Meena Miles is Director of Global Ad Ops at The Independent. She is responsible for the delivery of all digital media campaigns (video and display) for The Independent, Indy100 and Evening Standard, programmatic revenue and optimisation of all programmatic partners.
Who is your digital hero?
My digital hero is Whitney Wolfe Herd, founder of Bumble.
What has she done to win hero status in your eyes?
Whitney Wolfe Herd became the world’s youngest female CEO to take a US company public at the age of 31. Prior to this, she co-founded Tinder and took the role of vice president of marketing, later filing a lawsuit against the company for sexual harassment.
Soon after, she founded Bumble, the female-focused dating app we all know today. Within just 12 months, the app had reached more than 15 million conversations and made 80 million matches.
How has her heroism helped drive digital?
Not only has Whitney revolutionised the dating app world, she did it having been through a clearly negative experience in the workplace. She took a stand; refusing to accept normalised, damaging behaviour that affects people in the digital industries and beyond. I’m sure her heroism has encouraged other victims of harassment, bullying or abuse in the workplace to speak up, have a voice and still overachieve against all odds.
What are the biggest challenges in digital we need another hero to solve?
In a world where hybrid working is the norm and AI is becoming increasingly part of our digital strategy, I believe that the power of human connection is being forgotten.
No matter how well a process can be automated, meetings can be done virtually or emails written for you, there is nothing more powerful than the ideas, support, inspiration and pleasure we can get from our relationships with our colleagues and customers alike. We mustn’t lose sight of that.
But the importance of human work relationships clearly needs to be considered together with life away from the office and smart, efficient home working. The challenge for all of us today must be finding the right balance between home working and office working, in a way which doesn’t primarily benefit those with the most privileges and support. We cannot go backwards in offering everyone equity and opportunities to thrive.
What is your most heroic personal achievement so far in digital?
I recently won the Global Women in Marketing Change Maker award 2023. This was a huge achievement for me, having never worked at a publisher before joining The Independent just over a year ago. But I couldn’t have achieved this without an amazing team.