In the spirit of the monumental announcement that the United States nominated its first woman as a Presidential candidate for a major political party, we wanted to start our own Innovid ‘Women to Watch’ blog series to recognize the amazing women who contribute to Innovid’s success. To kick off this series, we sat down for a Q&A with Innovid’s President, Beth-Ann Eason, to discover her thoughts on leadership, how to grow a strong career and more.
What drew you to media and technology?
I started out as an event planner at a Manhattan yacht club, where I planned an international regatta. In this role, I worked for inspiring entrepreneurs and I fell in love with their determination as they worked tirelessly to build their business. They always thought big, and that stayed with me. Many of their sponsors were magazines, like the New Yorker, and I ended up joining a media sales team through those connections and grew my career from there. When digital media entered the landscape—I was fascinated by it and knew that the industry was on the brink of major change.
How do you think the culture of a startup differs from that of larger organizations?
You can get things done! In smaller companies and startups, you don’t experience as many hurdles that you do in larger organizations—whether it be a long approval process or a lack of cohesion among multiple teams—it takes much longer to complete projects in larger companies. I thrive on making things happen, so I love the accelerated momentum of the startup culture and the spirit that you are building something as a team and what you choose to do every day matters.
What do you think is the most important aspect of being a leader?
Getting out of your team’s way. As a leader, you should remove obstacles, but once they’re clear, you have to stand back and let your team handle their projects in their own way.
What advice do you have for a woman with dreams of becoming the president of a company someday?
- Pick the right jobs at the right places. I’ve interviewed a lot of people throughout the years whose experience included companies where they stayed less than a year (I refer to these as mulligans), because they saw what they wanted to see during the interview process. The fundamentals of the organization have to line up with your personal values and stand for something that you believe in. One tip to stay focused on what matters to you during the interviewing process is to write the headline for the chapter of your life in that role—as if to answer the question “if I look back on this chapter, what do I want to have accomplished?”
- Choose your bosses well. It’s important not to be fixated on finding one mentor, but rather try to find a mix of mentors and sponsors in a variety of places—while recognizing the differences between them. Mentors can provide advice and guidance, while sponsors know what you can do and will help pull you up to the next opportunity.
- Deliver. Your teams need to be able to count on you, so delivering phenomenal work and meeting deadlines is crucial. On my first day of work under my last boss, he told me there should be a one to one ratio between what you say you are going to do and what you do. It doesn’t get clearer than that.
How has your experience been working in an industry where men have traditionally held the executive roles?
Innovid is the most gender-blind company that I’ve ever encountered—gender isn’t even on the radar here. And that’s not exclusive to the executive team—it’s the culture across the entire company.