Women in DB, Part Four: Strategies for Meaningful Networking in Tech
Inside Demandbase 03.29.2024

Women in DB, Part Four: Strategies for Meaningful Networking in Tech

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Shownotes

This episode of Sunny Side Up Media discusses fostering professional communities and networking in tech. The speakers share their career journeys in roles like operations, enablement, and sales. They emphasize building relationships through open communication and understanding. Advice includes finding mentors, embracing new opportunities, and focusing on quality connections over quantity. Tips address networking for introverts, dealing with rejection, and giving/receiving balance. The episode stresses authenticity, trust, and collaboration in cultivating meaningful work relationships.

Timestamps

00:33 –  Fationa shares her journey of moving from the consumer side to the B2B world at Demandbase over the past two years.
11:38 –  Angela discusses an impactful moment in her career when a colleague connected her to an executive who became a valuable mentor.
25:01 –  Meghann discusses how a non-tech consulting role early in her career helped her understand her passions and goals, leading her to DemandBase.
30:36 –  Angela enjoys being able to speak highly of her colleagues and see their careers progress, showing the value of mentorship.

About the guests

Angela Mueters

Angela is a Strategic Account Director at Demandbase, with a decade of experience at the company. She has held several roles on the Sales team at Demandbase and works with some of the most well-known brands in B2B. She has earned multiple President’s Club honors and has become a go-to person for insights and feedback within the organization. Angela constantly seeks ways to grow professionally and stay inspired through networking, mentoring, and different learning paths. Outside of work, Angela finds joy in traveling and spending time with her kids.

Fationa Whittinghill

Fationa “Yona” Whittinghill is an Advertising Operations Specialist at Demandbase where she has worked for almost 2 years now. From the B2C world of the Automotive industry, she made the switch to B2B with Demandbase. She brings her collaborative spirit in partnering with the campaign management team in the execution, management, and optimization of complex ad campaigns. Yona graduated from the University of South Florida with a Major in Marketing and International Business. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors, the beach, live music, and quality time with her daughter and friends in Florida.

Meghann Del Guercio

Meghann is the Senior Revenue Enablement Manager, CX at Demandbase, with nearly 6 years of tenure. Her passion lies in enabling and mentoring others, where she finds fulfillment in empowering peers to reach their full potential. Aside from work, Meghann is a mom of two boys, whose energy and love inspire her every day

Key takeaways

  • Build relationships through open communication and understanding others
  • Find mentors to help guide your career growth and development 
  • Embrace opportunities outside your comfort zone for new experiences and connections
  • Focus on quality over quantity when networking and building professional connections
  • Ask questions and seek feedback to learn and strengthen relationships
  • Balance giving and receiving in professional relationships for mutual benefit
  • Be authentic and let your voice be heard with confidence in male-dominated fields
  • Cultivate communities both within and outside your organization for inspiration and support

Quotes

“I think cultivating trust and showing a genuine interest in other’s success. And having a shared knowledge. I think it helps build the relationship.”-Van on building new skills and learning for growth.-Fationa Whittinghill

“I love when people internally will approach me and say Oh, I know you’ve been here for a while. I’d love to get time on your calendar. I’d love to kind of Like, learn from you.”-Angela Mueters

“Moving into the enablement space, I never found a community that was so influential and impactful. In any other field that I’ve been in, like, these people want you to succeed, regardless as to where they work.”-Meghann Del Guercio

Highlights from this episode

How do you approach building and nurturing professional relationships?

Fationa: Emphasized the importance of open communication, which she believes is crucial for building effective relationships. Open communication leads to better work and personal growth.

Angela: Discussed the value of being authentic and finding people you connect with. Finding your “people” and making genuine connections is important for growing your network.

Meghann: Highlighted the value of personal growth and being able to have open, transparent conversations. Sharing what works for you allows others to provide feedback to further your development. She also sees herself in a mentorship role.

How have professional relationships positively impacted your career? Can you share a specific example?

Fationa shared an example of leading a successful digital marketing campaign for a major dealership group. Through spearheading the project, she formed a close relationship with the CEO and marketing director of the other company. This relationship has lasted to this day and the CEO became a key mentor for her. The CEO helped provide opportunities and guidance that have significantly helped her career.

Angela discussed a time early in her career at Demandbase when she felt invisible. A colleague connected her to an executive who became a valuable mentor, spending time with her and providing career guidance. This relationship was pivotal in transforming and advancing her career at that point.

Meghann talked about how a non-tech consulting role provided networking opportunities that exposed her to different roles and industries. This experience helped her understand where her passions truly lie in project management, change management, and enablement. It ultimately led her to pursue a role at Demandbase.

What strategies have you found most effective when networking, especially in a male-dominated industry?

Angela discussed the importance of not mistaking the loudest voice in the room for the smartest. She finds value in listening thoughtfully to those who may speak less loudly but provide more insightful perspectives. Finding like-minded people can help build confidence, rather than always focusing on the most vocal individuals.

Fationa noted the value of intentionally networking with other women in male-dominated industries, as there is an instant kinship. Building each other up through shared challenges and goals can help turn obstacles into assets.

Meghann emphasized embracing opportunities outside one’s comfort zone, as they may not come again. While uncomfortable, gaining diverse experiences builds skills and understanding of one’s strengths. She advocates being confident in one’s opinions and contributions to the discussion.

How do you strike a balance between giving and receiving in professional relationships to ensure mutual benefits?

Angela emphasized not focusing on personal gain and what you need to get out of a relationship. It’s important to listen and provide value to others before asking for anything in return.

Fationa agreed, saying it’s crucial to cultivate trust and show a genuine interest in others’ success. Having shared knowledge helps build authentic relationships where it benefits both parties, not just one person.

Meghann added that seeing the professional growth of others through mentorship or guidance is very rewarding. Ensuring relationships are collaborative and foster growth for all involved helps maintain a balanced exchange.

What advice would you give to individuals, especially women, looking to enhance their networking skills?

  • Find your people – those within and outside your company who inspire you and make genuine connections 
  • Be confident and let your voice be heard to actively engage in discussions
  • Seek out mentorship from senior leaders and look for mentees to pay it forward
  • Consider joining internal or external groups, communities, and networking events 
  • Put yourself outside your comfort zone by volunteering for new opportunities
  • Focus on quality over quantity when building your professional network

Shout-outs

Allison Monaco (Fationa’s manager at Demandbase) for her support both personally and professionally.

Jo Troyer (formerly at Demandbase), who Meghann credited for being her mentor when she first joined the company and helping her transition roles.

Susan Cain, whose TED talk on introverts Fationa recommended for providing a different perspective on leadership qualities.

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