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Lessons in Personal Growth from Women in Marketing Ops

Jess Cody

In honor of International Women’s Day, we want to show our appreciation for all the incredible women in marketing operations that we’ve had the privilege of speaking with over the past year on our weekly series, Marketing Ops Confessions! We put together some of our favorite takeaways on dealing with imposter syndrome, finding your community, and empowering others through leadership.

Combatting imposter syndrome

A recent study by KPMG found that 75% of executive women have experienced imposter syndrome at some point in their careers. 

In SaaS, there are always new ways of doing things, new tools, and new trends that make it overwhelming to keep up. Companies don’t do a great job of helping combat imposter syndrome, either. They post unrealistic job descriptions that require candidates to be experts in 10+ areas and don’t provide the same career advancement opportunities to men and women. 

So, what are some ways you can own your confidence and combat imposter syndrome? 

Courtney McAra, Marketing Ops at Mustang MarTech, Chelsea Kiko, Director of Marketing Ops at McGraw Hill, and Asia Corbett, Senior Revenue Operations Manager at Bread, shared their advice. 

Get comfortable asking for help

“It’s ok if you don’t know,” Courtney McAra shared. 

While imposter syndrome doesn’t disappear, it’s something that we can all work to manage. A great starting point is understanding that it is ok to ask for help. No one knows everything, so be open to doing the research and admitting when you need help. 

Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and don’t feel bad about asking.

Courtney also shared that it helps to talk to others in her space about their challenges and struggles to know she’s not alone. She cited a conversation with a woman who has a Ph.D. in Marketing, is a Marketo champion, and carries many other accolades but still feels the effects of imposter syndrome. Even as you achieve your goals, imposter syndrome can still exist, so let’s continue to share stories, challenges, and successes and help one another! 

Advocate for yourself  

Chelsea Kiko shared that she, too, has felt the effects of imposter syndrome. 

She deals with these feelings by reminding herself of her impact on an organization. Keeping a google doc, email folder, whatever it is to track positive feedback, accomplishments, and project wins is a great way to remind yourself of how awesome you are. Documenting and celebrating your wins helps visualize how much you’ve done and helps to justify future requests for promotions and budget.  

Take up space

“Command that space, knowing that’s where you should be,” says Asia Corbett.

Asia reminds women of color to take up space and know their worth. It is easy to have imposter syndrome and feel isolated when you don’t see people like you represented in your field. Her advice is to seek out organizations where you can be yourself find ways to include others. 

While owning who you are is essential, it is everyone’s responsibility to include, represent, and elevate diverse ideas and people. When selecting speakers for panels, webinars, events, and more, we should all be taking stock of if they represent a diverse group of people. 

Find your community 

We could all use a little Leslie Knope energy in how we support one another.  

The last few years, in particular, have been isolating for many reasons, but having a community, whether it is a group of friends, a work squad, or joining a Slack group, is essential in feeling supported and empowered.

Andy Caron, VP of Consulting at Revenue Pulse, and Kimi Corrigan, Vice President of Marketing Operations and Strategy at Expel, shared their thoughts on the value and importance of community.  

Find your hype squad

Marketing ops is often an under-recognized role. There is a lot of behind-the-scenes work and few public-facing accolades. 

Kimi Corrigan shared advice (that we love) on building your own internal hype squad. While marketing ops may not always receive the recognition they deserve, if you surround yourself with the right people and lift each other, it will serve as a motivating force.

Put yourself out there

“Don’t tell yourself no before others can,” Andy Caron shared. 

As women, we often disqualify ourselves preemptively. 

Andy suggests putting yourself out there and reaching out to someone you admire or follow that you want to learn and grow from. Building these relationships could lead to mentorship or, at the very least, a good conversation and new connection! Show them you know why you want to reach out and feel confident in making the ask. 

Empowering others through leadership  

Leadership is much more than holding a specific title within a company. True leadership is supporting those around you to help them grow and succeed. 

We should use leadership positions as an opportunity to help increase the visibility and voices of others. Chelsea Kiko, Director of Marketing Ops at McGraw Hill, and Britney Young, Marketing Operations Manager at McKesson, shared how they do just that. 

Develop career paths for your team

Chelsea Kiko uses her leadership position to help elevate her team. She works with them to help them determine their path, whether they want to pursue people management or stay an individual contributor/subject matter expert, and how to get there.

In addition to recurring 1:1s, at least once a quarter, she holds career check-ins to understand what she can do to make her team happier and help them get to where they want to go. Chelsea also regularly asks what she can do better as a manager to best help them grow.

Empower others and scale yourself 

Britney Young shared how she works to increase knowledge-share, empowering her team to learn more and enabling her to scale herself. She schedules “Let’s learn Marketo” sessions, providing an opportunity for team members to ask questions or learn new tips and tricks about Marketo. She also utilizes communities for new events, tips, tricks, and more to share with her team.

Let’s lift each other up and remember, outside of International Women’s Day, to think about how we can continue bridging the gap and ensuring everyone has a seat at the table. We also shared great insights from 15 incredible women last year – check it out here! 

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