March marks a significant month for awareness days, with Employee Appreciation Day on March 6th and International Women’s Day on March 8th. At Scratch Marketing + Media, we are aiming to demonstrate our commitment and gratitude towards our employees all month long. March’s blog post hopes to recognize the incredible people and co-pilots that make this agency part of a game-changing community.
In honor of International Women’s Day, Scratch M+M is proud to boast about two of our fearless female leaders: Lora Kratchounova, Principal and Anya Nelson, VP Public Relations.
At Scratch, International Women’s Day means recognizing and safeguarding values like inclusion, partnership, and equality. Having strong female representation in our leadership team serves as another opportunity to change the narrative around women in business.
Both Lora and Anya sat down and answered some questions for us. Read along to hear about their journey on becoming part of the change.
In a traditionally male-dominated industry, like the tech world, how do you achieve success as a female? How do you find inspiration?
Anya: My advice would be to shift your attention away from a “man vs. woman” mentality and just do your personal best as a human: work hard, bring value, continuously deliver on results, treat everyone with kindness and respect, and always stay the course. Don’t let yourself be intimidated or distracted by things outside your control. Instead, focus on what you can control, which is your attitude, ambition, and professionalism.
Lora: I think there’s a ton of women in the tech industry now. We count female-led business among our current clients: Accion Systems was founded and is currently led by Natalya Bailey, and Leostream was founded and is currently led by Karen Gondoly – that to me is hugely inspiring. The times are changing, I think we are seeing more and more women at the helm of businesses, more women are being accepted in these roles, and there’s less resistance to such change. As for inspiration, I’m always reflecting on what I can do better. I also work with a ton of incredible clients that are doing highly inspirational work. Moreover, the amazing people that I work with continue to inspire me day in and day out.
Anya: I’m inspired by female leaders who continue to prove that you CAN be successful in your career and at home. Today, more women than ever join the C club because of their qualifications and accomplishments. Our clinical AI client Jvion has a female CMO, Lizzy Feliciano, who doesn’t shy away from challenges. Our own fearless leader Lora is another inspiration – she has such empathy for everything we and our clients do. She treats their businesses like her own and it’s not something you see often. Now that I’m also a mom, I have so much appreciation and respect for powerful women who have that perfect work-life balance all figured out. It’s not easy to have the discipline to be fully present when you’re at work and when you’re at home.
What are some challenges you’ve faced being a female in the B2B tech world? How have you overcome them?
Lora: I can’t say I’ve faced any concrete challenges, but I do feel that it’s still somewhat true that women need to act differently, and have it together more than men. There’s still a lot of harsh judgement around being a woman and getting overly emotional and “losing your cool,” whereas for men that’s more accepted. To overcome these differences in standards I think you have to become more competent, more educated, more knowledgeable, and ultimately better as you move through your day and life. More so, I think women put more pressure on themselves to do it all, workwise and familywise, and in the process neglect taking care of themselves. It’s more prevalent with women who have small kids. With that being said, I do feel that companies are taking strides to allow more flexibility and remote offerings for parents with kids.
Anya: I feel very lucky to live in 2020, and amidst the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, I’ve been fortunate to have colleagues that are very respectful and have never treated me unprofessionally. But aside from that, in B2B tech and client services, things are moving fast. It can become pretty overwhelming, so it’s important to have concrete personal goals, draw clear lines when needed, and more than anything, not to forget to take care of yourself to avoid burnout.
There’s also this preconceived notion about motherhood that we, as mothers, are the ones who have to drop everything when kids are sick, that we’re not always “on” because our attention is divided between work and home, that we’re not able to travel for work because kids and family come first, and so on. As a result, we get passed on for promotion and opportunities for growth that are instead awarded to men because they’re perceived as “breadwinners.” I always found it frustrating when people make such assumptions. So in that sense, I do think that women need to work harder and show more devotion to be eligible for the same treatment. Take maternity leave – in most companies, the standard policy is two weeks, which is not something that assures women they can do both, but rather that they have to make a choice. Corporate America has yet to figure out how to create a supportive, stress-free environment for women pursuing both high career goals and motherhood.
What is some advice you would give to a young woman starting in her career?
Lora: As a woman starting in her career, be fearless, pursue your dreams relentlessly, don’t stop at anything, you can do whatever you want regardless of the resources.
Anya: There’s a new generation of men that are being raised to see their female counterparts as their equals. I still think that as a woman you have to work extra hard and go the extra mile to receive the same opportunities as men, but times are changing and I’m optimistic that my daughters won’t even know what I’m talking about in this post. I would advise young women who are just in the beginning of their professional journey to network a lot, get connected with like-minded, driven women, and participate in female-led meetups and organizations providing mentorship. We need to help each other because the future is female.Back to blog