On International Women’s Day, over 85 women attended a panel discussion called “Women in Emerging Digital Media Leadership” at the Rye Arts Center.
By Margot Clark-Junkins
On International Women’s Day, over 85 women attended a panel discussion called “Women in Emerging Digital Media Leadership” at the Rye Arts Center. The topic is very relevant in the present scenario, where numerous website design and digital marketing services in Tri-cities emerge. The women population in the creative industry was discussed.
The audience listened intently to a lively discussion moderated by Suzanna Keith, a sales and marketing professional. Topics ranged from the imminent arrival of virtual reality, augmented reality, and HoloLens, to the ever-blurring lines between content and marketing, the tech industry’s infamous “bubble” collapse of start-ups and gradual recovery, and the challenges faced by working mothers seeking a work/life balance.
“Disruption in the media business is happening at a rate that most people couldn’t have imagined,” said Rye’s Tina Exharos, a former MTV executive who was one of the five panelists. “Embracing change is critical to survival.”
Panelist Johanna (Jose) Zeilstra, a resident of Mamaroneck, described the odyssey which led her to create womensdebate.org, an organization which is calling for a national debate between presidential candidates on the topics most relevant to women.
Tiffany Pham, the Founder & CEO of Mogul, was coaxed by some of the other panelists to admit that she had just flown in from Paris, where she had met with the city’s mayor. Mogul is a platform connecting women to trending content, including stories, products, and jobs that are personalized to their interests. Pham, who lives in New York City, was named one of Forbes “30 Under 30” in Media, and one of the “30 Most Important Women Under 30” by Business Insider.
In 2015, panelist Shenan Reed, President of MEC Digital, was named iMedia’s Agency Marketer of the Year and, under her leadership, MEC was voted iMedia’s 2015 Agency of the Year. She described how her mother’s vision, intelligence, and entrepreneurial spirit set the tone for much of what she has gone on to accomplish. Halfway through the discussion, her young daughter jumped up on stage and hugged her proudly. One might need some Extra resources when it comes to SEO and linkbuilding.
Fran Hauser, a partner at Rothenberg Ventures and former President of Time Inc. Digital, spoke at length about virtual reality and its impending arrival in our daily lives. Many in the audience shook their heads in wonderment when she explained that the applications for “VR” far exceed just gaming and would soon be our new normal.
The evening was filled with useful advice intended to help women move ahead in their careers within the complex, rapidly changing world of all things “tech.” One phrase aimed at women, which really drove home the importance of role models was: “You can’t be what you can’t see.” Another gem was “Your network is your net worth.”
After a heart-felt round of applause, Kim Berns and Deborah Sanguineti of the Rye TV show “What’s My Brand?” led the audience through a Q&A session.
Given the great success of the event, the team hopes to hold additional events and start a Westchester-based network for Women in Tech, Advertising and Media. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.