The gender gap in tech is gradually decreasing, and the mobile tech industry is doing its part to offer more leadership roles to women.
Aarki is passionate about strengthening women’s leadership and voices. Here we continue our series highlighting women in the mobile industry.
Director, Media Optimization/International Revenue, EA
Q: What do you like most about mobile advertising?
As the world shifts more and more to on-demand and on-the-go consumption of entertainment, mobile continues to be a critical platform for advertisers to connect with consumers in the most effective way. I enjoy the fast pace of the mobile advertising world and being a part of such a quickly evolving ecosystem. It comes with a lot of challenges, but there is never a dull moment!
Q: How do you keep up with the changes in the mobile advertising industry?
I put intentional time and effort into staying connected with others in the industry. It’s easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day craziness of our busy jobs, but the best way for me to feel plugged in and up to speed is making time for meetings or events that unite people from different facets of the industry (i.e. publishers, tech providers, advertisers etc.). We are all shaping the industry together through the various roles we play, and I find a ton of value in keeping an open dialogue with folks with varying perspectives.
Q: What is the most important consideration when managing a team?
Trust is at the core of managing a successful team. It can only come organically and by being human-first. Whether with colleagues or those we directly manage, forming authentic, trustful relationships creates space for people to take risks, to work hard, to grow, and to ultimately succeed as a team.
Q: What was the most unforgettable experience you had working at EA?
What stands out for me the most is the people with whom I’ve shared the experiences. There is a wonderful sense of pride in working for the best games publisher in the world, and there are also plenty of challenges that can come along with the work we do. Throughout the moments of both challenges and achievements, I have had others around me to laugh, vent, solve, or celebrate with. It’s sharing those memories with others that makes them unforgettable.
Q: What do you see as the biggest challenge for women in tech and how do we overcome it?
The obvious reality is that women are greatly underrepresented in the tech space. Although there is a lot of good work on this coming out of various companies, universities, and other organizations, I try to think about what I can do on an individual level to help effect change. Any form of mentorship to young women who are considering careers in tech can be very effective, since early education and exposure to tech fields can help lower some of the barriers to entry that women experience. You also never know how much you may impact or inspire others just by being a woman in tech who stays true to herself and her value. As an industry, we need to continue discussing the challenges women face and work to find solutions, but without overlooking the change we can effect on an individual level through leading by example.
Q: How do you spend your time outside of work?
I play a lot of games, both on console and mobile, and I feel lucky that 10 years working within the gaming sector has not tempered that! Music, comedy shows, and other forms of live entertainment are also a big part of my life. I try to travel as much as possible and continue to be exposed to new people, places, and perspectives. Living in New York City, there is no shortage of things to do, but it does take intention and motivation to stay engaged, try new things, and show up for new experiences. That said, some days it’s the simple pleasure of watching bad TV at home with my husband that allows me to rest and restore myself for the busy work lives we lead!
Q: What are the three things you can’t live without?
Family, friends, humor.
Q: What is the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you?
There are too many to pick just one! Many different pieces of advice have served me well at different points in my life. From meaningful things my father taught me around the importance of being kind to meaningful lessons one can glean from just walking down the streets of New York City. I think the key is to be a seeker and a thinker, to be looking out for lessons or advice and absorb them in a way that serves you best.
Q: What is the cause you are most passionate about?
I am passionate about mental health awareness and access to treatment. The human experience is complicated and often challenging, and I feel that having information and resources available around mental well-being will not only contribute to solving some of the hot button issues we face today, but will also lead to a kinder, more compassionate world for everybody. My hope is that through human connection and the open sharing of struggles, we can remove some of the stigma around mental health that can lead to isolation and barriers to seeking help.