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Women’s History Month Q&A: Meet Solmaz, Jenny, Maxine, and Ashley

Magnite Team

March 31, 2021 | 6 min read

As this year’s Women’s History Month comes to a close, we bring you a final edition of insights from several more of the incredible women around the world who make up team Magnite. Read on to learn more from Solmaz, Jenny, Maxine, and Ashley about how taking risks can pay off, quarantine lessons learned, as well as advice for working well with others.

Solmaz Meghdadi
Sales Director, Eastern Canada (Toronto)

Who do you look up to for inspiration or mentorship?

I look up to mentors inside and outside the workplace, people who have brought about change and have a positive mindset. I really enjoy being inspired by Wayne Dyer. His books and podcasts always unveil some wisdom that has improved the quality of my life. I think it’s also important to have mentors that are younger than me to allow my openness to change and adapt. The world is changing very rapidly and I feel it’s important to be inspired by people with different life experiences. 

Tell us the most important thing you’ve learned in the last year since quarantine began. 

I learned the importance of creating space for self-care and making it a priority to recharge. Being on the go and goal oriented, I feel the past year allowed for some reflection and made me realize the importance of implementing a morning and evening routine that starts and ends my day on a positive note. That allows me to tackle anything that comes my way and it will be something I carry with me moving forward.

Jennifer Harvey
Director, Demand Operations (San Francisco)

What’s the most important risk you took and why?

I moved to New York City without a job to pursue a career in digital advertising, after working in radio (a dinosaur medium, I know). It took me two weeks to land a position in Ad Operations, but I knew quickly that I wanted to be more client facing. So I networked, and a year later, Tremor Video took a leap of faith in hiring me as an account manager. I’ve remained loyal to Tremor Video, Telaria, and now Magnite for nearly 7 years. There have been ups & downs, but I’m proud of how far I’ve come in my career.

How do you generate great ideas in your organization?

By listening to clients and co-workers. What you hear in conversations can result in improvements for the business. I like to brainstorm & share ideas with other members of the organization, and I find having champions at work helps in the process and momentum to get things done. This takes time & respect. Automating product features to allow more time for strategic thinking is so important in ad-tech. 

What are the most important traits to look for when hiring a new employee?

Determined/tenacious, adaptable, and reliable. I like to ask behavioral questions during the interview process because I want to learn how the candidate thinks and solves problems. Magnite has gone through a merger and soon to be acquisition, so having teammates who are adaptable to change is very important. A lean team means everyone needs to be accountable, so I always look for someone who is smart and I can rely on them to get the job done.

Maxine Clayton
Director, Marketing (New York)

Tell us the most important thing you’ve learned in the last year since quarantine began.

My biggest lesson has been and continues to be learning the power of the word NO. I matter, and I can’t be the best sister, friend, daughter, colleague or take on any of my many titles unless I prioritize myself and use the most powerful and precious weapon ever – NO. As women, we are strong and mighty but we tend to always place a lot on our shoulders because it’s structurally etched into our DNA. However, a house on top of a cracked foundation will fall, and it’s the same for me. Saying no isn’t a negative. It’s the opportunity I give myself to say yes to me. During my “me” moments, I’ve embraced the art of meditation and different activities that bring me joy and peace. 

What advice do you have for a woman who works mostly with men? 

The media industry is predominantly men, and it can be daunting and overwhelming at first. The best advice I can offer is to be your most true authentic self in every setting. That’s a woman’s true power. When you show up completely with your ideas, your innovations; your unique talents; and your passions; that’s when you truly stand out and make an impact. And most importantly, speak up. PepsiCo’s former CEO Indra Nooyi said, “Whatever you do, throw yourself into it. Throw your head, heart, and hands into it.” You are at that company, in your position and working on that project for a reason. Allow yourself to be you. This helps you to make an impact and lay the groundwork for those who are watching and future women leaders as well.

Ashley Wheeler
VP, Account Management (New York)

Tell us the most important thing you’ve learned in the last year since quarantine began.

I’ve learned that I’m far more resilient and adaptable than I thought I was, and so are those around me. Managing through this past year has given me the confidence to know that regardless of what adversity life throws at you, where there’s a will, there really is a way.

What’s one thing that makes you most proud? 

Regardless of what I’ve done, or what I might go on to do, my kids will always be my best and favorite endeavor.

What’s the most important risk you took and why? 

7 years ago, I emailed an old co-worker and pleaded with him to hire me as an Account Director at Rubicon, even though I had no programmatic experience whatsoever. I could have easily looked for another job that was more within my comfort zone, but I felt strongly that programmatic was a growth industry, and I wanted the opportunity to grow with it. For the next 12 months I worked incredibly hard to learn everything I could to make up for my initial lack of knowledge and to become a trusted consultant to my publishers. 7 years later, I can’t tell you how glad I am that I took that risk and pushed myself to learn something new.

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