As we celebrate International Women’s Day this year, it’s important to recognize the professional achievements of women across various fields. Marketing is one of the industries whose workforce has seen a significant increase in women over the last few years. In fact, 60% of marketing professionals in the US identify as women.
To shed light on the experiences, challenges, and achievements of women in marketing, we asked members of our team to answer some questions! From working with global brands to starting their own successful ventures, these women have broken down barriers, shattered glass ceilings, and paved the way for the next generation of women marketers.
In this blog, we share their insights, experiences, and advice, as they discuss their journey, the importance of diversity in marketing, and the impact of women in the industry. Join us as we celebrate and honour the achievements of women in marketing and learn from their valuable insights.
Sonia Batra, Director of PMO: Marketing was one of my favourite subjects at university. I was always drawn toward how brands and agencies would market their products and services using smart communication. We’ve seen marketing evolve over generations, but one thing that stays constant is storytelling, and that is what I absolutely love about what I do! I knew from then on, that this is my calling.
Natalia Osmolovskaya, Photographer: I love working with creatives and figuring out unique ways to solve different kinds of problems. No day is the same, and being a photographer in marketing keeps me on my toes and helps me grow. To me, it’s not just a job but a fun work environment in which I get to spend time with like-minded creatives who have the same goal.
Tanya Cruz, Director of Communications: One thing that often doesn’t get acknowledged very often is the role women play in putting other women down. We’re not surprised when this comes from institutions or our male counterparts, but for myself personally, I was surprised to experience or witness the number of times women played a role in putting myself or others down. When you’re young in your career and experience this sort of thing like I did, it can be shocking because it comes from a place you least expected it to. There’s definitely a feeling of betrayal but something that I’ve learned is this behaviour is a product of generations of patriarchy and as a result, there are many women out there that still feel like they need to undercut others in order to take their spot. There’s a lot of unlearning and work women have to do within the community itself but something that helped me overcome this is remembering that these experiences are not a true reflection of the entire community. There are still TONS of women out there doing what they can to uplift others. And when we’re given opportunities to do the same, do it! If we want change to happen, we need to be at the forefront of that as well.
Angela Chau, Sr. Social Media Manager: Despite the strides that have been made towards equal wages, I still feel that women are underpaid and under-recognized for their value in the industry. Women in Canada earn 89 cents for every dollar made by a man, with racialized women being affected the most. I will always push for pay transparency and encourage women to know their value and to fight for what they deserve. This is a challenge we still face, but I think the more open we are talking about it, the closer we’ll get to pay equality.
Marta Gongos, HR Coordinator: Having more women in leadership positions actually increases the chance that other women will succeed in their careers. Some of my favourite research findings show that when looking up at people who are more successful than you, seeing someone who is similar to you and whom you can identify with, makes you feel more motivated and positive about being able to achieve that same success. The more women we have at the top, the better women as a whole will feel about reaching high achievements, and that will all contribute immensely to the success of a company!
Sara Ensan, Digital Designer: Having more women at the top of companies makes leadership roles more accessible to young women just starting in their careers. It’s extremely discouraging as a young woman to look at a company you’ve always dreamed of working at and see no women in management. It sets the precedent that there’s no place for you to grow. The more women we have on top, the more women will be encouraged to strive for leadership positions!
Gabby Frank, Lead Photographer: Erin Leydon has been my mentor and a major inspiration for the last ten years. She took me under her wing as a photo assistant capturing weddings, architecture, portraits, and much more! I feel truly grateful to have someone like Erin in my life to learn from, provide constructive feedback, and answer questions with full transparency.
Tanya Cruz, Director of Communications: There are a lot of women in my life that I admire and have the privilege of working alongside, but when it comes to my biggest role model and inspiration no one comes close to my Mom. She immigrated to Canada in her late twenties (close to the age I am now) as a single woman who didn’t know how to speak any English! She uprooted herself from her family and home country with the dream of making a better life for herself and the fact she navigated that process with little support took a lot of bravery. Growing up, it was my mom who instilled a great sense of belief in me. She gave me permission to dream big and never play small and she taught me there’s space for me anywhere I want to go in my career, even if I have to create that space for myself. And most importantly, she taught me that it’s possible to have all these things and still lead with integrity and kindness every step of the way. My mom’s resilience and spirit have shaped me the most and there’s no way I’d be where I am without her.
Jackie Tambosso, Sr. Client Success Manager: I will forever be grateful for and always admire my mom and sister. My mom was a single mother raising two kids throughout high school and university—that’s not an easy job! She worked daily, ensuring that my sister and I were as happy as we could be, living our best life, without hesitation or complaints. My sister is working so hard at pursuing her dream career of being a lawyer, a field that’s predominately made up of men. I admire her for her hard work, dedication, and courage and know that she’ll come out strong and exceed in that field. They are always showing me nothing but strength and love, constantly challenging me to be a better version of myself.
Gabby Frank, Lead Photographer: I have built confidence and resiliency over the course of my career by asking questions, spending countless hours practicing and researching areas of difficulty, and stepping out of my comfort zone. I feel like these all go hand in hand with passion and determination. It’s okay to feel defeated sometimes or unsure of how well you are doing—this is what will inspire you to grow!
Maggie Fogg, Sr. Client Success Manager: Taking risks, embracing the uncomfortable, and speaking up when I have something to say (even if I’m nervous about how the message will be received) are all practices that I’ve used to build confidence over my career. Similarly, I’ve developed my resilience muscle by learning how to pick myself up quickly after perceived failures, then pivoting and reflecting on what I’ve learned so I can try again with gusto and never spend too long in a “down” place.
Sonia Batra, Director of PMO: Stepping out of my comfort zone, taking on new challenges, collaborating with like-minded people, being curious and adapting to new environments have worked great for me! They all tie into one another, making me feel a lot more confident in the way I approached situations and challenges.
Natalia Osmolovskaya, Photographer: By learning new skills and practicing them on a daily basis. I love keeping track of the projects I’ve worked on throughout the year and looking at this list just before New Year’s Eve. It feels amazing seeing how much I’ve accomplished and how far I’ve come in such a short time, and builds up my confidence for the upcoming year to become even better!
Sari Klaczkowski, Sr. Client Success Manager: From the beginning of my career, I have been fortunate to be pushed right into the deep end of many high-pressure situations. I have learnt from my mistakes and always try to apply my learnings and experiences to the next challenge. I have a friend who always says determination is key, and if you continue to put in the effort, apply any feedback, and work hard, you will achieve your goals. For me, confidence has come with experience and I have continued to progress in my career, I have seen my confidence grow.
Darcy Price, Content Manager: Building confidence comes down to pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Whatever may seem scary in the moment is usually a good indicator that you’re going to grow from it and come out stronger because of it. My advice is to not be afraid to ask questions, get involved, and don’t get caught up in the details. Practice, practice, practice—eventually whatever you’re unsure about will become second nature.
Stephanie Cho, Digital Designer: I built my confidence by embracing discomfort and not limiting myself. I believe that the smaller the comfort zone is, the less confidence you have in yourself and your abilities and the more you face your fears and challenge them, the more confident you will become.
Angela Chau, Sr. Social Media Manager: Marketing is a competitive industry, and rejection is inevitable. Fear used to hold me back from going after what I wanted, but after asking myself “What’s the worst that could happen?” I realized the only person holding me back was myself. For every 100 “noes” there will be one “yes” that makes it all worth it—and even if you don’t get a yes, there’s always something to learn and improve on. We’re all just faking it ’til we make it, so go after what you want and do it with confidence!
Suhani Purohit, SEO Specialist: Throughout my life, I have faced failure and setbacks that at times left me feeling demotivated and uncertain. However, I have always maintained a determined mindset and refused to give up. Instead of dwelling on my failures, I have made a conscious effort to focus on what I can do better next time. Taking care of my physical and mental health has played an important role in this process, allowing me to stay calm and focused even in the face of adversity. Through my experiences, I have learned that resilience and determination are key to achieving success, and I am committed to continuing to grow and develop both personally and professionally.
Gabby Frank, Lead Photographer: Community is everything. Sharing a space with like-minded individuals who lift each other up, lend a hand, and support each other is where I want to be. It’s so important to surround yourself with positive influences and people who inspire you!
Maggie Fogg, Sr. Client Success Manager: As women, I believe lifting each other up is essential. I’ve observed environments in my career where women feel competitive with each other and even undercut each other, but in reality, we’re all going through a similar experience. Why not offer each other a hand? We remember those who have given us time and support, and in turn, it inspires us to show that kindness to others.
Sara Ensan, Digital Designer: It’s so important for women to support each other, inspire each other to do their best, and help each other achieve their goals. To me, lifting each other up means trying to move up together, not in place of each other. I don’t think women should treat each other as competition, but rather take our different strengths as an opportunity to learn from each other and lift each other up!
Sonia Batra, Director of PMO: As a person, I feed off positive energy and draw inspiration from those around me. So it’s very important to me to have women who uplift me and vice versa. I’ve been lucky to be surrounded by many such women in my life who are my strongest cheerleaders and critics. When we are surrounded by such role models, we automatically set higher benchmarks to become better versions of ourselves. In such a scenario, creating a healthy environment to co-exist and uplift one another is extremely important. And honestly, there is a place for everyone to grow together.
Sari Klaczkowski, Sr. Client Success Manager: Women supporting and lifting each other up is everything. There is no need to be anything but supportive to the women you work with. We all have something to learn from each other. I have always worked in a female-dominated work environment and the majority of my supervisors have been female. I always had an example of female leaders, setting the stage and never doubted that I couldn’t be one myself. I also am the youngest of three girls so I have been lucky to have two older sisters to also lead me and teach me from a young age that there is nothing that we can’t do!
Jackie Tambosso, Sr. Client Success Manager: It is extremely important for women to support one another and lift each other up. I wouldn’t be where I am today (personally and professionally) if it weren’t for the women in my life supporting me. To me, lifting each other up means that we’re working together to be the best versions of ourselves. We empower one another and provide each other with joy and courage to live the best life we could possibly live.
Stephanie Cho, Digital Designer: It is incredibly important for women to lift each other up. Every woman has the potential to make a positive impact in the world, and by supporting each other we can create a more inclusive and powerful society. By lifting each other up, women can become better versions of themselves and make a real difference in the world.
Kitty Lana Carr, Account Director, Creative Services: Women are conditioned to be “less loud”, “less assertive” and to make themselves smaller. Supporting other women and pushing each other to break out of this framework is so important for our careers and lives. All it takes is one person to provide a platform for women to voice their opinions, one person to encourage women to fight for pay equity, and one person to provide positive feedback to change the course of how we approach every day and instill confidence in each other!
Stephanie Palasti, VP of Client Solutions: As women, supporting each other is everything. I’ve had many women throughout my career who have inspired me to be better. I’ve never been one to feel jealous of another woman’s success—I admire those women, am proud of them, and look up to them! Let’s continue to support each other’s wins and bring each other up during the tough times.
Stephanie Palasti, VP of Client Solutions: Being a working woman and starting a family doesn’t come easy. There’s a lot of pressure put on working women to be the ones to put their careers on hold when deciding to start a family. I’d like to see this change. When my husband and I had our second child, we split our parental leave, which was the best decision we could have made for our growing family. I see more and more men taking parental leave, and I’d like to see this becoming more of a norm for working couples so that women can continue to work on their careers while caring for their families.
Marta Gongos, HR Coordinator: I think women in this generation experience mixed messaging on gender equality which can feel super confusing. On one hand, we’re told that women are equal to men and we can obtain all the same successes that men do. On the other hand, there are still many barriers to complete gender equality. This disconnect can feel really frustrating and discouraging. It’s amazing that women now have access to opportunities that previous generations did not, but that fight for more progress still isn’t over. We have to keep pushing.
Darcy Price, Content Manager: The biggest issue facing women my age is easily burnout and the myth of “having it all.” Society has shifted in that gender norms have evolved, and women are no longer expected to stay at home. However, women with families disproportionally fall into the role of “primary parent.” Juggling careers and family life continues to be the leading cause of burnout and in most cases, women are the ones that have to sacrifice their professional growth and make compromises when the needs of children and other family members collide with work. This shouldn’t be a choice we’re forced to make.
Angela Chau, Sr. Social Media Manager: While the stigma around mental health is slowly being lifted, I think women are still afraid to speak up about anxiety, stress, and the importance of work-life balance in the workplace. As women especially, there’s a notion of not wanting to appear weak or incapable—in reality, it takes great strength to admit when you need help or time to show yourself some extra love.
Maggie Fogg, Sr. Client Success Manager: Stop trying to get somewhere so fast!! Slow down, enjoy the ride, embrace the experience, appreciate those around you and try to learn something every day. Most importantly: realize that there isn’t really “somewhere to get to”, we’re already here. This is the playing field.
Natalia Osmolovskaya, Photographer: Create more personal projects because that’s where you get to experiment and learn what you really like to do. Personal projects also showcase what you can do even if you don’t have the experience and force you to learn by making mistakes.
Sari Klaczkowski, Sr. Client Success Manager: When I was younger I had a lot of self-doubt and anxiety about the unknown. I was always really ambitious and put a lot of pressure on myself when I started working. I think I would tell myself to not worry as much, to be confident that my hard work would pay off, and that I am doing the right things to get there.
Darcy Price, Content Manager: There are no right or wrong choices—everything you choose to do is right for you. Follow your passions, never stop exploring, draw inspiration from the world around you, keep writing, keep reading, your thoughts and ideas matter.
Jackie Tambosso, Sr. Client Success Manager: Saying “no” is a perfectly acceptable answer. Sometimes as women, we find ourselves in situations where we feel pressured to say “yes” even if we don’t want to. Saying “no” won’t hurt you or jeopardize your life—it can actually help you and allow you to focus on things that matter to you.
Kitty Lana Carr, Account Director, Creative Services: Focus on doing what you enjoy. Other people’s expectations (or your interpretation of others’ expectations) are not your concern. When you lean into cultivating your passions, that is where the magic lies! Staying true to yourself and engaging in activities, learning, and people that lift you up and bring you joy will lead you to a fulfilling life. There are more careers than a doctor, lawyer, and engineer—trust me.
Suhani Purohit, SEO Specialist: If I were able to give advice to my younger self, I would tell her to be confident in her abilities and to speak up for herself more often. I would also encourage her to take risks and pursue her passions, even if they seemed unconventional or risky. Finally, I would tell her to surround herself with people who support and uplift her, rather than those who bring her down or make her feel small.
Stephanie Palasti, VP of Client Solutions: The message that I want to send out to young women thinking about their careers, and what I will tell my daughter and son as they grow up, is that there are no “men” or “women” careers. Young women should choose whatever career makes them happy! You want to be a woman in trades? Go for it!
Marta Gongos, HR Coordinator: You don’t need to have everything figured out right away. So often, we get frozen in the fear of making the “wrong move”. Guess what? There’s no such thing! Each step you take is a step forward and your path doesn’t need to be linear for you to succeed. You’re going to make moves that aren’t ideal but this doesn’t mean your whole career trajectory is ruined. Each phase of your career will teach you something new and that will only bring you closer to a career you love.
Sara Ensan, Digital Designer: Choose a career because it’s something you love not because society says that’s where your place is. If there isn’t female representation in the position you want now, don’t let that stop you. Take it as motivation to be the female representation we’re missing.
Tanya Cruz, Director of Communications: Regardless of what career you get into, always operate in a spirit of collaboration over competition. There is space for everyone! And regardless of where you are in your career, whether you’re just starting out or a C-suite leader, don’t underestimate the power you have in helping others. Whether it’s celebrating other people’s wins as your own, mentoring others, or inviting someone to have a seat at the boardroom table—all these actions can have big outcomes for the community. With every move you make, I encourage you to ask yourself “How am I leaving the door open for others to come after me?” The more of us that operate this way, the bigger and faster the changes we want to see will come.
Stephanie Cho, Digital Designer: The most important message I want to send out to young women thinking about their careers is to never give up. It can be hard to find your footing in the beginning, but stay persistent and work hard to achieve your goals. Believe in yourself and your capabilities, and don’t be afraid to take risks!
Suhani Purohit, SEO Specialist: My message to young women on International Women’s Day is that they should never doubt their abilities or limit themselves based on societal expectations or gender norms. It’s important for young women to pursue their passions and follow their dreams, even if it means taking a non-traditional path or defying cultural expectations. I also want to encourage young women to advocate for themselves and to speak up if they feel they are being treated unfairly or discriminated against. Women have the power to shape their own futures and make a difference in the world, and I hope that young women everywhere embrace their potential and achieve their goals.12