Meet the 2019 Honorees! Jessica Fardin, Chief Marketing Officer of Episerver

Jessica is the CMO at Episerver

What is the greatest challenge you have overcome?

Some of our biggest challenges are the limitations we put on ourselves, which for me has been twofold. For one, I’ve had to trust that my authentic self is exactly who I should be. I don’t need to try to be what others expect me to be. It’s too exhausting to mimic another person or manifest a persona. I’ve overcome this challenge by trusting that I can be my authentic self. Secondly, I’ve learned that it’s OK to fail and not to be afraid of doing so. Too many women feel they need to know everything before they take a new position. I was one of them when I started my career. I have since decided to take on new roles where I feel like, “Oh boy! How will I be able to do this?” It’s super rewarding when after a few months you are doing it in a way only you can – even despite those initial hesitations.  

What are the main advantages and disadvantages of being a woman in the workplace?

A disadvantage or challenge is that women tend to not speak up as much in the workplace. We all have a responsibility to set a structure that allows women to have a say, so no idea is left unsaid. One such thing could be to mandate that the meeting invites are very clear with a topic, description: what will we discuss, what would we like to achieve? Since men tend to be more comfortable speaking even if they don’t have all their “facts” right, mandating an agenda will allow everyone to be as prepared as they need in order to speak up. As a result, meetings become more diverse and more efficient. 

An advantage I’ve had as a woman is approaching challenges in a slightly different way than my male colleagues, either in a more simplistic manner or simply from another perspective. If you are working in a male-dominated industry (as I do in tech), I can assure you that from time to time you will have a different take on a topic or initiative. Bring that diversity to the table and encourage it too, as it’s critical for personal and professional success. 

What do you think women in the workplace have today that they didn’t have before?

More and more companies understand that diversity is good for business; use that opportunity to speak up and take a seat at the table where decisions are made and your peers could benefit from your unique experience and viewpoint.  

What do you think the next generation of women marketers will have that the present one does not?

Even more tech! I hope the next generation of marketers will have a board of directors and senior management where 50 percent are women. If your organization is not moving in this direction, speak up and volunteer to champion this change. 

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