DMN’s Marketing 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 Jenna Weinerman, head of marketing, Updater,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?
Weinerman: It’s never “no.” It’s just “not this way.”
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)?
Weinerman: Advocating for yourself is scary and often uncomfortable, but you have to remember that no one is a mind reader. You can’t assume that your manager knows something is bothering you, so make sure to speak up for yourself. When it comes to advocating for yourself, knowledge is power. I recommend you speak openly with other women about their experiences, wins, and struggles. We’re all going through similar experiences.
DMN: As a woman, what advantages and disadvantages have you experienced in climbing up through your career?
Weinerman: Most studies imply that there aren’t many advantages to being a woman in tech with today’s gender gap. Women raise less VC money, women hold fewer seats in the C-suite and in the boardroom, women founders are few and far between, etc.
However, I see two huge advantages.
The first is that we’re all in this together. We’ve built a community of women who face similar obstacles. There’s even #womenintech and #womenhelpingwomen hashtags! This community now represents women on a mission to make a difference, and everyone knows – don’t get in the way of a woman on a mission!
The second is that major progress is already happening for women in tech – progress leads to momentum, and when you have momentum, you have to capitalize on it. Women techies reading this, let’s do exactly that. New studies have shown that 18-20 percent of all engineering students today are women; women now hold more bachelors and graduate degrees than men; Fortune 500 companies that have at least three women directors see greater ROI across multiple departments; and women today are starting their own businesses at a rate of 1.5x the national average (that’s 20 percent higher than in the early 2000’s). Our clout is growing.
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?
Weinerman: This isn’t particularly advice for women, but for any young, ambitious person who wants a bigger seat at the table: don’t ask how.
Don’t ask how you can help – put in the time and effort to figure it out on your own. Show your manager that you take initiative and can make his/her life easier without asking them how to do it. Demonstrate your ambition, be open to new ideas, speak up, and make yourself invaluable.