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People Behind the Product: Women in Executive Leadership

a group of women's heads
Written by Life at Pinterest Team

According to the 2023 Mckinsey Women in the Workplace Report, women in corporate C-suites increased from 17% to 28% between 2015-2023. At Pinterest, 60% of our Executive Team are women. To commemorate this important milestone, Pinterest employees virtually gathered on Tuesday, January 16, to attend a panel discussion with the six inspiring women who lead our company. 

This event was organized and moderated by the Women@ Pinclusion Group, our employee resource group that aims to connect, empower and advance the women of Pinterest, while activating allies to do the same. Get to know the women of our C-Suite and feel inspired by the important takeaways from Julia Brau Donnelly (Chief Financial Officer), Christine Deputy (Chief People Officer), Sabrina Ellis (Chief Product Officer), Andréa Mallard (Chief Marketing and Communications Officer), Wanji Walcott (Chief Legal and Business Affairs Officer) and Martha Welsh (Chief Strategy Officer). 

Topics we discussed: 

  • What our executives do each morning to set the tone for a great day at work 
  • How to navigate challenges and support your colleagues 
  • Ways to find great mentors and sponsors throughout your career
  • Qualities and behaviors to drive success
  • How to grow in your career when the path may seem unclear 
  • Rituals to stay focused and resilient 
  • Advice to younger selves 

Inspiring moments: 

Martha Welsh, Chief Strategy Officer: “One way I’ve navigated [expectations of women] is by having a community of peers, other leaders and friends where you can talk about these expectations openly because you’re not alone. The second thing is I really try not to be in my head quite as much. I pause, take a breath and get out of the noise cycle in my head of ‘Should I be here?’ or ‘Is it okay for me to speak?’ It’s okay to feel those things. The worst thing is to pretend they don’t exist.” 

Andréa Mallard, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer: “Deliberately looking for opportunities to be uncomfortable will build your muscles to make you so much more resilient and strong in the long-term. Resist the urge to view discomfort as a bad thing; consider that it’s more likely an opportunity to learn and prove to yourself that you will find a way to thrive in any situation.” 

Wanji Walcott, Chief Legal and Business Affairs Officer: “During times when you find yourself challenged by a work assignment and you don’t know how to do it, you don’t need to do it alone. You can always lean on and ask more experienced colleagues for help and advice. Better results come from working in teams and even better results come from working in diverse teams.” 

Key takeaways: 

  • Set your goals, say them out loud and find an ecosystem of supportive mentors, managers and colleagues to help you achieve them. 
  • Be proactive in conversations with your mentors. Come prepared with a point of view, question or direction. 
  • You’re designing your life, and your career is only one component of it. Create the life you love. 
  • Grow your professional network outside of your company. 
  • Keep moving forward and hone your ability to bounce back quickly. 
  • Know your boundaries and put yourself in situations where you’re set up for success. 
  • Give yourself grace and invest in the activities that rejuvenate you. 

Thank you to Nichole Marshall, our Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, for creating opportunities for our Women@ Pinclusion Group to host such a powerful event, and our panel moderator and organizer, Gracious Nyamupachitu for leading an engaging discussion. We’re so proud that we kicked off 2024 by celebrating one of our core values of creating belonging at Pinterest.

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