Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Digital Women: Maria Purcell, VP Advertising International at Insider

NDA’s Digital Women series is talking to leaders from across our industry to understand the particular issues faced by women. Next up is Maria Purcell, VP Advertising International at Insider

What is your role, and what are you hoping to achieve?

I’m VP of International Sales based out of our office here in London. My main focus is to expand our footprint in our core markets outside of the US and to work closely with our partner titles across the Axel Springer Portfolio. 

What are the biggest challenges and opportunities for women in your sector of the digital

industry today?

There are many areas I could speak about here, but a trend I see most frequently is a lack of mentorship and sponsorship. In such a fast paced industry, there are many opportunities for growth and development. However, sometimes it can be difficult to navigate an industry which is in constant flux. I see many organizations implementing mentorship programmes, but we also need to nurture an environment where this can happen organically too. Working from home has meant that we need to be more deliberate about this in our day to day, but also make time to get out there in the industry and meet new people. Making connections and leaning on those for advice and guidance is definitely something we can be doing more of.

What does the industry need to do to better champion women?

We have had a lot of focus on senior leadership and the C Suite over the years which has been so great to see. But the challenge is also to not lose sight of the talent that is moving through the ranks. Our ‘first time’ and middle managers are our future leaders and we have to make sure that they do not burn out or tap out of our industry. Supporting women at different life stages is also overlooked and this doesn’t just apply to Maternity leave. I regularly speak with mothers who are returning to work and feel unsupported or forgotten when it comes to support from their managers and progression within the business. Areas such as Menopause, Menstrual leave and Caregiving support can go a long way to attracting and retaining talented women in our industry. 

What is your biggest achievement in digital to date?

I’ve always been passionate about International growth, especially in the digital and tech sectors. Opening operations in the UK, Kenya, Nigeria, Dubai, Singapore, Berlin, Portugal, Poland and Australia has meant I’ve been able to learn so much about different cultures and also the different digital ecosystems across the world. I’m proud to be able to champion both global and local insight and help to provide employment and development opportunities across the world.