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.
VP Demand Sales and Account Management, Global at Fyber
"Be honest with yourself, change direction, and take some new risks."
Q: What is your favorite part about working at Fyber?
My favorite part about working at Fyber is the energy of the people and the eagerness to collaborate with one another and get things done. We’re a dynamic and international group fueling a unique character and a culturally diverse environment created by many languages and locations working together towards a mutual goal—delivering great products for our variety of customers across the mobile advertising value chain. It’s been incredible to see this global culture come together and execute in sync to advance the ecosystem.
Q: Can you share some tips for nurturing strong relationships with key clients/prospects?
Having been in a variety of client facing roles for 13 years, I’m a huge believer in customer-centric businesses. I’m lucky that Fyber has this as one of their core values and actions on this across divisions from Engineering to Product to Business, day in day out. Strong customer teams are built around the following tenets:
Put your customers first - Listen & learn what is important to our clients. What keeps them up at night? What are they excited by? What do their end customers care about and how do they have to deliver these results? Building long term partnerships with a client base doesn’t mean simply building products they can use—it means getting a deeper understanding of what they think about and want to accomplish so you can work with them to achieve those wins.
Make product decisions with the customer in mind - On a smaller scale, this is easier to manage, every customer is valuable and you want to ensure they are happy. As a business scale, diverse client sets grow, priorities start to conflict and things become more complex. I’ve witnessed many situations where the business loses sight of what will benefit the customer and becomes focused on what will mitigate risk for themselves. I encourage businesses to stay focused on innovation with the customer in mind: keep listening, keep delivering stronger results, and don’t let internal politics, fears of change, and a reliance on the status quo get in the way.
Be proactive and operate with integrity - These are human basics and yet so easily forgotten in our rush to fulfill our goals or hit targets. Anticipate your clients’ needs and don’t cut corners doing it. People can see when you don’t believe in what you’re saying. People can feel uncertain when you leave an inconsistent impression. It’s not about a short term dollar in your pocket, it’s about a long term partnership with shared growth initiatives. You don’t need to see eye-to-eye on every topic, but you need to be able to have an open, honest discussion about the things that matter to drive growth.
Q: What are the common challenges women face today in the world of ad tech?
The best performing businesses I’ve had the privilege to be a part of have had strong diversity in women across all levels, including leadership. Yet, I can see in the tech industry we’re still underrepresented today, particularly in the executive and leadership levels where only 26% are women. Common hurdles I’ve experienced over the years and have learned to navigate is the challenge of striking a balance between work and pursuing a family life, a lack of mentors for women to advance in their careers, and a lack of confidence or visibility in the work that we do.
A few pieces of advice I can offer:
When it comes to striking a balance between work and family life, the reality is you can’t do it alone—I have to ask for help from my spouse, our extended family, and others we bring into our lives. The sooner you realize this, the better so you can start re-designing your life to support what you have going on. The pandemic this year has made that even more apparent with childcare disruptions and work from home situations. I also recognize that I need to prioritize at work so that I am only spending time on the critical items that require my attention. This in turn gives my team the opportunity to take full ownership across many areas. Finally, be unapologetically proud that you are a parent and an ambitious leader—bringing your whole self to work and at home helps you to build empathy across your tribes.
For mentors, it comes down to building strong relationships across your network and providing a value exchange. Build a personal advisory board of both men and women who are in positions you aspire to be in. Ask for their advice in situations where you’re curious on what their approach would be or has been. Offer your time in doing a good job for them, being a sounding board, a pulse of the market, and a connector to people they want to meet or employ. Stay in touch with advisors who not only guide you through conversation but take action by providing introductions, referrals, collaborative solutions, and actively sponsor you. I’ve been lucky to meet phenomenal mentors and leaders along the way who believe in paying it forward, and I am committed to doing the same for others.
"The most common piece of advice that I provide to women is to be confident and learn to build your personal brand."
Be confident in going for the job, speaking up, asking questions, making your standards known. The challenge with visibility is that there are sometimes unconscious biases at play but when you show up, ask for a seat at the table, and provide value—you will be heard. When you do this consistently, you will build staying power for your personal brand.
Q: How do you create a winning environment in your workplace?
Winning teams have these common traits: foundation of trust and integrity, alignment on goals that raise the bar, accountability, open communication, and a shared ambition to be the best in what they do. The intangible quality is a strong team chemistry where people love to work together, help one another, and get creative with problem solving. It starts with who you hire, the investment in training, team bonding, and transparency in leadership support. Once the team locks in on how each of their contributions drive impact, celebrate the wins! The positive momentum takes on a snowball effect.
Q: How do you define success?
"Success is being brave enough to be who you are and actively building a life surrounding your values."
Life gets more demanding and complex, and it can surprise us sometimes when what we envision as success doesn’t actually bring us the joy we hoped for. Be honest with yourself, change direction, and take some new risks.
Q: If Hollywood made a movie about you, who would you cast to play you?
I’m constantly listening to music so I’d pick Anna Kendrick to remix all of the good, awkward, and downright weird moments in life into a musical comedy.
Q: What is something that you learned this year?
To not take simple things for granted like seeing friends and fresh air quality.
Q: Tell us something about you that might surprise us.
I’ve done a backflip out of a plane during a skydiving experience years ago. Sometimes you just have to roll with it and let the moment take you for an adventure.
Q: What is something you wanted to do but never did?
Backpacking through Europe or Southeast Asia.
Q: Who are the people that inspire you?
My son, my husband, my parents, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Michelle Obama, Amy Schumer.