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In Conversation With Our Women Leaders

Iris Espiritu, Senior Content Marketing Manager, VDX.tv

It’s no secret that the success and growth of any company can in part be attributed to its great leaders. We at VDX.tv are privileged to have some amazing leaders on our team. This Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day (#IWD2020), we want to highlight some of the fearless women leaders that contribute their vision, spirit and expertise to our organization. Read on below to learn about their inspirations, journeys on the path to professional and personal growth, and the songs that get them through the day.

Janette Hardman – Sales Director – Cape Town, South Africa

Who or where do you look to for inspiration?

My fellow lady peers motivate me every day. I constantly aspire to be a better version of myself. Ariana Huffington’s blog is a good source to start your day off with a bang. However, the regular women next to me, running a household, working a full-time job and looking to grow in all of these spaces are the ladies that rock my world and inspire me every single day. There are so many women that constantly aspire to grow regardless of their personal setup or background – this motivates me.

What was the path that led you to your career in the ad tech space?

I owned my own online fashion e-commerce company right out of university. By being a small business, I had to be creative with my marketing and I soon realised that I loved the marketing side of the business more than the actual business itself. As they say…the rest is history.

What advice would you give to the next generation of women leaders?

Never give up. Roadblocks in our path are often placed to make us work harder and appreciate the results even more. Great things come to those who work hard, every single day, even when times are tough. Get up, fix your crown and be the queen you are meant to be.

What hobbies or pastimes do you enjoy outside of work?

I have an extremely tight knit family life. We enjoy doing things together; this can be bicycling, playing in the park, walking our dogs, etc. As we live in Cape Town, South Africa, we are blessed with a phenomenal outdoor life. My personal hobbies are going to the gym, cycling, playing netball, reading (does not happen often enough, this is one of my resolutions of 2020) and then exploring our beautiful country.

Name one song that gets you through the work day.

ANYTHING with some beat to it. I have a very diverse playlist! Currently my go to album is a local band called Sunset Sweatshop.

Jyoti Juyal – Senior Designer 1 – Noida, India

Who or where do you look to for inspiration?

My mother is a source of strength for me and I am inspired greatly by her. My father is a soldier and as the wife of a soldier, often has had to be apart from him. My mom handles every single problem without anyone’s support, and the way she handles all those problems makes me feel strong and happy.

How do you define “success” in your role?

My definition of success is independent of the job requirements. I know I have succeeded when I have accomplished my goal, even if that means doing more than is asked. I am always open to any reviews or comments that will help me to improve, and I am always open to learning. I believe that a constant thirst for knowledge, along with some passion for personal development, is the formula for success.

What advice would you give to the next generation of women leaders?

The advice is the same for a women and men. Understand the technical aspects, but also know and understand your people. Take care of your people and they will take care of the task. Communicate, coordinate, and listen. 

What hobbies or pastimes do you enjoy outside of work?

I have a variety of hobbies. I love traveling the most. Yes, I am a wandering soul. Visiting new places, traveling new roads, trying new cuisines and learning about new cultures excites me! Work and family account for a lot of my time, but on the weekends, we like to get out and enjoy nature. It’s a good way for us to refresh and reset before tackling the work week. Also, I love animals; a couple of years ago I adopted an Indie breed dog named Max. During my spare time, I enjoy playing with my toddler and my dog.

Name one song that gets you through the work day.

MEMBA – For Aisha (Featured in “The Sky Is Pink”)

Svetlana Kirikova – Senior Media Planner – Zhytomyr, Ukraine

What was the path that led you to your career in the tech space?

I never thought I would end up working at a tech-related company for almost 10 years. I was new to this industry, as were the people around me, when we started working at small company called AdoTube. Online advertising was just developing in the Ukraine at that time. So we had to learn a lot ourselves, develop our skills and knowledge, then share them with new people. I saw the company expand and then become a part of Exponential. And that’s an amazing feeling, being part of something from the very beginning and observing all the changes and growth of people and the company itself.

How do you define “success” in your role?

Success for me means being able to solve the problem myself, trying to find the right questions when you don’t know the answer, always developing your skills, and being open to new knowledge.

What advice would you give to the next generation of women leaders?

Sometimes you will have bad days when things won’t be working out for you, sometimes you will be out of ideas, sometimes you may feel burdened with work, but you shouldn’t give up. You will definitely have more good days after those bad ones, you will have brilliant ideas that can change something, you will always have people around that are eager to help you and support you with your work. Never doubt the powers you have within yourself.

What hobbies or pastimes do you enjoy outside of work?

Photography, because it makes me slow down and enjoy the moment. We live in a very hectic and always-changing world. Photography gives you the power to pause this world for a moment and remember it in its full beauty.

Name one song that gets you through the work day.

I don’t have any specific song or artist. I love to put the playlist on shuffle and make the tech decide what music will get me through the day.

Tracey Natapradja – Account Manager – Sydney, Australia

Who or where do you look to for inspiration?

Women who are confident in who they are. Ordinary people who are passionate in what they do, go for their dreams and put in their best no matter the task.

How do you define “success” in your role?

Having a strong and trusting relationship with my clients, my team members and management – it can only mean you are doing well in your role.

What advice would you give to the next generation of women leaders?

Be yourself and be confident – don’t do something because it is expected of you, but do something that makes you happy.

What hobbies or pastimes do you enjoy outside of work?

Anything creative – interior and fashion design, art and music.

Name one song that gets you through the work day.

This is a tough one. A few songs. Maybe something calm like “Holocene” by Bon Iver in the morning and then something rock in the afternoon to get me through the day.

Monica Prior Jimenez – Account Manager & Head of Creative Services – Madrid, Spain

Who or where do you look to for inspiration?

People around me are the ones inspiring me every day. I choose those that surprise me and motivate me to improve, personally and professionally. Those positive minds that radiate good vibes are the ones making anything happen and a true source of inspiration.

What was the path that led you to your career in the tech space?

I’ve always been really bound to arts and music; playing the piano when I was little and attending painting classes… and I’ve always been really analytical as well and enjoyed math and economics at school. While trying to balance both [artistic and analytic] passions, I found advertising to be the best opportunity to develop my professional career.

Since I started, I know that I chose the correct path, and I’m keen to continue developing my skills and passion in this sector for a while.

How do you define “success” in your role?

Well, I would say there’s an objective way of measuring success, by simply achieving your predefined goals…These would be the basics…

However, for me there’s a much more valuable and subjective way of defining success: earning your team and colleagues’ respect and admiration, being able to inspire them and be part of something bigger is what really define success to me.

What hobbies or pastimes do you enjoy outside of work?

I love all artistic tasks so I try to spend as much time as possible painting, playing music, handcrafting, dancing…it’s my way of breaking out of the routine and enjoying every minute of my time. But also traveling is a huge passion of mine, so at least once a year I try to lose myself as far as possible from my hometown, to experience different cultures and living styles. Finally, food! I’m pure Spanish so a part of my free time is about going out with friends and family and enjoying a good meal! Tapas are much more than food, it’s our way of living.

Name one song that gets you through the work day.

“Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen

Joshna Uttam – Senior Manager, Finance – Noida, India

Who or where do you look to for inspiration? 

Several people around me have been a source of inspiration in my life, but the eternal source of motivation and inspiration has been my beloved mother. Losing my father at an early age left us all shattered, but my mother fought against all odds, endured the pain with great fortitude, and worked hard to raise us. For me, she is a true embodiment of vitality and it’s her hard work and efforts that helped and motivated us to get where we are today.

What was the path that led you to your career in the tech space?

Over the past few years, I’ve immersed myself in startups and tech. And I have to say many of these companies are incredible places to work. In fact, they’re raising the bar for what’s expected of employers everywhere. In my experience, companies in tech make employee happiness a priority more often and, in more ways, than any other industries I have been in.

What advice would you give to the next generation of women leaders?

Be humble, be BOLD! When we are young, we are nervous that people will judge us or think we aren’t smart. But so, what? The only way any of us can become who we want to be, who we can be, is by being bold. And never stop believing in yourself, seek opportunities, especially if they feel outside your comfort zone. Set your eyes on your goals and go forth with sheer dedication. Work hard on building resilience because setbacks happen, and they are the best lessons!

What hobbies or pastimes do you enjoy outside of work?

When I am not working, I am traveling. I love exploring new places and it’s a nice way for me to take a break from day to day activities to refresh my mind. Also, I love fashion! I love following trends at designer shows and in retail. I’m fascinated by how trends start on the catwalks or on the street, and how they filter down to retail. And to pursue this interest of mine I have recently created an Instagram profile and on most days I love creating fashion content for my Insta page and sharing my ideas on the latest fashion trends with others.

 Name one song that gets you through the workday

There are many, but the one song that I relate the most is – “ROAR” by Katy Perry.

 


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