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Women Leading in Tech with Amandine Servain

This is a podcast episode titled, Women Leading in Tech with Amandine Servain. The summary for this episode is: <p>Subscribe to Wunderkind's YouTube channel:</p><p><br></p><p>Follow Wunderkind:</p><p>LinkedIn:</p><p>Instagram:</p><p>Facebook:</p><p>Twitter:</p><p><br></p><p>More from Wunderkind:</p><p><br></p><p>Wunderkind is a performance marketing channel that delivers one-to-one messages across email and text at an unmatched scale.</p>
01:42 MIN
01:38 MIN
What Led You to the Marketing Team Here at Wunderkind?
04:25 MIN
How Do You Apply a More French Style of Equity and Inclusion to a Predominantly US Team?
03:45 MIN
What Female Role Models Do You All Look up To?
07:40 MIN
What Advice Would You Give Younger Women Looking for a Career in Marketing Technology?
04:46 MIN
What Challenges Have You Faced Being a Women in Tech?
04:29 MIN
Tips on Maintaining a Healthy Work and Life Balance
03:48 MIN
How Can We Work to Promote Equality and Diversity in the Workplace and the Tech Industry?
03:16 MIN

Today's Hosts

Guest Thumbnail

Vern Tremble

|Senior Director, Marketing, Wunderkind
Guest Thumbnail

Richard Jones

|Chief Revenue Officer, Wunderkind

Megan Kresinske: Hi, everyone. Welcome to another episode of Individuality Unleashed. I'm your host today, which is fun. I don't usually get to be the host, but I'm Megan Kresinske, I lead the product marketing team here at Wunderkind, and I'm joined today by my lovely colleagues, Amandine and Kate. And today's episode's really special because we will be honoring Women's History Month. So I'm so happy to have you both here today, and I will pass it over to Amandine first to give a little intro on herself, and then we'll introduce my co- host for today, Kate.

Amandine Servain: Well, thank you for having me, Megan.

Megan Kresinske: Yeah.

Amandine Servain: Great host inaudible.

Megan Kresinske: Oh, thank you.

Amandine Servain: So I'm Amandine Servain. I hope my name will be spelled out somewhere on the video so you will be able to write it.

Megan Kresinske: It will be.

Amandine Servain: I'm the VP of marketing here at Wunderkind. I joined about four months ago and I lead the amazing marketing team across the globe.

Megan Kresinske: Kate?

Kate Gilson: Love it. Oh, so excited to be here. My name is Kate Gilson. I am a customer success manager here at Wunderkind, so that means I get to work with clients, across tons of different verticals on their marketing strategies. And I am also a co- lead of Wunderwomen, our employee resource group. So, so excited to be here, celebrate Women's History Month, and have a conversation.

Megan Kresinske: Yes, such amazing women leaders here today, so, so excited. But we're going to kick off with Amandine. We're putting you in the hot seat today. I hope you're ready for it.

Amandine Servain: The senior one.

Megan Kresinske: You are the senior one. It comes with the title, and we love you for it. But let's start off with what inspired you to pursue a career in marketing, and what led you here to lead the marketing team at Wunderkind?

Amandine Servain: Good question. I actually started my career not in marketing. So I started in the fashion industry.

Megan Kresinske: So fun. Love it.

Amandine Servain: I was a buyer, so I was buying a collection for the brand I was working for. And then I decided to try and work in the US, and that's when I started in marketing. So I started my career in the event side of marketing. I was working for a company that was doing trade shows at the time, and I spent five years here. And it was a great introduction to marketing to start with events, because that's where you actually connect with your buyers.

Megan Kresinske: Totally agree.

Amandine Servain: So you can start to work, talk with them, understand the pain point, and not just by signals and data, like actual conversation. And then I continued my career in marketing. I moved to other industry, and I ended up about 10 years later in the marketing tech industry working for an ESP at the time. And what I found very interesting to work in a marketing tech company, being in marketing, is that you actually understand the pain point of your buyer.

Megan Kresinske: Of the buyer. I know.

Amandine Servain: Because you're in the same position, you understand the technology they're using, and you also understand the type of trigger and data point that you need to make sure you cover when you build a marketing campaign. You understand what's important in the balance between the creative, the content, and the mechanics that you need to put in place. So that's why it was really, really an interesting path for me to keep on working in the marketing tech in a marketing position.

Megan Kresinske: Yeah, that's amazing. Yeah, I would say that's part of my favorite job here at Wunderkind too, is talking to all of our amazing clients because like you said, we understand their pain points and we understand their needs because we're marketers ourselves. So it's definitely fun. At times, it doesn't feel like work, but of course it is work.

Amandine Servain: Exactly.

Megan Kresinske: But it is fun, but cool. So it's really interesting to hear obviously your background. You live in France. You lead a global team. So I'm just curious, are there any noticeable differences in terms of culture, especially as it pertains to females in French operated businesses versus the US?

Amandine Servain: Yes.

Megan Kresinske: Next question.

Amandine Servain: There are a lot of differences in general, but if you look at female specifically, I guess the French country is a very regulated country where we've got a lot of lows. And good thing is that there has been a lot of laws put in place a decade ago to help with female and male equity in the workspace.

Megan Kresinske: Love that.

Amandine Servain: One of those was making sure there was equity on the government between male and female. So we start to see more and more female politician leaders come into the government and that led to also apply that to the private space on company boards. So there's a law that forces company to have an equity between male and female leaders. Same. And then there's, I guess more transparency in general. So there's an index that's public where you can see what's the equity of salary between male and female.

Megan Kresinske: Wow.

Amandine Servain: So whenever you want to apply for a job, you can also look at those type of index to make your decision. Should I go work for this company that treat male and female same way or another one?

Megan Kresinske: Wow, that's amazing.

Kate Gilson: Love that.

Megan Kresinske: Yes. I'm like Kate.

Kate Gilson: inaudible to that.

Megan Kresinske: How do we get the US index for that?

Kate Gilson: We need it.

Megan Kresinske: Every woman in America would rally behind that. So that's definitely really inspiring to hear. So, noticing those differences between how France operates and the US operates, you obviously have an amazing team of women who work in marketing in the US. How do you transfer some of those more motivating insights to make it seem, I guess, more fair here in the US for your team?

Amandine Servain: Yeah, I guess it's when I look at the team, I apply almost the same principle as for the same job, male or female should be rewarded the same way.

Megan Kresinske: Amen.

Amandine Servain: And then I also think about the context of female going through pregnancy. Males don't, not yet. So we shouldn't penalize female for going through pregnancy.

Megan Kresinske: Absolutely.

Amandine Servain: And they put a blocker to their career. So if you do good work, pregnancy is a step in your life, then when you come back, you should be able to get the same type of promotion that a male would get.

Megan Kresinske: Completely agree. Yeah. I love that so much. I was lucky enough to take my team, which is primarily women, not all women, to a week's trailblazers women event last year, which was amazing. There were so many inspiring women, so many inspiring stories, and a lot of the conversations were brought up around motherhood. And one of the CEOs of a brand we actually work with said, " At times, I'm a better CEO than I am a mother, and at times I'm a better mother than I am a CEO." And that really resonated with me because I think women are always often asked about balancing work and life, especially as it pertains to motherhood. And I definitely don't think it's a balance because in fact it would always be lopsided between your personal life and your work life. I'm not a mother, but that particular statement, I was like, wow, that's really strong, because you've just got to accept that some days you're better at other things than inaudible.

Amandine Servain: Definitely. Yeah. I'm a mom, so I've got two kids. They're young and same to your point. It's like how do you balance your life in general, not just like working life? Because your priority that day might be set and you think, okay, I'm going to work on that all day long, and then up, all of a sudden your kid is sick, so you've got to change. So maybe you failed a little bit at work, but you actually did a good job, and your priority at that time was your kid.

Megan Kresinske: I completely agree. Cool. Well, I think I'm going to pass over to Kate.

Kate Gilson: Yes, thank you.

Megan Kresinske: But maybe both of us in the hot seat.

Kate Gilson: Yes. Love and I so resonate with that. As someone who doesn't have kids, I feel like just embracing the fact that we wear a lot of hats and we might be wearing one all day, or we might be wearing 10 hats in one day, and that's okay. We don't need to split things up completely evenly or put so much pressure on ourselves to do one thing perfectly. That's something I am constantly trying to remind myself of. So yeah. So, moving on,. I know we just touched on some inspirational women in the space, the CEO you mentioned, Megan, and then also politicians. I feel like I as a poli- sci major and just also someone alive and following politics in this day and age-

Megan Kresinske: How can you not?

Kate Gilson: Yep. So inspired by female politicians, but I am very curious if you both have any particular female role models that you really look up to in this space?

Megan Kresinske: I can certainly start. I have various ones in this space. One I'm following in particular is Allie K. Miller. She used to be the global head of machine learning at AWS. She's now just an AI entrepreneur, advisor, investor. I follow a lot of her posts, especially with everything going on in the market in terms of AI, ChatGPT, just like everything that's going on. Obviously in our marketing world, it's all we hear about is the buzzword of the moment. But she's just really smart and I learn most of my knowledge about what's happening in AI through her, which I think is really badass. But outside of the industry, I feel really lucky that in my personal life I'm surrounded in the theme of being badass by a lot of badass women. My older sister is a two- time CEO and founder of two companies, very successful companies in the durable medical equipment world. She is my constant go- to for advice. She's also a mother of three kids. She's navigated a ton in her career. She also has a PhD. I don't know how she does it all. It's wild. So I feel very lucky there. And then my younger sister in just the spirit of women empowerment, different career, she's a chemist and she creates the perfumes and scents for a lot of the products that we probably all use today, which is really cool because you don't think about when you pick up a deodorant or soap or laundry detergent, who's behind it, right?

Kate Gilson: Wow.

Megan Kresinske: My sister does that. And she's really transformed her industry in terms of being actually aligned completely with marketing, being more data driven and being smarter about the perfumes they create. Her and I are like night and day. I remember starting my college career and saying, " Oh, I'm going to be in the medical field. I could be a doctor." I take my first chemistry class. I think I got a nine on my exam. I don't even know if they can give scores that low, but I certainly got it. And I went to my advisor and she's like, " Maybe the whole chemistry world isn't for you." And then my sister is a chemist. So it's just funny to have these different perspectives on work life and different fields. So I feel really lucky. And even outside my family, just by nature of my career and getting to work in a lot of really cool industries, I've spent most of it in MarTech, but I've worked in publishing e- commerce, SaaS, obviously. I've made a lot of great friends and I have such a strong network of such amazing women that honestly, that's probably one of the biggest joys in my life is the relationships I've built at work and the strong network of women I get to surround myself with. And I've even created such friendships at Wunderkind that I think they're truly a match, especially in adulthood. You spend so much of your time at work that these are the people that you can relate to the most. So even outside, there's so many amazing women trailblazers, especially in our field, but I feel really lucky that I have my own personal network of badass women I get to hang out with.

Amandine Servain: Do we get a badass badge?

Kate Gilson: We need them.

Megan Kresinske: We'll make them right after this. I'll pass it over to you, Amandine.

Amandine Servain: Yeah, you mentioned politician. There's one, you probably don't know it because she's French. Her name is Simone Veil. She was a survivor of the Nazi camp. She became a politician and she fought for legal right to abortion, which wasn't an easy path at the time, in the sixties where it was obviously still a lot of religion pressure, obviously a lot of memories. Again, the Nazi memories still there. And she was threatened. Her life was threatened through the process, and she went on and she did it. And now we've got the law, obviously abortion is legal. Now even, we talked about cultural differences in France, trying to put that in the Constitution as one of the amendments and no one can actually take that out anymore. So she was one. And then in the space, I guess Cheryl Sandberg, obviously she work for Meta, not company people like inaudible. But she was one of the first female in a board of such a big tech company, and she fought a lot for equal pay between men and women. So in that sense, I think she brought a lot to the female condition.

Megan Kresinske: Absolutely. Yeah. She was even paid more than Mark. Yeah. I mean, I'm sure he's doing fine, but yeah, he's fine. Love it.

Kate Gilson: Love. Yeah. No, I mean, Megan, to your point, I feel the same way. I feel so incredibly lucky that I have been able to work, but also just know inspiring women in my life. It's funny because I feel like when I was first getting started in my career, I felt so intimidated by women in the workplace. And I think taking a zoomed out approach, my ultimate role model, my forever queen is my mom, and she just embodies everything that I want to be, and so many qualities that I look up to. I can definitely look at things with a more emotional lens. And she is so rooted in logic. And I think just being able to recognize and celebrate our differences as women and look up to each other for those things, that has helped me grow so much. And not even looking at it as like, this person's doing this differently, so they're better or worse. It's just like they're doing it differently, and why would I not be interested in that, and at least explore it, even if it might not work perfectly, with the way that I am, just being able to chat with and meet women internally and externally and break down those barriers. I think it can definitely be intimidating to approach someone that you don't know, or maybe they're a lot more senior than you are. But I think just remembering that we're all people, at the end of the day, we should have these conversations meet each other. And there doesn't need to be this high barrier to entry just because someone's more senior than you internally or externally.

Megan Kresinske: Absolutely. And yes, shout out to my mom too, because she's probably watching this podcast, and now that Kate gave such a wonderful shout- out, I feel like I should do the same.

Amandine Servain: Yeah, all the family inaudible.

Megan Kresinske: Yes. I'll be getting an angry text later. Cool.

Kate Gilson: So moving on to our next question. What advice would you both give younger women that are really interested in a career in marketing technology? And do you have any thoughts on skills or qualities that could set them up for success?

Amandine Servain: I think in general, female tend to not apply to a job if they think they don't meet a hundred percent of the criteria listed on the job description.

Kate Gilson: Absolutely.

Amandine Servain: And we talked about that earlier today, why men will go for it and try.

Megan Kresinske: Always.

Amandine Servain: Female always want to hit perfection. I need to make sure I'm checking the box everywhere. So just by doing, you think you could potentially fit, just go for it in marketing or any type of industry. And then I guess, on the qualification, it also depends on what type of function you are targeting. But if I think about marketing in general, people have that thinking of marketing is like the balloons and the colors and inaudible.

Megan Kresinske: Adjectives.

Amandine Servain: Yeah. How are you going to spend so much time on finding one word? And actually I think I spend 80% of my day on data. So don't think that you can't be a marketer if you're an analytical person. You'd be very good marketer.

Megan Kresinske: Yeah, I completely agree. Marketing started as a data- driven field, and I think that gets lost on some teams. That's why I'm personally so excited that Amandine is here, that she spends 80% of her day on data. We still like the balloons, but it can't be everything. But I love what you said about the job description. I completely agree. I think I am definitely guilty of that. I think every performance review I've had in my career has said something like, good is okay. You don't always have to strive for perfection. And I'm like, yes, I do. But you have so many competing priorities. Sometimes good is sufficient, especially in the workforce. I think in terms of skills, this is probably where it's slightly different for product marketing, but I always look for three qualities. One, empathy. We're a very cross- functional team, so we deal with a lot of different personalities, different requirements. So you really have to be someone who's patient and understanding. Two, I have to look for people who have very strong written and communication skills because that is literally 80% of our job. And the third one, I would definitely say strong interpersonal skills. I often joke that my team also needs to be a therapist in addition to why does the product not work? Why does this not function the way it should? Why wasn't this delivered three weeks ago? And it's like, oh, okay. You always have to be very sympathetic to everyone's needs. I know marketing is also like that. Why haven't we thrown this event? Why haven't we done X? But those are definitely three key things, and I've noticed that my team has been incredibly successful. We've even done strength finder assessments, and I've noticed that my team often has those type of skills. So it's definitely product marketing quality, also being very type A helps too.

Kate Gilson: Yeah, love that. I also feel like part something that I love about working in the tech marketing field is just that it's so dynamic. Things change every day, every week, every year. And to just bring it back to reading a job description, it's like you might apply for a job and that job could be completely different a year from now.

Megan Kresinske: Of course. Yeah.

Kate Gilson: I mean, I think about that prior to Wunderkind, I was on a digital team for a very traditional advertising company where digital was not necessarily their primary focus. And when Covid hit everything moved to digital. So my job changed a lot in 2020, and that's not something that was in that job description when I was hired in 2019. So, I just think that looking at a job description really is a place to jump off. And if I'm generally interested in this, why not shoot my shot? I'm so on board with not needing to check every single box before taking the leap.

Megan Kresinske: Love that. You've an example, Kate.

Kate Gilson: So on the topic of dynamic workplaces with a lot of change and a lot of challenges, I'm curious, Megan, if you have had any particularly challenging experiences in the workplace and how you tackled those?

Megan Kresinske: Yeah, I have a good one. I know I've shared with Amandine before. Yeah. So I've had an interesting career, especially being a woman. I started as a technical writer, so I started working with engineering teams. Shout out to all the women engineers now. But when I started, I won't say how long ago, there were not very many women on the tech floor. We basically sat in the basement. But I had to really navigate being one of the only few women in a very male dominated space. I eventually went on to pursue a career in product management, which I loved. I spent so much time documenting how software work that I wanted to be influential in actually building it. I had so much more to offer. So I was at a startup that eventually got acquired by a larger company. So my very, very small product team, I think there were two or three of us, then became a team of about 40.

Kate Gilson: Wow.

Megan Kresinske: Yeah, it was crazy. And we had an onsite together, and I walked into the room and it was about 40 males and me. And as soon as I walked in, they said, " Oh, sweetie." Which was also nice, " Are you lost?" And I was like, " Oh, no, I'm exactly where I need to be." And sat right up front. And it was, I think a culture shift for everyone. The company that acquired a startup that was honestly a hundred- year- old company. It was kind of crazy. And then eventually I went on to lead that product team a few years later. So it was a very cool moment in terms of my career and navigating this space. And it's been so cool to see so many more women. We even have such an incredible team of such strong product women here at Wunderkind. I decided that I actually liked marketing products more than I liked building them. But yeah, it's a story I reflect on a lot and I try to share whenever I can because I think it is really important that women, no matter how intimidating, always should have a seat at the table. Yea.

Amandine Servain: Great example. I'm pretty sure it happens all the time.

Megan Kresinske: All the time, yeah, and still happens. But I do feel like we are making a lot of positive changes for sure.

Kate Gilson: And it's like, I don't know, thinking about that, we can only control our side of the field. So it's like, there are definitely going to be people that say things like that. And as you were telling that story, I'm sitting here, I literally cannot believe that that happened.

Megan Kresinske: Wild, right?

Kate Gilson: It's wild.

Megan Kresinske: Yeah, I know.

Kate Gilson: But expecting the unexpected, I do feel like it's just a general life best practice. But also, it's about how you react, and I love that you weren't just like, " Oh, okay."

Amandine Servain: Justify.

Kate Gilson: Yeah. Think about it later. It's like, no, this person said something inappropriate and incorrect and they should know.

Megan Kresinske: Oh, yeah. No. I think my family immediately was not at all surprised, and I'm sure they were very sorry that they said that to you. Yeah. So I know, I feel like us women could write a book, all of us, on navigating their careers. Yes, for sure. Well, thank you for the question, Kate. It's always fun to share that story. Yeah. Pivot back to Amandine. So talking a lot today, I think we touched on this earlier, about balance, which there isn't a lot of, but how do you prioritize your time, especially working across time zones? Oh, I just thought about that. And your priorities at home. Do you have any tips for the viewers on, I don't want to say maintaining a healthy balance, but just any advice you have?

Amandine Servain: White wine.

Megan Kresinske: White wine. Okay. Great minds.

Amandine Servain: But from Thursday only to inaudible.

Megan Kresinske: Oh, yeah. Weekends only, right?

Amandine Servain: Yes. inaudible. I guess, I think you said that thinking about what you do and the impact and can you actually prioritize better? I'm just going to say that, but we're not saving lives. I'm not a heart surgeon. Nobody's going to die if my team doesn't deliver something in the hour. So I guess pushing that message to myself and to my team so they understand they need to do good and not perfect all the time.

Megan Kresinske: I know it's the worst, but best advice. Yeah.

Amandine Servain: Yeah, exactly. And then for myself, I guess, I think it actually helps you understand what's important because they've got needs and they're young, so they get their needs that you can't push forward too much. And then the time zone is really about making sure that you allocate time, plan. I do a lot of planning. And I feel like being a mom helped me plan even better. We discussed a little bit. I think the best candidates are moms because they can multitask.

Megan Kresinske: Totally.

Amandine Servain: They can prioritize. Have you ever sit in a room full of people yelling at you, your children, and not lose your temper? Mom can do that.

Megan Kresinske: I know. It's wild.

Kate Gilson: Incredible.

Megan Kresinske: Yeah. That's why I love being the aunt, but I get to return them at the end of the day. But I totally agree. All my sisters and the women in my life who are moms, you guys are next level. It's really such a difficult inaudible.

Amandine Servain: I mean, it's great that we can do all those things now as females, but it also has this counterpart, which means you've got to manage several life at once.

Megan Kresinske: Yes. You're responsible for humans.

Amandine Servain: Yeah. So yeah, I manage, I plan a lot and also want to make my decision. When you talked about the story, you talked about walking into a room and say, sweetie. When I become a mom, people tend to take the decision for me, " Oh, you can't go because you've got children." But, sorry. I know how to manage my life. So making sure people understand you've got a plan. I watched that movie, I don't know the name in English, the one with the Williams sister, the tennis player.

Megan Kresinske: Oh, yes. Serena.

Amandine Servain: Yeah. And so the father was like, if you don't have a plan, you're going to fail. And that's how I manage my balance in life. Always plan.

Megan Kresinske: Yeah. I love that. So important. Yeah. My sister just went back to work after her child was born, and she happens to be a girl. So she's always like, oh, I'm doing this. It's tough, but I'm doing this because I want to make my daughter proud one day. And I was like, yeah, it's so important. So it's so nice to hear your perspective on that. Yeah.

Kate Gilson: I love that. I feel like moms could write a book about times they've had to quickly pivot, based on their children. My mom definitely has some funny stories about me. They do that too.

Megan Kresinske: And they can accommodate the work. Yeah. It applies so much to the work world too. Cool. Well, we've had such good conversations today. I have one more question for the both of you. How do you think we can work together to promote more equality and diversity in the workplace and in our industry?

Amandine Servain: I think going back to what I talked about with the French law being different, I think understanding where we stand, data, and making sure that data is available, transparency helps everyone. Because I think you know what's the path forward. And you can show progress. I think that helps everyone, and not just female versus male, everyone.

Megan Kresinske: Yep. I totally agree. And you, Kate?

Kate Gilson: I totally agree with that. I feel like there needs to always be a marriage of data and then also conversation. So I think just having conversations with people, educating yourself, understanding what different people are doing in different roles, in different spaces. I always think back to a friend of mine who is a computer engineer, and he was saying that he was inspired to learn how to code because he and all of his friends spoke about it. And that was just not something that I've ever done with a friend, is talk about coding. And he even said it really bummed him out to think about how so many women that he knows find that space so daunting to enter, just because it's never been framed as, you're kind of learning a new language and this is fun, and if you hate it, you can stop doing it. So I think, yeah, just having conversations about things that you don't know about, being transparent and also just being fearless. I think that it's so easy to get intimidated by other people, especially if they're more senior than you or working in a completely different space and you feel like you don't know how to speak their language. But at the end of the day, we're all doing our best and people love to talk about themselves and their own experiences. I know I do. So I think just being open and being curious is so important too.

Megan Kresinske: Completely agree. I think fearless is that adjective that should be always used.

Amandine Servain: Badass you mean.

Megan Kresinske: Yeah. And badass, to market women. Well, this is so much fun. I want to thank Amandine and Kate for joining me today on Individuality Unleashed. I'm obviously biased, but I think this was one of our best episodes. I also want to do a plug. We at Wunderkind partner with so many amazing women- founded brands like JLo Beauty, the Queen, DVF, which we just did an amazing case study with. So be on the lookout for that. And we'll also be at Women in Retail next month. I will be on stage with one of our partners, Bandier, so please be on the lookout if you're there. Come and say hi to us. Otherwise, we will see you on the next episode of Individuality Unleashed, and thank you for joining us today.