#BreakTheBias series: featuring Melissa Dickman

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To wrap up our special #BreakTheBias series, we heard from our Regional VP, Melissa Dickman. Keep reading to find out her thoughts about how we can all help break the bias.

  1. What were the one or two most important bias-breaking career moves you’ve made to date and why? 
    When I was pregnant with my second child, I led a global company expansion into the US market. I recall a conversation where I was told that it was too big of an undertaking and a risk while pregnant. When I celebrated my son’s 5th birthday and was still at this company, I reflected on that conversation and the rewards and challenges that came with this experience. It was a risky undertaking, personally and professionally. I learned to work smarter, not just harder.

    As a result, my team and revenue grew exponentially. Many of the young women who worked with me during this time have now started families of their own. They went back to work after their maternity leave and have stayed in the workforce. Some have shared that watching me had inspired them and kept them motivated to continue working after their children were born.

  2. What is the most important challenge we still need to tackle for women in tech?
    Women are still overlooked for senior positions within AdTech and other industries. We have to teach young women who are starting or growing in their careers that they can accomplish stretch goals and break through the ceiling. They might have to work a little harder and prepare a bit longer, but persistence and perseverance will ultimately pay off. 

  3. What does #BreakTheBias mean to you?
    It means that we have an opportunity to change the narrative for our daughters and young women at different ages and stages in their careers. It means that we can break down the diversity barriers and acknowledge unconscious bias in how we work and live. It means expecting more from our leaders and holding others accountable. We need to raise the bar and have a higher set of standards. Finally, it means helping our colleagues and peers become aware when their unconscious biases have shown up.

  4. What people can do to help #BreaktheBias or be a better ally?
    #BreakTheBias for me means lifting other women up or culturally diverse people; giving voice to diverse opinions because we’ve created a safe space for individuality. Suppose we acknowledge that everyone has come from different circumstances, which shapes how they face the world every day. In that case, we will have an opportunity to support one another and create gender and racial equality at home and within organizations by breaking down the barrier
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