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“Don’t take it easy on me just because I’m a woman”

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In celebration of Women’s History Month, our Women in Mobile series took over our Apptivate podcast in March 2022. Maria Lannon, Remerge VP of Account Management, talked to app marketers at Bolt, AppsFlyer, Truebill, and Customlytics with a special focus on their challenges and successes in the mobile industry.

Succeeding at app marketing

Not everyone grows up dreaming of a career in mobile app marketing but life has a funny way of showing where your talents will shine brighter. This was the case for Camila Carneiro, Team Lead of Partner Development at Appsflyer, who was one of the four inspirational marketers to join Apptivate's Women in Mobile podcast series in March 2022 for Women’s History Month.

Camila is from Brazil and was studying a marketing post-grad abroad in Toronto when she decided to take on a part-time job as a dog sitter. While on the job, she was caring for the dog of a highly accomplished, empowered woman who helped her realize, by example, the type of career she wanted to have.

“It started to open my mind in terms of acknowledging that women belong in big places, and she actually started to help me build my own confidence,” said Camila about her mentor by coincidence, “that was a live and clear example of what a woman can achieve and what a woman can be.”

Now, Camila strives to be that force of inspiration, mentorship, and comfort for women in the field trying to find their voice and strength in male-dominated environments. “Being the only woman, I found myself sometimes having to listen to men say bad things about women while I was in the room,” shares Camila. “I had as much potential as they did, so I should be included in higher-level conversations; I should be involved in meaningful projects. Don’t take it easy on me just because I am a woman.”

Camila’s background paints a perfect picture of how succeeding at app marketing goes beyond doing what’s asked for your role. It’s also about speaking up and making your voice heard. Camila shares, “if you feel uncomfortable in whatever situation that you might be in because there are only men in the room or because you are feeling judged for being a woman, you need to build the courage to speak up.”

Leadership in mobile marketing

Being a leader often comes with a full plate of responsibilities. While being in the right place at the right time goes a long way when it comes to seizing opportunities, it’s also a matter of taking matters into your own hands.

Laura Spikermann from Customlytics, talks about her transition into a leadership position and what that experience was like coming from a non-mobile marketing background.

“I visited the office and got talking.” Coming from a marketing and HR background, Laura presented her case to join the company, “I started as a consultant so that meant I was responsible for different clients. Even back then we already had bigger clients on board, after training for a while, I was able to take responsibility for those.”

« It’s a mixture of speaking to colleagues and people from the network to see how they are dealing with situations. »

LAURA SPIKERMANN, CLIENT SERVICES LEAD AT CUSTOMLYTICS

“After time progressed, I was starting my own little team to manage the big clients, and this was after two years of being with the company. Then I gained responsibility for specific team members. And then after another year, as we were restructuring the company, this is how my current position came along.”

Laura’s experience sheds light on how networking and putting yourself out there get you results. Leadership roles aren’t built in a day, but they can certainly waver very easily if there’s not a strong foundation to go with it. Laura shares details about the challenges she’s faced.

“One of the challenges I faced was that I was pretty close with multiple team members and also friends with them, and when I transitioned into my new position, I had to find a way to set some boundaries and see how we can collaborate together.”

“In the beginning, I have to admit I was unsure how it was going to play out. ‘Can we still be friends? Can I still be managing someone like that?’ but it did work out pretty well. I think it's important to be open about that so I addressed it with them, and went ‘Look, I'm going to have to make some decisions that might not always maybe be what you would hope me to do or what you would like me to do, but I would still like to keep your friendship.’ So, in the beginning, it was better to set boundaries.”

When it came to growing into her leadership role, Laura believes “it’s a mixture of speaking to colleagues and people from the network to see how they are dealing with situations. I did reach out to some people I knew from my previous internship or from when I was a working student.”

“There’s also different ways of learning and training yourself like Skillshare, Masterclass, LinkedIn Learning, and all of those platforms you can use to get some inputs if you wanted to. Also, just noticing how you are dealing with situations and reflecting on it as well, I think that’s also important because you can try different methods.”

Work-life balance

Particularly for women, there’s always added pressure to not only do everything that’s expected of them but to go well beyond that. While some of that pressure is self-inflicted, society plays a monumental role in making women believe they always need to be doing more, being more, and dealing with more.

As Fabiana Ayala from Truebill shares, it’s okay to hit pause and reshuffle your priorities, ensuring your well-being is front and center, doing what’s good for you and your priorities at the time.

“I just put everything in a page and just say, ‘Okay, what is going to help me live my best life?’” She also adds, “You can just say ‘I won’t do it now'” and put something on pause. It’s okay to reshuffle your priority list and reflect on what makes you happy. How can you still have plans, ideas, and dreams, but at the same time know what you’re capable of doing with that time you have available.”

Finding a good work-life balance is easier said than done, with many women juggling different responsibilities and wearing many hats, especially now with entire workforces working remotely. Whether it’s family, a side hustle, traveling, or everything in between, it can be taxing to schedule time adequately so it fits the reality of both work and personal calendars. Fabiana is an advocate of having a unified calendar where you schedule both your work and personal events. That way, co-workers can know if you jumped out quickly to grab some groceries, at a doctor’s appointment, or in a stakeholder meeting.

“It brings another level of understanding that, especially now when we're working from home, it's just understanding that our schedules can be a bit more flexible and allow for that. I think just putting things on your calendar allows that level of visibility and then you don't need to state every single time that you are going to be offline for half an hour or so.”

« I think you have to be true to your word. If you don't want your employees to work overtime, you shouldn't be online during work hours. »

Liia Palipea, GLOBAL HEAD OF FOOD MARKETING AT BOLT

Mental health and well-being

The past couple of years has made it abundantly clear that mental health conversations need to happen in the workplace. The well-being of employees takes on a higher meaning in these uncertain times as the pandemic has taken a toll on most of us, be it in the form of anxiety, panic attacks, depression, dissociative disorders, insomnia, unhealthy habits, and more.

As Liia Palipea details, “we were given free psychology consultations where you can talk to a psychologist about the pressures that you’re having. Mainly, the company gave us this benefit to manage the pandemic but it stayed on and as employees, we can understand the healthy line between the balance of work and life.”

Making mental health a priority is pivotal to empowering employees to be their best selves by not just being physically well, but also mentally well. Empathetic leadership helps employees cope with the day-to-day pressures of work, and Liia shares how she encourages her employees to take care of their wellbeing.

“I think you have to be true to your word. If you don't want your employees to work overtime, you shouldn't be online during after-work hours.” She also mentions “I generally try not to bother my employees during work hours at holiday time.”

Our guests

We cannot emphasize enough how much value our guests poured into the podcast. Hearing different life stories helps give perspective to this crazy world, and gives us the empathy to acknowledge the struggles, challenges, and achievements women get done every single day.

We would like to thank everyone who participated in our Women in Mobile series during Women's History Month:

Fabiana Ayala, Growth Marketing Manager at Truebill

In episode 116, Fabiana shares her experiences speaking up in the workplace with English as a second language. She also discusses her work "must-haves"and why she uses a single calendar to schedule both her personal and professional events, even if it’s just getting groceries.

Camila Carneiro, Team Lead of Partner Development at AppsFlyer

In episode 117 Camila shares her unique experience of what it was like to be the first and only woman in Latin America to work for AppsFlyer. Camila also talks about her passion for speaking up, taking action, and building a community for the inclusion and representation of women in the mobile space.

Liia Palipea, Global Head of Food Marketing at Bolt

Liia brought the app’s new food delivery feature to market in over 20 countries and 70 cities in Europe and Africa during the pandemic. In episode 118 she talks about how this experience taught her how to evaluate what’s important and cope with stress when nothing can be cut from the to-do list.

Laura Spikermann, Client Services Lead at Customlytics

In episode 119 Laura talks about how she began her career in mobile marketing from the ground up at the company. Today, she is responsible for managing the company’s six service departments as the Client Services Lead. Laura shares what she’s learned about stepping into a leadership role—from setting boundaries with friends at work and discovering her leadership style, to restoring her energy through yoga and mental health services.