An illustration of a diverse group of women against a purple backdrop

Celebrating International Women's Day, 2021

Samantha Scott

Mar 8, 2021

Happy International Women’s Day! 

Celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, including our friends and colleagues in the transgender and nonbinary communities, this day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

At Meltwater, we're passionate about championing everyone and are committed to being accountable to our D&I initiatives. We have created several internal programs dedicated to ensuring that Meltwater remains an inclusive working environment for all employees. (Sign up for our Diversity & Inclusion Newsletter!)

And our efforts have been noticed by Comparably, who ranked Meltwater as one of the "Best Company's for Women" last year. Since the results of the rankings were determined based on survey results from actual employees at hundreds of companies, we were extremely honored to receive such an award.

This year’s International Women’s Day theme is #ChooseToChallenge.

A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we're all responsible for our own thoughts and actions - all day, every day. We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women's achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world. From challenge comes change, so let's all choose to challenge.  - (IWD 2021)

We try to live by these ideas but recognize there's always more to learn and more actions to take.

To celebrate IWD this year, we asked 4 amazing women from our Meltwater family to share their experience in leadership:

1. Ambera Cruz - Marketing Director, Americas

Women in Leadership: Ambera Cruz

Ambera started in CA Montreal in 2009 and moved to Vancouver in 2010 to become MD of the office there. She then was given the opportunity to move to Singapore in 2013 and begin building the Marketing team across APAC, and later moved to Australia with the expansion of APAC Marketing. Most recently, she returned to the US to lead Americas Marketing earlier this year. Having worked in both APAC and the Americas across multiple parts of the business, Ambera is passionate about developing leaders at Meltwater by discovering what people are passionate about and creating pathways where individuals can explore and crystallize those strengths. 

Ambera's words of advice:

  1. Be authentic. There is only one you and that’s what sets you apart.
  2. Identify who pulls the levers (there can be multiple) and be open about your ambitions.
  3. Map out worst-case and best-case scenarios during risk-assessment. Be prepared for both.
  4. Do the work. You know when you give something 100% – that is noticed.
  5. Get 360 feedback. You have your own perspective on how you come across, but it’s equally as important to understand how you are being perceived. 

2. Hana Yagi - GE Director, Americas

Women in Leadership: Hana Yagi

Hana started in Melbourne in 2012, having applied to Meltwater in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and San Francisco. 

She worked her way up, becoming an SM and hitting a million dollars in sales before taking over the CA Sydney office as MD. She then moved to New York and became a CS MD in the NY office, before becoming Area Director of CS New York in 2018. She now is the GE Director for the Americas, overseeing the quota and strategy and being the overall cheerleader for the team of 40+ GEs across North America. She is also heavily involved in New York and wears many hats, also overseeing a $2.5 million Key Account portfolio.

Hana has spoken on Women in Sales panels with senior leaders from companies like Amazon and Knotel, and she’s passionate about mentoring and developing the next generation of leaders at Meltwater, so we knew she would have really great advice for anyone looking to grow their career. 

Hana's words of advice:

  1. Think about what you want to be known for. Sales, and your career trajectory, in general, is not always an easy ride. It’s tough, it can be a rollercoaster, there are months when you’re on top of the world and months that are quite the opposite. What you need to do is think, regardless of the ups and downs, what do you want to be known for? What are the values you want to stand for? If you can focus on these and hold yourself accountable, you can ride through any storm and come out at the end with your head held high. 

  2. Everyone has ‘imposter syndrome’, don’t think you’re alone! Fake it ’til you make it has taught me a lot. By projecting confidence and competence, you can realize those qualities in real life. Even dressing for success can have a huge impact on the way that you carry yourself in the workplace.
  3. Build a support system with friends and colleagues of different ages and backgrounds to call for career advice and big decisions. 

  4. Build strong networks – Be conscious of the image that you are projecting both in the office and in your home lives. Every decision you make is a reflection of yourself which is inadvertently building your brand. So act with intent and meaning. 
  5. Lead with values and integrity. The higher ground is a road less travelled but by far a more meaningful one. It helps to not sweat the small stuff and lean into what truly matters and be true to your identity.

3. Jess Roman - Area Director, Americas North

Women in Leadership: Jess Roman

Jess was born in Paris, France and raised in Togo, Africa. She actually just recently became a Canadian Citizen! She started in CA Montreal in 2013 and moved over to CA Toronto as an SM in 2014 where she began her ascent to the top-becoming one of the organization's top-sellers. In 2016 she went on to become MD of CA Montreal where she hit her record of 33/33 office targets.

Before becoming the AD of Canada in July 2018, she was inducted into the HiPo Berkeley Program and had the #1 office in the Americas. She now oversees 60+ people.

Jess has worked so hard for everything she's accomplished during her 8 years at Meltwater and she is super passionate about highlighting the importance of great women mentorship.

Jess's words of advice

  1. It's important for male leaders to acknowledge if their female colleagues are in a male-dominated environment and seek out female role models for them.
  2. As women, we have a responsibility to seek out young talent. If you notice a woman who inspires you, reach out - be that peer, that coach that mentor depending on the situation.
  3. Take learning into your own hands from the get-go. I sought out mentors and reached out to top sellers asking for tips, don't be afraid to ask for help.
  4. Figure out what your weaker spots are and do them anyway!
  5. Be intentional with your learning and be the guardian of your own time.

4. Erica Jenkins - Director Product Management, Social Division

Women in Leadership: Erica Jenkins

Erica started in sales in 1999, when the internet and idea of online businesses were still taking shape, and now has been in the social media industry for over 11 years! After doing online marketing with blogs and video content, she came up with an idea in 2008 to solve some of the pain points she had experienced working in the digital space. Content was easy to generate but responding to comments across 100’s of places took a ton of time. This is how Expion, a social management tool, was born. Expion went on to be acquired by Sysomos in 2015, which was ultimately acquired by Meltwater in 2018, when Erica joined the team! 

Being an ambitious entrepreneur and coming into Meltwater from the Social Acquisition, Erica brings in a wonderful, different perspective to Women leadership from someone who embraced our culture and continued to create a path for herself.

Erica's words of advice

  1. Take risks - you will learn and evolve. Embrace the change, you never know where it could lead you
  2. Lead with the human first - start with a check-in and be gentle with people before you ask for something. Woman to woman, remember that everyone has something going on and it's important to check in with your team.
  3. Don't be afraid to lean on people and ask for mentorship.
  4. Respect is a mutual two-way street - while you are growing someone or mentoring someone, keep in mind you are also working on personal development.

Wishing everyone a wonderful and empowering International Women's Day! Remember to #ChooseToChallenge 💪