Marketing Hall of Femme 2018: Carolyn Crandall, CMO, Attivo Networks

DMN’sMarketing Hall of Femme honors female marketers who have taken risks, pushed limits, and achieved standout success in their marketing careers. These fiercely talented women are all the most senior marketing professionals at brands, non-profits, marketing tech and services vendors, or agencies. 

We sat down with 2018 Hall of Femme honoree Carolyn Crandall, CMO, Attivo Networks, who shared advice on the challenges of being a woman in the workplace, and how young female professionals can navigate their own successful marketing careers. 

DMN: What’s the best piece of career advice that you’ve ever received?

Crandall: “People may not remember what you said or did, but they will always remember how you made them feel.” It is so easy to get caught up in the quest and occasionally forget that even if you win, if everyone is unhappy in the end, then more bad than good may be the true outcome.

DMN: What’s the best way to advocate for yourself in the workplace (whether it’s for a promotion, a salary raise, or more responsibilities)?

Crandall: Be aligned on relevant contributions. Make sure the things you are working on are activities that contribute to key company goals. Become proficient in the skills required to make an impact and irreplaceable to the company. This will give you visibility, and combined with measurable results, the recognition required to gain what you are seeking.

DMN: As a woman, what advantages and disadvantages have you experienced in climbing up through your career? 

Crandall: The advantage of being a woman is our inherent ability to multi-task without getting frazzled. We are used to balancing kids, work, friends, social, and philanthropic activities, so when another urgent project arises, we’re able to respond without a hiccup or misstep. The disadvantage is that in technology, women are often the one in 10 in the room. Many men still struggle with exactly how to interact with women: what to say, how to say it, and what level of formality to apply. This causes stress and avoidance, which can negatively impact the engagement with women and result in exclusion.

DMN: What advice do you have for younger women in the workplace who want to lean in and take a bigger seat at the table?

Crandall: Career advancement or a promotion can be earned through excellent work, performance, and results. That said, I believe these are table stakes and not enough. You must network and build relationships to gain sponsors for advancement. Whether a peer review provides support for your desired promotion, or a connection opens the door for career advancement at a new company, it is essential to have advocates pulling for you.

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