by Kristi Faulkner
If you’re an ambitious woman pursuing a career in digital media, it’s time you meet WIMMIES (Women in Media), a networking organization with the explicit goal of helping women like you succeed. By hosting quarterly events in intimate environments, the women of WIMMIES inspire candid, off-the-record discussion among trailblazers and newbies alike.
I asked the eight board members (pictured below) for a sampling of the wisdom they teach one another or have learned from one another. Below this photo are examples of the knowledge they shared.
(Pictured left to right: Kim Strebel, International Theatrical Marketing Partnerships and Promotions at Fox Filmed Entertainment; Nikki David, Senior Account Manager, Client Services at KIN Community; Caitlin Bruno, Partner Sales at Snapchat; Danielle Reed, YouTube Partner Sales Lead at Google; Lauren Merriam, Vice President Sales at KIN Community; Allie Greenwald, West Coast Account Executive at Fullscreen; Amy Halvorsen, Account Executive at Maker Studios, and Michelle Meyer, Founder and CEO at Emissaries.)
1) The importance of maintaining balance. One of my "big sisters" in digital media taught me early on to stay balanced and maintain an even keel as much as possible. You can't get too high on the good times or too low on the bad. Staying the middle course will keep you humble and appreciative, whereas if you approach each challenge as if you’re constantly putting out fires, you're bound to get burned. Cooler heads will prevail. -- Allie Greenwald, Account Executive at Fullscreen
2) It’s ok to admit what you don’t know. The moment I started finding success at work, I finally had the confidence to admit what I didn't know. Letting go of my ego was the most liberating thing I ever did in the workplace. If you don't understand something, chances are others don't as well. I once had an account manager who said, "Your greatest strength is that you don't think you know everything." -- Amy Halvorsen, Account Executive at Maker Studios
3) Use your voice. It is vital that women pave the way for the next generation by being vocal about the pay gap, family leave policies, pregnancy discrimination vs. the daddy bonus, flexible schedules, etc. Being bold and vocal about these issues will benefit yourself, your peers and the women who come after you at your company, as well as in your industry. -- Michelle Meyer, Founder and CEO at Emissaries
4) Be both fearless and egoless. Approaching your day with a positive, ego-less team-oriented mindset is key to succeeding in a rapidly changing industry. In my opinion, advancement comes from learning as much as possible, constantly raising your hand to take on new tasks with an understanding of how they’ll drive the business forward and being open-minded to personal growth in unexpected areas. Setting stretch goals for yourself ultimately creates apprehension, self-doubt and even fear, but it's during those times when you learn and advance the most. -- Lauren Merriam, Vice President at KIN Community
5) Listening actively is as important as speaking. By truly hearing what others are saying, you'll be able to craft a more powerful position when you need to impact change or take the lead to put good ideas to work. In the same vein, it is ok to not have all of the answers all of the time. You can build trust and personal equity through an honest effort to find the right answer based on what you have heard. Remember, everyone you work with is human and affected by our common truth and desire to feel heard and connected to others; authentically engaging can often take you further than being the loudest in the room. -- Caitlin Bruno, Partner Sales at Snapchat
6) Failure is a valuable experience. I've learned more about myself and my capability not from my successes, but from my failures. Though uncomfortable, uncertain and scary at the time, they were the most invaluable lessons and experiences. Do not be afraid of failure, of being wrong, of things not going to plan -- there is always something that you're meant to get out of it. -- Kim Strebel, International Theatrical Marketing Partnerships and Promotions at Fox Filmed Entertainment
7) “If you win, you'll be happy, and if you lose, you'll be wise.” This quote about risk taking is one I often refer to when making difficult decisions. At the end of the day, the worst that can happen is you learn from your career choices. Take a chance! -- Danielle Reed, YouTube Partner Sales Lead at Google
8) Get comfortable with "no." One of the most difficult phases that anyone can hear is "no." “No” doesn’t necessarily mean no flat out, it might just mean that you may need to find a new approach. Most people who are fearless in the workplace tend to see a “no” as constructive feedback, which forces them to think differently. Push yourself to get comfortable with the word “no” and this will build the confidence you need to be fearless. -- Nikki David, Senior Account Manager, Client Services at KIN Community
Have experiences and wisdom you want to share with other women? Connect with the women of WIMMIES and do your part to empower, elevate and inspire women like you.