At the tail end of 2021, She Runs It, a nonprofit focused on women’s careers in advertising, tech and media, released a startling statistic: For the first time in four years, the number of women in those fields fell below 50%. The causes aren’t identified but can be guessed, like the unequal burden of caregiving during the pandemic (and the associated burnout) as well as the growing attention on workplace misogyny.
While I didn’t create “Ladies Who Launch,” our monthly series highlighting women powerhouses in response to these troubling developments, it seems timely. At a point when our peers and would-be colleagues may be feeling discouraged, fed up or exhausted, I’m happy to offer a space where we can celebrate industry leaders and energize a new generation of women in the field (as well as give veterans a reason to stay engaged). So — welcome to “Ladies Who Launch,” a conversation between myself and heavy hitters about their careers and “launching” moments, be it when they got their start, a new venture or initiative they spearheaded and any of the myriad successes that women in business have enjoyed.
I’m thrilled to begin the series with Latané Conant, CMO of 6Sense — an AI platform for account-based marketing (ABM) that was recently valued at $5.2 billion — and author of “No Forms. No Spam. No Cold Calls: The Next Generation of Account-Based Sales and Marketing.” Formerly a sales executive, she’s a fantastic example of a discipline-spanning professional who takes bold chances while acknowledging vulnerability.
Latané impressed me mightily from my first meeting with her at a Gartner conference a few years ago. She’s a fierce combination of a great CMO; an empowering, strong woman in marketing and a leader showing CMOs how to “own their market.” I love this about her, and I’m proud to call her a friend. Latané shared doubts about her first CMO role and how important it was simply for others to see her occupy the position in order to gain legitimacy (a great nod to Cannes Lions’ “See It Be It” initiative if ever there was one). Plus, I’m a believer in 6Sense, and my team is seeing strong results.
We also covered creating professional communities, the ideas that shaped her book and her love of analogies — there’s a fantastic one about wine and marketing and storytelling. Have a look and join us next month when we chat with Kathy Seegebrecht, CMO of UL, a global safety science company.