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 of Strategy & Business Development - Identity, Oracle Data Cloud
With a career in adtech spanning two decades, Kate has successfully led advertising technology partnership, account management and operational teams. She has a strong track record of accelerating revenue growth, developing talent, and leading high performing teams. She began her career at DoubleClick at the inception of online advertising, launched Google’s Advertising Exchange services globally and then made the move to MoPub to repeat that success in mobile. Over the length of her career, she has seen things get much better and the playing field level for women in technology AND says we still have a ways to go.
Q: What do you like the most about the environment that you’re currently working in?
What I love about the environment at Oracle Data Cloud is that it is the consolidation of many best-in-class startups. Moat, Grapeshot, DataLogix, BlueKai, and Crosswise represent a huge investment by Oracle to build the underlying system powering data in adtech.
By way of acquisition, Oracle Data Cloud was able to gather diverse talent from across the ecosystem. So what I truly love about where I work is the people. Every day I get to work with a group of very intelligent, ambitious, entrepreneurial folks who are driven to collaborate across business and product lines to get things done. Oracle Data Cloud is really the best of both worlds—the pace and excitement of a startup with a big mission and the financial backing of a tech giant, Oracle.Q: What do you think is the next big trend in the advertising industry?
The recent technical and regulatory limitation of cookies is beginning to have a material impact for brands, publishers, and everyone in adtech. Eventually, it will reshape the entire advertising ecosystem and the way in which brands engage with customers. Brands need to ensure they are investing in the right tools across adtech, martech, and cloud infrastructure that solve their unique challenges.
Brands also need to define their data collection and aggregation strategies across platforms to connect disparate data sources in a cloud environment. This will ensure seamless data flow between systems in a scalable and cost-effective way.
User identities will need to be connected across platforms, making data onboarding critical to developing a complete customer view. Onboarding solutions with offline data sets and an identity graph will become essential. Consequently, my recent move from the buy side to Oracle Data Cloud Identity is timely!Q: What do you see as the biggest challenge for women in tech and how do we overcome it?
To put it simply, we need to help each other. In my career, I have been instrumental in launching mentor programs for high potential women at DoubleClick, Google, and Twitter. I make myself available as a mentor. I firmly believe in the value of having a coach and confidant outside of your day-to-day team. I enjoy learning about what the adtech rock stars of tomorrow are dreaming up and sharing my knowledge, asking good probing questions, and connecting people in my network.
Another way I see my male counterparts help each other that is more rare for women is in sharing investment opportunities. Women should be investing in and with each other, especially when people in our networks swing out and launch businesses.
Q: Could you share with us the most significant moment of your career and how did it mold you as a person?
Working to grow the DoubleClick Ad Exchange within Google taught me that I really enjoy early stage business and the opportunity to build something from scratch. At Google I built out my playbook for scaling operations. After 5 years of managing the AdX services team, I was ready for something new. The opportunity to lead Client Services at MoPub was the perfect next move for me. MoPub’s CEO was a former Google product manager and his aspiration was to build the first programmatic exchange for in-app mobile ads. He even said he aspired to become the “DoubleClick of Mobile.”
When I got to MoPub it was a small scrappy team and I had to edit my playbook down to make sure to put in the right level of process in order to balance taming the chaos with staying fast and nimble. This type of “rightsizing” is a lens I apply to this day when taking on new challenges.
Q: What’s the most exciting thing you’re working on for Oracle Data Cloud?
Building a best-in-class identity graph that will connect across platforms.
Q: If you were to meet your 21-year-old self, what advice would you give her?
Hi, 21-year-old self. You look great! Here is some advice from me, your older wiser self.
I know you think hard work will get you ahead, but I am here to tell you good work is table stakes. Actually doing less, and fostering new skills will get you into positions of power faster. The people you are working with today are going to be a great network for you for the next 20 years.
Take the time, make the connections. Get to know the folks around you. You will all be up to great things in the future and can help each other out. It will take a village of personal and professional connections to get to where you want to go. And you are going to make some great friends along the way.
Q: Where’s the most beautiful place you have traveled to?
The most beautiful place I have traveled to recently is Split, Croatia. Just about everything you want to see in Split is within the walls of Roman emperor Diocletian's Palace, completed in 305 AD. Walk a few steps and see the beach where the locals are playing a game called Picigin. It is an amateur sport played in shallow water consisting of players keeping a small ball from touching the water. The perfect mix of culture, history, and the beauty of nature. We toured on bikes, boats, and walked for miles exploring. I wholeheartedly recommend a visit!
Q: How do you spend time outside of work?
In 2016 after two successful exits, I decided to take a break to recalibrate. During this time, I dedicated myself to becoming a certified yoga instructor and have enjoyed wrapping my mind around this 5,000-year-old physical and spiritual practice.
I now have a regular yoga practice in Brooklyn and find it a real counterbalance to the pace of New York City, long flights, and my career in adtech.
Q: What’s your favorite movie and why?
"Working Girl" was a formative one for me. Cheesy and dated when you look at it now, the story of Melanie Griffith’s ascension from the secretarial pool to a corner office at a big New York City firm inspired me to move to New York and “make it here.”
Q: Who inspires you?
My mother. In her career as an investigative journalist, she was fearless and pushed boundaries in order to uncover and tell the stories of those who did not have a voice.