Maya Garkusha

Magnite’s Female Powerhouses: Maya Garkusha

Magnite Team

March 27, 2024 | 4 min read

Maya Garkusha, Account Director, Platform Nordics, Sweden

This International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, Magnite is shining a spotlight on six exceptional women who are making their mark in the ever-evolving ad tech landscape.

This series showcases how these women are shaping the future of Magnite and inspiring the next generation of female leaders in the industry.

Read on to learn about Maya’s unique journey and contributions to Magnite.

What woman in history or the present is your role model?

I have many, but if I had to choose one, it would be Hatshepsut, the female pharaoh of ancient Egypt. She was often called the “Queen who would be King” and reigned for approximately two decades. Hatshepsut’s greatness went beyond her ability to defy societal norms and assume the role of pharaoh, a position traditionally reserved for men. But also included her unparalleled achievements and contributions to Egypt’s prosperity and cultural advancement. 

What’s been your biggest challenge as a woman in this industry? Have you overcome it? If so, how? 

When I first entered the industry, my biggest challenge was overcoming gender biases around my skill set. I would notice subtle things, such as all the technical questions from clients or partners being addressed to my male colleagues in a meeting, although we had the same title and experience. After some time, I started to answer those questions, although they were not addressed to me, to make a point that I, too, had the knowledge. Later on, as I progressed into different roles in both leadership and sales, I noticed how the same unconscious biases would emerge but in different shapes and forms. 

Navigating those situations with integrity and confidence has been challenging. Having a support system of peers and experienced leaders, consisting of both men and women, has been an important element in my development. This is even more true when it comes to the different stages of one’s life, like becoming a mother (of twins, in my case) and the challenges of balancing your aspirations with motherhood. 

In what ways can women support and empower each other in the workplace? 

Women are generally good at supporting each other.  I have been very fortunate to see great examples of women supporting each other in the workplace. It could be showing appreciation for someone’s work in front of others or giving that extra confidence boost before a big presentation. Also, give feedback, even if it’s a tiny thing. You never know what impact it has on someone else’s work. 

What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to a young woman entering the workforce?

You are your best when you find what makes you thrive. Therefore, be curious and stay curious. The only way to find out is by trying new things and learning from others in the industry. 

Don’t strive for perfection where it’s not crucial. Learn to trust your gut and connect with people across all levels. Most of the time, people are flattered when you reach out to them; even if they do not have time for mentoring, they will certainly remember you.  

How do you approach building and maintaining professional networks as a woman in the ad tech sector? What advice would you offer women looking to expand their connections in the industry? 

Industry events are a great way to grow and build relationships. I make sure to attend networking events and make time in my calendar to reach out to new connections. I try my best to be generous with my time and give back where I can. Sometimes, it can be very informal over a coffee. Other times, it’s more of a transactional nature. 

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