Honoring Women’s History Month
Sing it! In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re highlighting the incredibly talented women of PebblePost’s executive team, whose work and leadership inspire and impact our organization and industry. The skills these women bring at large are invaluable to the success of the business, and it’s my honor to introduce you to them.
Lori Mason (LM) is PebblePost’s Chief Privacy Officer and General Counsel, but you may know her by her real title: Privacy Law Guru. Lori works closely with our brands as well as our data science, product, and commercials teams to oversee data privacy compliance, build a robust and compliant identity graph, and negotiate all contracts and data usage rights.
Hongyan Jin (HJ) is the SVP of Data Science and Analytics at PebblePost. She spends her days building and managing a team of highly-skilled data scientists and analysts to help brands power and measure performance through the Programmatic Direct Mail channel.
Finally, Brittany Wolf (BW), our Chief Operating Officer. She does pretty much everything. OK, maybe not everything, but pretty darn close. Brittany oversees everything from how we manage a brand’s campaign to revenue operations to product releases. If PebblePost were a club sandwich, she’d be the bread holding it all together.
We asked Lori, Brittany, and Hongyan to tell us about their experience as women in senior leadership positions, and here is what they shared:
1. What challenges or hurdles have you faced as a woman on your path toward a leadership position? Are these hurdles general challenges or are they specific to MarTech? If so, how?
LM: In the earlier stages of my career it seemed like a clear, binary, choice between family or career, because of the dearth of women in top leadership positions in big law, where I came from. Going in-house was perceived as a decision a lot of women made to balance family life but it turned out to be much more fulfilling not only on a personal but also on a professional level because you actually get involved with the business.
BW: Women often struggle to advocate for themselves. This is something I’ve had to overcome in my career and it’s something I try to encourage women I mentor to overcome. Apply for the job even if you don’t meet every requirement. Ask your manager what is required for a promotion and follow through on it. Don’t be afraid to have the conversation.
HJ: As a female in engineering and data science, one situation I need to face is being the only female on the engineering team sometimes. One needs to figure out the best way to communicate with your colleagues and get yourself heard. This is not MarTech specific — it’s an issue that a lot of women in the STEM field face.
2. Is there a skillset or unique perspective you feel you bring to the table as a woman in MarTech, or PebblePost specifically?
LM: I am a strong negotiator because I listen, observe, and stay focused on the outcome. But I think that is more a result of experience than gender. That said, very often I am negotiating with women leaders on the brand side. While neither of us are thinking about our gender, it does send a signal about the type of inclusive org that is PebblePost.
BW: It’s not really about a specific skill. It’s about having diversity in thought – particularly at the leadership level. As an industry, we’ve come a long way. There’s still progress to be made. but gone are the days when companies can check the “leadership box” by having a female leader run Human Resources. We see more tech companies at all stages with female CFOs, COO, etc. PebblePost is one of them!
HJ: As a female engineering manager, I hope my work encourages more women to get into engineering and data science. I hope female team members feel the work environment is inviting instead of feeling isolated.
3. What do you think defines good leadership and why? What are your feelings and approach toward mentorship?
LM: I think the best leaders strike a balance between working ON the business and IN the business, being an available manager but not a micromanager. That is also how I like to be managed. In my experience, the best mentor relationships happen organically, without regard to position, age, or gender but mainly built on respect and chemistry.
BW: All of the great leaders I’ve worked with or for have demonstrated great empathy and perspective. “Real leadership isn’t about being in charge, it’s about being responsible for the people in your charge.” I can’t take credit for that! It’s from Simon Sinkek on good leaders but has always resonated with me. When everything goes right, you give away all of the credit. When everything goes wrong, you take all of the responsibility. It’s a leader’s job to help their people be successful.
HJ: Good leadership in my opinion means (1) having a great vision of the direction the company/team should be going and having a plan to execute the vision (2) rallying the team to achieve the goals while treating everyone decently. Mentorship is helpful at all stages of one’s career. Being an introvert, I tend to let it happen organically.
4. Bonus: Advice you’d give your 10-year-old self?
LM: Don’t let self-consciousness stop you from trying anything positive, and play team sports.
BW: Get comfortable being uncomfortable. If you’re comfortable, you’re not growing.
HJ: Stop being a picky eater! Start exercising!
No matter their level or field of expertise, women everywhere have insightful stories, advice, and knowledge to share from their journey to leadership success that can benefit and inspire us all, not just women!
This Women’s History Month, take time to show appreciation for the women and girls who run your world. If you’d like to learn more about the values and opportunities PebblePost makes available every day to all of its employees, visit our careers page to learn more.