centers, to small-scale changes, such as determining how many employees could work in a certain space. Plans were constantly reviewed as guidelines changed over the course of the pandemic.

“I would say that the pandemic was really the first time that we didn’t just do security things. We were really looking at it from a total risk perspective and moving toward what our team is now called, which is enterprise resilience,” Gottlieb says.

Gottlieb also works in geopolitical risk management at Levi’s. Working for a global company means that she has to consider the risks associated with different locations. Severe weather risks, for example, vary depending on location and require different emergency plans.

“This [risk] the most important thing that we want to look at, whether it’s from a health and safety perspective, labor issues, crime, natural disasters, you name it. There’s a whole plethora of indices that are out there. And if we apply that to this location, we can see how it looks for other countries that we’re already in as well,” Gottlieb says.

Gottlieb is also the Co-Chair of Rivet, the women’s employee resource group at Levi’s, which focuses on community building with editorial pieces and external sessions. The program also highlights various media written and/or produced by women. Gottlieb highlights a recent session on navigating self-criticism; an issue she emphasizes largely affects women in the workplace.

“For women, I think, it’s just so important to feel like you have community at work, that you have other people that you can relate to and talk to and really lean on,” says Gottlieb.

Gottlieb recalls the advice provided at this session: “What advice would you give if it were your best friend? It’s just so interesting to see how we’d give good advice to someone else. And yet, we don’t follow our own good advice when it comes to ourselves.”

Gottlieb’s leadership continues outside of the workplace through Girl Security, which is a nonprofit focused on education and mentorship. Gottlieb mentors girls and young women interested in the security industry. Gottlieb encourages girls not to discount careers in security simply because of their academic or professional history.

“When I was young, those jobs weren’t jobs,” Gottlieb says. “They didn’t exist, or they weren’t well-known. Now, young girls have heard about cybersecurity in code, in crisis management,” Gottlieb says. She teaches girls not to discount their skillset when considering security careers.

When asked what she was most proud of, Gottlieb brings up her role as a mother.

“It’s been a lot as a new mom with a full-time career. I think that a lot of women have to talk about what that looks like. I really tried to have self-compassion. I would say that I’m really proud of the way that I’ve shown up and continue to thrive as a mom, but also in my career.”