I had the pleasure of moderating our first International Women in Digital panel discussion on the Sunborn Yachtel in London on June 9th during Adobe’s EMEA Summit.
We started the WID series at Adobe Summit in Las Vegas in 2017. The very first event was attended by less than 20 ladies who gathered around a board room table to discuss the challenges of being a female in a very male dominated industry.
In 2018 we hosted our first panel discussion and have been growing the experience ever since!
I have been blessed to host some of the most amazing female panelists in the digital space over the years. And without exception, our London panelist were delightful!
The London WID Panel June 2023
To kick off the discussion, we asked the panel: “What experience stood out for them on Day 1 of Adobe’s EMEA Summit?”
Juliet-Juliet was very impressed by the keynote. This was her first Summit experience and really embraced the stories that Adobe told. She loved seeing how Adobe can transform businesses end to end digitally. She really enjoyed Sneaks and seeing the art of the possible brought to life by Adobe.
Judolene- Judolene said she of course loved attending the analytics sessions and loved seeing how Adobe has transformed into customer journey analytics sharing the value a data realization.
Claire- Claire really loved seeing the opportunities in Generative AI. She embraced the possibilities of GenAI helping with content creation, making faster decisions, and automation that will help drive hyper-personalization.
Switching gears, I then asked the panelists: “What is the single most influential action you took in order to achieve the professional position you have today?”
Juliet-Juliet’s most recent move took her from the GM role in Healthcare and Life Sciences to a move back to the UK to become the GM of Perficient’s EMEA expansion. She said that she raised her hand to ask for the expansion role and in effect, charted her own course. Juliet also said that you must be prepared to put the “skin in the game”.
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Claire- Claire commented that she had been building the digital experience at Ford over the past decade. She said what was key was the network she had built over 25 years at Ford and the fact that so many people knew her across the globe. Claire said that she created her own “brand” that included digital data, technical knowledge, and her passion for building global teams. Network building is super important.
Judolene- Judolene agreed that having a strong network of mentors, peers, and coaches is paramount. She built her network through mentoring and attending events where she could network. Judolene mentors’ young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and works to help them understand the opportunities in digital.
The third question of the morning to the panelists: “What initially inspired you to pursue a career in this industry and how has your journey shaped your understanding of Digital Experiences?”
Claire- Claire commented that her journey was not a straight path to her career at Ford. She worked many different roles and eventually landed in the digital space where Ford won a lot of awards for the work on Fiesta. Digital became her passion along with data and building teams. She loves driving the transformation at Ford.
Judolene- Judolene started her career as an analyst at British Airlines where she pivoted to the customer analytics team. Judolene learned to code while she was on maternity leave. That has been instrumental in her journey in digital story telling. She has learned to lean into her strength of explaining the data in a virtual way.
Juliet- Juliet had an interesting journey. She started as an engineer, a very technical discipline. She started working in digital when she started in the healthcare space. Digital has changed the way patients are able to navigate through digitally enabled technology. She was inspired by her own experience taking care of her husband when he was ill. It comes down to understanding the data to see the needs for the patient journey.
I shared as a follow up that she had seen a big change in healthcare marketing over the past 4 years. A shift happened where she no longer felt like she was treated like a patient but rather more like a customer.
The next question: “How has the Adobe stack helped meet your business needs?”
Juliet- Well obviously we are an Adobe partner, so it is core to our business. Perficient goes end to end with the Adobe stack which enables us to enable our clients to achieve their KPI’s to improve how they work with their customers to make them successful.
Claire- The Adobe stack helped Ford achieve their digital goals through Adobe’s constant evolution of the products. Staying ahead of the needs stands out as one of the best things about Adobe.
Judolene- She commented that Invesco uses AEM, Analytics and Target which allows them to better understand what works best for their customer base. Having all three drives the data to build better customer experiences. The solutions have helped them get much faster insights to share with senior leadership.
The final question of the morning: “Is there a summer reading list or series that you are trying to tackle?”
Judolene-Judolene is reading a book called Extraordinary. It is about how ordinary people manage extraordinary digital products. She is also passionate about mentoring the under represented female population in data so she recommended Reverse Mentoring by Patrice Gordan, who just happened to be in our audience.
Juliet- She has a couple books that she has on her list. Soul Catcher for personal reading and Drive by Daniel Pink for her professional growth.
Claire- She is into escapism and is reading Trust by Herman Diaz and she has just started watching Ted Lasso and has found it to be hilarious.
Until Our Next WID Event
As we wrapped up the panel discussion, I mentioned that I had noticed a theme over the years of monitoring this series for the past 8 years is that all of the diverse panelist all mentor others, have been mentored and have all been philanthropic. They give back either through their time, efforts or talents. It seems that successful women that find their passion and give back are truly inspiring.
The first International Women in Digital was a very special event with some extraordinary ladies!