Many women are now building a strong industry presence and taking leadership roles as the gender gap in tech industry leadership roles decreases.
To acknowledge and recognize their contribution and get to know them better, we continue our blog series featuring women game changers in the mobile industry.
Katie Hutcherson Madding
CPO, Product & Engineering at Adjust
Katie is the Global Product Director at Adjust. Coming from an Account Management background, then moving to Integration Engineering, she's developed a unique perspective, leveraging new technology with business strategy. With Adjust spanning 14 offices worldwide, she's in charge of releasing cutting-edge mobile features at a global scale. Needless to say, she's got a love for traveling.
- What are the most important things to consider when dealing with your team?
Communicating across multiple offices in multiple time zones is always a challenge. For my team, we learn what works and what doesn’t, quickly removing anything that could cause bottlenecks. Just because everyone uses slack, doesn’t mean it’s the right tool if it means that certain members of the team have to play 9-hour catch up when they wake up. Ultimately, we work well because we are open to constantly updating our processes and always share information.
- On a typical day in your role, what is something you would prefer to skip?
Morning check-ins. Since the majority of my team is based in another country, sometimes I take my morning calls in my pajamas—my team knows if it’s before 7 AM PST, my camera will absolutely be turned off.
- What is the most impactful thing you have read/have learned from your experience in Product Management?
Back in the day, I really enjoyed reading Fidgi Simo’s article.
One of the hardest things in Product Management is truly making things skinny, and only focusing on what really matters. There’s always going to be a stream of requests that are incredibly important, but if you don’t focus on your intended work, nothing gets done or gets done well. Saying ‘no’ is much more difficult but it has to be done.
- What do you see as the biggest challenge for women in tech and how do we overcome it?
I still remember when I first started working in tech, I actually considered changing my email signature to a male’s name. Countless times I would respond with exact fixes to a problem, but still be asked to speak with my CTO. When he would give the same solution, I realized pretty quickly that this was an industry that would take time to prove you’re worth your salt. My best recommendation is grit. Rather than getting upset, or discussing these inconsistencies, prove them wrong. It takes a lot of time and endurance, but you’ll gain that much more respect.
- What do you think is the biggest trend in mobile marketing today?
It’s not necessarily a trend, but I would say fragmentation. Everyone keeps developing new products and new software to offer pieces of the puzzle, none of which work well together. The mobile marketing ecosystem consists of far too many companies trying to do too many things, and I think within the next few years we will see mergers into fewer better companies.
- Where do you go when you need some inspiration?
Lyon Street Steps in San Francisco. The steps are incredibly challenging, and when I make it to the top, my mind is always clear. Plus, I get a view of the entire city with very few people around.
- What fictional place would you most like to go?
- What is your most favorite product recently and why?
Phillips Hue Smart Light Bulbs. I love color and I also hate waking up. I set these light bulbs to slowly turn on over a 20 minute period with a Tropical Sunrise even though I’m in cloudy San Francisco. It’s really changed my morning routine.
- What/who inspires you?
Adam Grant. Psychology and work play such a huge part in our lives but yet we know very little about how to turn data into actionable insights. Adam’s research on work-life environments, team building, and stress has helped me to conquer certain goals and improve my team’s productivity.
- If you could switch jobs with someone, who would it be?
I’ve always loved the education field, and working with children. So if I had to pick a different line of work, I’d be an elementary school teacher like my Mom and sister.