To celebrate diversity across the digital advertising industry, Integral Ad Science is sharing the latest insight and greatest advice from our very own industry professionals, to raise awareness against bias and help take action for equality.
Next in our Impressions from IAS series, is Ximena Ormaechea, VP Customer Success, at IAS.
Tell us a bit about yourself – who you are, what do you do and how did you get here!
My name is Ximena, I am a mum of one, soon to be two. I am from Uruguay, a small country between Brasil & Argentina, and run Customer Success for EMEA.
I’ve been in London for 14 years building, developing and growing customer success, account management and post-sales teams across Financial Services, Tech, Martech and SaaS. Prior to that, I worked seven years in international affairs and exports in my native Uruguay.
Why are days that champion inclusion & diversity, such as International Women’s Day, important to you?
I was raised in a home where everyone had a voice and there were no barriers to think, do and achieve in life any goals we had set for ourselves. During my 20 year career, I have experienced objectification, prejudice and sometimes discrimination, not only for being a woman but also a Mum. I’ve had to fight several stereotypes including generalisations about Latinas & unconscious bias towards accents. The ride has not been easy. Wherever I encountered a different treatment for being a woman, feeling I was not being taken seriously enough, I had to make an extra effort and find confidence in myself to stand up for defending my rights, our rights, to be treated in the same way as any other peer, to have equal opportunities and make my voice heard – whether in the workplace, or in any other environment.
How has becoming a Mum changed your view point on equality?
Since having a daughter the natural instinct to stand up for what I believe in became even more important. It became an urge and my duty to her. Not only because of the empowerment and responsibility that came with being a Mum, but being the living example of what I preach to her. I want to show her that she can do, or be anyone she wants to and that there are no ceilings for where her will and hard work can take her. I want her to be proud of me, and most importantly be proud of herself, and embrace everything that being a woman is.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
On a personal level, my Dad bought me a sticker when I was pretty young that read “Always remember, I believe in You”. Cheesy, I know, but whenever I doubted myself, I thought about those words.
From a workplace perspective, I’ve been told by mentors, many of them men, “If you don’t stand up for yourself, no-one else will”. I live by the premises of treating others the same way I want to be treated, irrespective of gender, titles or background. I therefore, work with zero tolerance for disrespect, rudeness or discrimination, irrelevant of who it is coming from and to whom is being addressed.
What advice would you give yourself five years ago?
Don’t let other people’s insecurities reflect on you, continue to challenge status quo, voice your opinions and follow your instincts in accordance to your values.
What benefits do you feel an inclusive and diverse workforce brings to business and specifically, the technology sector?
People from different perspectives and backgrounds can look at the same thing, from many different angles. Diversity allows for creative solutions, richer ideas, innovation and collaboration.
Our IAS Customer Success team is one of the most diverse and inclusive in our company, with over 41 people, from different backgrounds, gender, nationalities, ethnicities, religions and sexual orientation. I can proudly say we have one of the best teams I have ever worked with. And this is not a biased answer! It is proven in our results, the way we work, the smart responses and solutions provided to our clients, with client churn being kept under 5% and the amazing growth on our client base of 30%+ YoY. I don’t think any of this would be achievable if we did not have a team where the sole shared characteristic is our values, drive and passion for Customer Success, irrespective of all our other differences, and where our hiring process is based solely on best fit for the job.
Do you think the subject of gender equality can ever be settled?
When we stop talking about gender, when people stop making assumptions of what boys vs girls should play with, aspire to be, wear, when we stop labelling individuals based on gender, origin, beliefs and sexual orientations, when we stop saying things such as “now that you are a mum” or “a dad”, when we judge and measure individuals based on their distinct capabilities and what they can bring to the table, so that we are all consider people and equals…then gender equality will be settled. I think it will take a while, as it’s a change of mindset which starts at home and extends into all aspects of our life. We all play a role in driving the change, and I think that together we can make an impact.
Check back in for more Impressions from IAS Q&As, soon. And whilst you’re here, why not check out our other interviews and D&I content?
- Impressions from IAS: Q&A with Paul Nasse
- Impressions from IAS: Q&A with Katie Grosvenor, IAS
- Impressions from IAS: Q&A with Clementina Piazza, IAS
- 3 takeaways from Bloomfest to help you #TurnItUp