The gender gap in tech is gradually closing, 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 influence. Here we continue our series highlighting women in the mobile industry.
April Tayson is Adjust’s Regional Vice President for Southeast Asia and India. Based in Singapore, April is responsible for Adjust’s INSEA sales operations, go-to-market strategy, and growing the company's market share and revenue.
With over 15 years of experience in digital marketing, April is passionate about promoting Southeast Asia’s vibrant and fast-growing mobile ecosystem, while bringing more transparency and trust to the industry.
Q: What is the best thing about your job?
In my role, I am dedicated to increasing the positive visibility of women in the workplace by encouraging women’s participation in meaningful ways, nominating them for opportunities to go out of their comfort zones, and celebrating their achievements and journeys.
At Adjust, we intend to create, foster, and encourage an environment where women feel empowered to be the strongest voices in defining our direction and culture as a company. Through our various programs including diversity and inclusion training, flexible working schedules, equitable parental leave and mentorship opportunities, we have established a positive environment for all.
Q: What’s the best part of managing a team and what challenges did you face in handling your team during the pandemic?
Within my team, I strive to foster a harmonious work environment, providing open and safe spaces for everyone to share ideas, express their thoughts, challenge ideas, and arrive at decisions taking into consideration various opinions.
"I personally do not believe in behind-the-scenes contributors, but rather encourage my team to be at the forefront by creating ample opportunities for everyone to shine."
The pandemic has also added to existing challenges of working parents and it hasn't spared young and single professions as well. On top of the flexible work-from-home (WFH) policies, Adjust also introduced counseling sessions via Spill, an all-in-one workplace mental health support integrated into Slack. All Adjusters now have access to Spill for free, including individual video sessions and written advice, and a six-part therapy program is also available to those who need it.
Q: What are your thoughts on Apple’s IDFA changes? How will the industry adapt to the new reality?
Over the past year, we have been talking to advertisers and ad networks about how they will be impacted by the changes introduced by iOS 14. Something that is clear from these conversations is that advertising will remain vital — even without the IDFA.
For INSEA as a region, which is primarily an Android heavy market, the impact will not be as significant as other markets. However, marketers in our region recognize the high value, high quality of iOS users in terms of ROI and conversions so they will have to adapt to the new change — but it will not change their marketing strategy drastically.
In every platform change, some people benefit more than others.
"Across the world, mobile companies who don’t understand the ramifications of the IDFA changes are set to lose out on a growth opportunity."
However, companies that move fast are in a good position to innovate and take advantage of the opportunity. Agile firms that also have first-party data are best positioned to win.
Q: What is your go-to resource for keeping up with the mobile ad tech industry?
Adjust Blog, Tech in Asia, eMarketer, AdExchanger, BusinessInsider, Digiday, Tech Crunch
Q: What are the common challenges women face today in the world of ad tech?
In previous roles, and having spoken to other women in the industry, I think one of the most common obstacles revolves around not being taken seriously. Knowing your worth, continuing to be assertive, and delivering consistent revenue numbers will force all employees to sit up and take notice. However, ultimately, it’s a company’s responsibility to break these patterns rather than female employees themselves. Having a diverse leadership team that supports and champions female leaders is key to breaking this glass ceiling. Companies should also allow no place for discrimination and provide adequate flexibility for working parents.
My simple advice for women looking to get into the sector would be to learn as much as they can about technology and where it’s heading - whether that’s networking within the industry, reading relevant publications to stay up to date, or even looking to company blogs to understand how they work and market themselves.
Q: What’s the best book you’ve read this year?
I am not a voracious reader of long-form writing, but lately, I have been enjoying short-form eBooks or Adtech industry blogs. I found this eBook on ‘Building Resilient Sales Teams: Initiatives That Work’ very useful. Managing a culturally diverse & remote team can be challenging at times, which is why I find it more productive to read expert advice from those who have successfully done it, with their advice backed up with proof points, rather than reinventing the wheel.
Q: What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
My parents are the guiding light for me throughout my life. Their advice of ‘Kaya Mo Yan’ (Filipino for ‘You Can Do It’) every time uncertainty or self-doubt crept in; has helped me venture into areas which I never imagined I would try - including in my career.
Q: How do you manage stress?
The WFH schedule can be stressful at times, which is why I make it a point to pause and shift my attention towards things that help me relieve stress. It’s mostly listening to music, but cleaning is the daily chore that helps me focus, sweat out and de-stress at the same time. To keep my creative juices flowing, I dabble in home decoration which keeps me busy over the weekends.
Q: What is the most courageous thing you have ever done?
The most courageous thing that I did was to pick up the family’s poultry business which was hit during the Asian financial crisis in 1997 to support my studies. The experience made me more resilient and since then I have kept a mindset of not being afraid to start things from scratch.
Q: Name the top three apps you use daily.
Slack, LinkedIn & Spotify are my companions on a daily basis.