DoubleVerify’s Julie Eddleman has led one hell of a career, spending almost two decades at Proctor & Gamble before spending six years at Google. Now, as the chief commercial officer of adtech firm DoubleVerify, Eddleman has been telling WLT about the changes in the tech sector and the women have inspired her.
When Eddleman joined Google in 2014, it was her first time stepping into the tech industry and outside of the more traditional, hierarchical world of P&G.
“One of the reasons that I took the job at Google and in tech was because I really wanted to make a big difference there,” she said.
“At Google I was on the leadership team of Women at Google, which is the women’s and ally organisation and Gayglers [now renamed to Pride at Google] to be able to improve the women and LGBT environment for workers at Google.”
That’s not to say that Google was ineffective with those issues at the time. As Eddleman explained, the Search giant was ahead of the curve when it came to awareness, being the first to release an annual equity report.
“The whole point there was ‘Ok, we need to do better with women, people of colour, LatinX. In order to do that, we need to measure where people are first.’ Getting the data, then setting improvement levels, measuring people, managers, leaders and organisations on achieving those targets and then rewarding them financially.”
That approach at the time was novel and Eddleman explained that the wider industry felt it was about time and were glad that Google were leading the way.
“Clients and advertisers would say ‘It’s about time. We know that the numbers are not where they need to be and the only way that is going to change is to be able to measure and reward.’ That has been proven over the hundreds of years of corporations, not only in the US but globally,” she explained.
Her prior employer was ahead of the curve in many ways. A result of longevity in the space, sure, but also a result of the nature of P&G’s work.
“Those large global CPG companies are pretty darn good in terms of their numbers in bringing women into the ranks across all functions and then making sure that they get the coaching, training and support to be able to advance,” she explained.
One woman, in particular, stood out for Eddleman when reflecting on her career. Through a formalised sponsorship program at P&G, Eddleman was given a sponsor that she said understood her goals, aspirations, strengths and opportunities. But, more importantly, a good sponsor is able to advocate for their sponsee when they are not in a room and when promotion and remuneration decisions are being made.
However, Eddleman was clear to point out that being sponsored was not all nicely nicely.
“She also gave a lot of coaching and teaching and, I would say, tough love. But I knew it was coming from a space of ‘You can do it. I know you can. I believe in you and I am going to do everything I can to help you but you need to absorb, listen and have an attitude focused on improvement.’
“That’s critically important. It’s important for men and women. Sometimes because of socialisation, it’s harder for women to take, I would say constructive criticism or tough love. I think it’s really important that we, as women, understand that and take that. It’s important that we set women up to be able to get feedback because, if they don’t get it, they don’t know the area that they need to improve in.”
For Eddleman, however, this is not a criticism of women — “If the power frameworks had not been constructed as they have for the many hundreds of years, there wouldn’t have been that socialisation over a period of time.”
At present, DoubleVerify does not have a sponsorship program in action but it is working on one. Almost three-fifths of the staff in its APAC teams are women, it has gender equality at board level and 60 per cent of the directors identify as a woman or a member of an underrepresented community, according to its 2023 Impact Report.
Last year, the firm conducted a pay equity analysis with external advisory company Syndio to resolve base pay disparities across gender or ethnic groups. As a result, DoubleVerify said it achieved pay equity with respect to both gender and ethnicity.
However, the company is also reinvesting profits into its DV for Good initiative which concentrates on three pillars — Equity, Advancement of Truth and Sustainability. In the Equity pillar, the company supports external organisations including SeeHer, Girls Who Code, Women Who Code, NAACP Legal Defence Fund and The Trevor Project.
However, for Eddleman, the most important initiative that any firm can take is to measure and to get on the front foot.
“If you don’t measure, track and reward, you’re not going to make any changes.”
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