Women in Mobile. Meet Stevie Duffin-Lutgen, One of the Women Game Changers in the Mobile Industry

MobilityWare Stevie Duffin-Lutgen, Sr. Manager UA, Radish Fiction, at Aarki's Women in Mobile Series

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. 

Stevie Duffin-Lutgen
Sr. Manager UA, Radish Fiction, MobilityWare

"You have to talk to people, and listen. There is no magical amazing news source that illuminates you on what’s happening or bound to happen in mobile marketing."

Q: What do you love most about the company culture at MobilityWare?
Opportunity is a big theme for us that I appreciate. The notion of being “stuck” in one space isn’t a worry of mine, since the studio encourages and facilitates talent movement between projects or even departments.

Q: What do you think is the biggest trend(s) and challenges in mobile programmatic today?
Biggest trend? The notion that creative is king. Which has always been true. Advertising is rearing its head in digital and as always, it’s ultimately a human enterprise.

Biggest challenge? "Transparency." It’s a buzz word. With the growing intersection of human and robot and humans in charge of robots it’s an interesting time to be alive and working. UA managers are less intimate with the mechanisms fueling their buying, which may lull some into a false sense of security. I.e., falling short of ensuring their partners’ machine learning aligns with their unique business model.

Q: How do you stay ahead of changes in technology?
You have to talk to people, and listen. There is no magical amazing news source that illuminates you on what’s happening or bound to happen in mobile marketing. But that information may be on the breath of account managers, advertisers, platform partners, etc.

Q: What are the common challenges women face today in the world of tech?
In tech I definitely see fewer women at the table, and that can be challenging. “Am I seen as the other?” comes to mind. “Are the men in the room seeing or hearing me differently?” I’m lucky at MobilityWare. The heads of product, revenue, finance and HR are all women, so I feel I have solidarity on a level some women in tech may not.

Additionally, I think imposter syndrome may play a role in our day to day that it may not for men. Maybe not to the same extent. I found myself in a new leadership position mid 2019 and had a great deal of hesitation around accommodating my direct reports, who all happen to be male (and great people). I wanted everyone to feel comfortable with the move. In hindsight I wondered if I’d been a man, would I have felt more like I was simply taking up my rightful post?

Q: Could you share with us the most significant moment of your career and how did it mold you as a person?
One very significant moment was essentially being handed an entire business. I was at an ecommerce outfit that was incubating a small startup. They believed in me so I was dubbed the lead of the digital launch effort. Email, social, SEM, analytics. Kind of madness, overall. But it was absolutely the time I started to fully understand the business as a living, breathing ecosystem, as opposed to focusing on keyword-by-keyword revenue gains.That “big picture” thinking was like a light switch that’s helped me ever since.

Q: How do you define success?
Accomplishing a goal, or even better - adapting a goal after realizing it no longer resonates.

Stevie Duffin-Lutgen with friendsStevie Duffin-Lutgen with baby

Q: What books are at your bedside?
Fiction that studies human weakness and sort of also relishes that weakness. Think Ottessa Moshfegh, Joan Didion, Truman Capote and more recently, Halle Butler. You’d also find lots of nonfiction about new American religion, and WWII.

Q: If you could have a meal with anyone (living or dead), who would you like to invite the most and why?
I’d invite Hatshepsut and ask her what the history books got so wrong, in her opinion. I’m sure she’d then tell me she doesn’t read her own reviews.

Q: What would you tell your younger self?
Nobody cares. Stop living your life like everyone is paying attention. 

Q: Name 3 things you can’t live without.
- My time away from other people
- My confidantes
- Movement

Topics: Women in Mobile