“Take Calculated Risks,” Nancy Hall from Matterkind
Welcome to the Pass the Mic and the Defining Moment series. We’re giving powerful women the opportunity to make the world their mentee. These rockstars are joining us to share their stories and sage advice with up-and-coming women.
Meet , the CEO of Matterkind US. She got her start in the digital media space in the 90s and found her affinity for technology. She strives to learn and feel rewarded in her work every day. We had the pleasure of meeting with Nancy in our podcast booth at Advertising Week New York last month. She walked us through her experience with adtech on both the publisher and agency sides of the industry and her journey to becoming a CEO.
Check out some of the highlights from our Pass the Mic interview with Nancy where she shares what it took for her to become a successful female CEO in a world that told her it was impossible. Her hard work and motivation will inspire you.
CEOs Can Be Five Feet Tall and Female
“So, my story actually is one that started before my career. As a rising senior in college, I realized that I wanted to be in business and I wanted to run a business. And I was academically successful. I was the president of my sorority. I went to my advisor and I said, ‘My career goal is to run a business one day.’ And he said to me, ‘That is overly ambitious and not realistic because only men run businesses. And in fact, statistics show that men over six feet are typically the ones that become CEOs.’ And he advised that I [should] recalibrate my goals. And that stayed with me for my entire career as a five-foot-tall person that identifies as a female. And it motivated me to keep on working and to keep on going and to hit my goal of running a business.” – Nancy Hall
You Need More than Luck
“The first is, be kind to everyone, and be kind to yourself, and support other women. Women need support from other women. I also believe that one must take calculated risks in their career. I don't mean just a random risk, but a calculated risk because luck alone is not going to get you to the next level. I believe that you have to ask for what you want. If you don't ask, you don't get. But one must always have data to back up the position, to back up what you're asking for. Data, data, data. Always have that data in hand so that when you ask for something, you can support your position. And the last thing I'd say is, work on and polish your executive presence because you will never become an executive unless people perceive you as an executive.” – Nancy Hall
Make a Big Change
“So, I woke up and realized that there was nobody that looked like me on the senior leadership team. And I, therefore, was probably not ever going to make it to the senior leadership team. And that's when I made a big change going from the adtech side of the business to the agency side of the business. And it was scary, but it allowed me to grow so much in the past four and a half years and to achieve my goals of becoming CEO of a business.” – Nancy Hall
Block Out Time to Think
“Block out time to think. So often, especially in this hybrid environment we're in, we spend time all day on calls and in meetings. It's important that we block out the time to think, to think about ourselves and our own development, and also to think about our business and how we can creatively take our business into a different direction.” – Nancy Hall
Learn and Grow Everyday
“I didn't know it when I was 21 years old, but I wanted to make sure that in my career I had the opportunity to learn every day. And that is what is so exciting about our industry that it gives us this opportunity to learn and grow every day.” – Nancy Hall
“Bring solutions with problems. I say that all the time to people. Don't just walk in somewhere to your manager or a conversation with a problem. Bring solutions to the problems.” – Nancy Hall