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.
- What drove you to start a company?
I grew up during communism and starting a company was not something I ever imagined doing. I got a scholarship to study in US and took a job with Siemens medical because it was a brand I was familiar with growing up and the idea of working for a brand I knew was cool. It was only later, when my H1B didn’t get approved and I went back to school at Stanford’s d.school where I discovered startups. I consulted for a few of them but didn’t think I could start one. I mentioned this fear to one of my professors, Michael Dearing. He stopped, looked at me, and asked: “If you don’t, who do you think will?” That’s the moment I decided I would one day start a business.
- What do you think is the most important skill a leader should have?
I think there is a big difference between a good leader and a manager. Some can be both, but when it comes to leadership specifically, I think vision and courage are the most important skills - you must see a path forward and lead a team towards it, with courage to face adversity.
- What is the biggest misconception about the mobile advertising industry?
Hmmm, the biggest misconception is that mobile advertising is focused mainly on apps. I truly believe the mobile ecosystem has become increasingly fragmented and advertisers need to think about the whole user journey. I actually believe that it’s much easier to get users to come to a mobile website through organic efforts, search and social ads and then convert them from web visitors into app users.
- What do you see as the biggest challenge for women in tech and how do we overcome it?
The biggest challenge is that we are still a minority, and minorities behave differently. A white male executive in a room with 8 black female nurses will behave very differently than if you put him in a room with 8 other white male executives, so no matter who you are, if you are a minority, it does affect you. I think to overcome it, we need to create companies where diversity and inclusion is front and center, and for the future generations we need movies and media where being a woman in tech is perceived as cool, the thing to do and aspire to.
- Name 3 elements that make great company culture.
- Strong values
- Activities, rewards systems and stories that tell those values
- Transparency - this is one of our values, but I think it makes a good culture regardless of your values
- What is something only a few people know about you?
This is an interesting one. I love reading tarot for my friends. I’m not superstitious, but I love the ritual of sitting down with a friend and using the cards as a way to dissect and offer advice and perspective on their problems.
- What would you tell your younger self?
You are enough.
- If you could switch jobs with someone for a day, who would it be?
- What is the coolest innovation you have seen and why do you like it?
I am obsessed with AR and I can’t wait for the next generation of glasses. The idea that I can meet people at parties and instantly know who they are and how I know them makes me happy - but of course our world will be so different when AR really takes off.
- Name 3 things you can’t live without.
- A creative outlet