Words of Wisdom: Maureen Bosetti, Initiative
Welcome to Pass the Mic’s series: Words of Wisdom, a unique opportunity to hear from the industry’s leading women on their personal inspirations and discover their advice on advancing as a woman in the audio and advertising field.
Our latest guest in 20+ year media industry veteran, , is 's Chief Investment Officer. Maureen oversees all investments across Initiative's portfolio of clients, working to develop strategic partnerships in the marketplace. Maureen's impressive career has been recognized with a number of accolades in recent years including being named as one of Broadcasting and Cable’s Next Wave of Leaders in 2010. In 2013 Maureen was named one of the Working Mothers of the Year as selected by AWNY and Working Mother Magazine, and highlighted in Adweek as a Media All Star.
Read along or listen in for Maureen Bosetti's Words of Wisdom:
What’s the best advice you were ever given: professional or otherwise?
I would say the best advice that I ever received was to make sure that you're putting yourself in uncomfortable situations. I think, when you feel uncomfortable and when you're scared to do something, it means that you're really pushing yourself and you're seeing how far you can take your skills. It also allows you to really understand where your strengths are and in weaknesses, but more importantly really understand, you know, what are you really good at, and when you're uncomfortable. Usually that's when you realize “Okay, I can do this, I can push myself even further, and I can be successful in that”, and if you're too comfortable it doesn't mean it means that you're not growing enough. So, yeah I would say be scared and put yourself in uncomfortable situations and when people push you to do that, it means that they care and they want you to do better. So, I think doing that really made me better at presenting and maybe better at communicating and it really helped my career in many ways.
What does being a leader for other women mean to you?
I think it feels great, right. I've been doing this for over 25 years and, as I have many women on my team, and I think it's also helping women that are just starting out in their career. Again, giving them opportunities, encouraging them to learn and push themselves, explore different topics, they may not be familiar with. Right so, if you're a video buyer learn more about programmatic or learn about search. So, really trying to encourage, you know, again, young women to really make themselves uncomfortable and maybe women who are maybe new moms or you know, just sort of starting on that phase of their career. And really trying to help them navigate that and I think, probably something I didn't have at that stage was a level of understanding of you know what you're going through and how to give them more flexibility and help them in that time as they'd be coming back from maternity leave, having multiple children, and it's a time where you need someone that could say “hey, I understand where you're going through, let us know what you need.” I didn't probably have that as much, I don't think we were as open then in some of those conversations, probably 18 - 20 years ago and I think I'm glad to see now that we are comfortable having those conversations and being more flexible with men and women, right, having children, I think, obviously, both both ways. So, I'm happy that I think I can help women trying to navigate their career, whether they're starting out or, you know, again kind of moving into the next phase of their life, where they're having families or whatever phase their life they're moving into that I can help them navigate. I think I'm enjoying having that responsibility to be able to do that and privilege to be able to do it.
Now that you have your “seat at the table” so to speak, how are you elevating the other women around you?
I'm a mentor to a young woman at the company and you know the mentorship program has, I think, been really critical to making sure that, especially diverse talent, have a voice and have access to the leadership team here in two different places, again, to help them navigate their career. So, the mentorship program here and initiative has been really important and, hopefully, for the employees, as well as myself, you know I learned from them as well. So, I'm not just a mentor to someone at Initiative I've also been a mentor to somebody across the organization at different agencies. So, again it's not just when your own agency but it's, how do you really spread that across different entities across IPG and externally, as well, so the mentorship has been really meaningful to me to be able to do and to have that as a resource here within the agency.
Who was your mentor? If you didn’t have one, who inspired you the most in your career?
I would say it's not just one person, it was probably different people throughout my career that actually gave me an opportunity. I think when people say “Hey, I think you can do this”, “Try you be in that pitch” or “You go into that client meeting” and you're thinking, what “Can I really do this ?,” and so I probably wouldn't have volunteered myself to do it. But, when other people give you that opportunity, it means that they see something in you that maybe you don't even see in yourself and it was, I think many different people throughout my career, not just one person, but there were a lot of people, that helped me along the way, and gave me those opportunities to really stretch myself so, and again I think when people do that it's because they want to push you, and they want to see you succeed, and I really appreciate people that did that for me.
What song, podcast, or audiobook would you recommend to your mentee?
One that I recommended is called the . And, as I mentioned earlier, I think that sometimes, women especially, lack a sense of confidence, and I know I certainly had that as I was starting out and you don't feel 100% confident. You're afraid to ask questions, you're afraid to maybe stand up for yourself, you're afraid to go and say “Hey, can I be in that meeting?” and I think the ability to give women more confidence is important. So, that is something that I have recommended to some of the mentees or other women that work within my team, something called the competence code, So I would strongly recommend that, especially if you feel like there's a way to build up your confidence.