As you may know, today is International Women’s Day. It’s a day that celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
When I set out to write this post, there were a million women I wanted to include. So I decided to narrow my focus a little and share the stories of women who have had a significant impact on Drift – you may recognize a few familiar faces from guests we’ve had on Seeking Wisdom, at HYPERGROWTH, and of course, here on the Drift blog.
The following eight women are nothing short of incredible. We’ve loved learning from them along the way, and we hope you have too.
So without further ado, here are a few women we’re extra grateful for at Drift today and every day – role models who have taught us about leadership, how to scale companies, the importance of being authentic, and much more.
Jay-Z . Rihanna. J. Cole. Rita Ora. Kanye. What do all of these artists have in common? They’ve all collaborated with music industry legend Chaka Pilgrim. Chaka has worked at Roc-A-Fella Records, Atlantic Records, Island Def Jam, Virgin Records and Roc Nation Records. If I had to describe her in three words I’d say she’s a badass creative force. Not just because of the artists she’s worked with, but because she embodies something that is near and dear to Drift’s heart – to always be learning. She’s got this star-studded resume, yet Chaka doesn’t consider herself an expert marketer. For Chaka, the best way to stay ahead is to immerse yourself in the market because it’s always changing. Hard work is the only constant.
Follow Chaka on LinkedIn.
By now it’s no secret that we at Drift really admire Molly Graham. I was lucky enough to meet Molly my first week at Drift and have been following her ever since, but for those of you who are just catching up, here’s why we are such big fans. Molly Graham has spent her career building and scaling hypergrowth companies. From Google to Facebook to Quip, Molly is the person ambitious companies rely on to unlock their next stage of growth. That experience has led Molly to serve as an advisor to companies that are looking to scale – and scale well. Another thing to love? While she’s got quite the success story, she’s equally honest about what it takes to excel at a hypergrowth company and how to learn from failure.
Where to begin with Patty McCord? If I were to sum her up in one word, it would have to be “powerful.” And not just because she wrote a book by the same name 😏 Patty is Netflix’s former Chief Talent Officer, where she spent 14 years building the company’s innovative culture. She was also behind the creation of Netflix’s now famous “Culture” deck. If you’ve seen that deck, you know. Patty is the real deal. She’s quick-witted, blunt, and pretty revolutionary in her views when it comes to finding (and keeping top talent). Patty came on Seeking Wisdom and gave us a masterclass on how to build a world-class culture at a hypergrowth company.
Trish Bertuzzi is a riot. Trish is the President & Chief Strategist of The Bridge Group, but she also goes by the “Queen of Sales Development.” It’s a fitting title, because in 2016, Trish wrote the definitive playbook on sales development – a guide for sales teams who want to build new pipeline and accelerate revenue growth with inside sales. Trish just gets it – so it’s no wonder hundreds of B2B companies have enlisted her help in building more productive and higher performing sales teams. She’s made a name for herself in a male-dominated field, and a big part of what sets her apart is her push to bring the human back into sales. Authenticity is everything.
What does a Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School know about building great products? When it comes to Julia Austin – a lot. Prior to making the jump to academia, Julia was CTO at Digital Ocean and VP of Engineering at VMWare and Akamai. And beyond that? She’s a board advisor for Drift, Wistia, Help Scout, ZappRx, and others. So she knows her stuff when it comes to building great products at hypergrowth companies. When Julia was a guest on our Build podcast, she talked about what it takes to be successful in product management and why it’s important to take big risks – even if they scare you.
Talk about an interesting background. Sarah Nahm grew up in Alabama, studied design at Stanford, worked at Google, and wrote speeches for Marissa Mayer. And now she is the CEO at Lever, where she helps organizations with the ‘art and science’ of hiring the right people. That’s right. Sarah is committed to building teams with fairness, equality, and diversity in their DNA. She says you can’t wait for hypergrowth to happen and then start investing in diversity inclusion – you have to make it a priority for your culture from the very beginning.
Follow Sarah on LinkedIn.
What do LinkedIn, Yahoo, Zynga, and the New York Times, as well as numerous startups throughout Silicon Valley have in common? Christina Wodtke. And if you’ve spent even just a few months in the business world, chances are you’ve heard of or even had to make your own Objective Key Results (OKRs). OKRs are Christina’s brain child. In her best-selling book Radical Focus, Christina introduces the concept of OKRs – a framework for achieving your team and company-wide goals that has built a big following in the business world. Christina joined us on our Build podcast to talk about how to live your goals, and from that point on, we were hooked.
Lauren has spent her whole career chasing data. Her specialty is finding answers to the toughest questions for industries that have undergone significant transformation. Her latest data endeavor is serving as VP of Data Strategy at Indigo – a company whose mission is is to help farmers sustainably feed the planet. Lauren came on our Growth podcast to talk about her more than 20 years of experience scaling data science teams in industries that have been wildly disrupted by data. Her approach to problem-solving with data is one a lot of hypergrowth companies can learn from – smart data is better than more data.