Women Leading Tech: PubMatic’s Brittany Lefave On Why “Diversity Of Employees Leads To Diversity Of Thought”

Women Leading Tech: PubMatic’s Brittany Lefave On Why “Diversity Of Employees Leads To Diversity Of Thought”

Brittany Lefave is no stranger to tech. In fact, the Canuck-turned-Aussie currently works as associate director of ad solutions in the ANZ branch of adtech experts, PubMatic, one of the many valued sponsors of this year’s B&T Women Leading Tech Awards.

As further initiatives and strategies are introduced every year to encourage women to join not only tech, but the entire STEM sector, we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to chat with Lefave about the importance of diversity, why women remain sorely underrepresented in tech, and what PubMatic is doing to ensure a more equitable company and future.

B&T: Hi Brittany. Brands have often been accused of “performative” sponsorships, relating to important issues (Pepsi/BLM, for example). Why is your partnership with WLT different?    

Lefave: In the case of Pepsi and Kendall Jenner, it didn’t feel authentic. We believe strongly in promoting gender equality in our industry and helping to shine a light on the fantastic women that are already trailblazing. We believe events and awards like [B&T Women Leading Tech] are important because women need to see it. It’s important for younger generations of women entering our industry to see people they can relate to and aspire to. 

Also, is it all talk for the brand? Are they actually doing something to support these issues? In the example you gave of Pepsi, they made an ad about equality, but what policies did they have in place to promote racial equality in their own workplaces? In this case, we have a lot of policies at PubMatic that do look to promote gender equality. Supporting events like the Women Leading Tech Awards is a wonderful initiative to raise the profile of so many successful individuals who identify as female.

How exactly is PubMatic ensuring women are better championed and represented in the tech industry? Are there any particular benefits or reward policies the company has put in place?

We actually have a few benefits and programs that we’ve rolled out, but I’ll share the most recent ones we’ve highlighted in our latest diversity and inclusion report. We have a campus hire program and training, which we rolled out dedicated programming and focused on increasing gender representation in our technical teams in India. In order to attract and engage more female engineers, we’ve expanded our campus hire program to partner with colleges that have higher rates of female STEM graduates. 

We also support female technical leads to grow their own public profiles through speaking engagements and other media-related events to encourage more women to enter the field. And our goal of expanding female representation within our technical teams begins with recruiting and hiring more female engineers. But it doesn’t end there.

We also have invested in training programs that focus on the development of core leadership competencies, such as communications, decision making, change management, teamwork, collaboration, as well as the opportunity to upscale technical learning that are inspired by our product roadmap. 

We also have our female employee resource group, which is another initiative. Fellow co-workers have recently gotten together to form a female employee resource group to foster a supportive and collaborative environment where all female PubMatic employees can come to learn, share their best practices, grow, and ensure they’re networking, having thoughtful discussions, they’re able to grow their careers, and help  women develop mentor relationships with other women in PubMatic. 

It seems to be brought up a lot in the tech sector compared with other industries, but why do you think female equality and equal representation in tech is of particular importance?

Great question. It’s a sector in which women have historically been underrepresented. It’s an area where we believe there’s lots of work to do. Women are under-indexing at senior levels in the media industry in general, but it’s even more stark on the tech side of our industry. In agencies, we’re seeing a lot of very senior women and women run the show at many bigger agencies, but it’s still rare to see women in senior roles on the tech side. 

IAB Australia recently released a report called The Digital Advertising & Adtech Industry Talent Review in October 2021, and under the ‘Gender Representation’ or ‘Tech and Engineer roles’ males represented 88 per cent while women represented only 12 per cent. We believe there’s certainly room to grow in this function of adtech to balance that male and female split.

Regarding gender equality, what do you think the next decade will look like for tech?

If we can see better gender balance it will translate into positive results for the tech industry. Having a diverse workforce isn’t just good for an organisation’s employees, but it’s also good for the organisation as well. Diversity of employees leads to diversity of thought, and having more people’s experiences and points-of-view leads to better decisions being made. 

Find out more about the Women Leading Tech Awards HERE.

Tickets to the awards are now on sale HERE.

Early bird tickets end: Wednesday 30 March 2022

As an initiative created to support gender parity and representation across the tech industry, Women Leading Tech is an event inclusive of non-binary and gender diverse members of the tech industry, as well as any individual identifying as a woman.

Thank you to our Women Leading Tech sponsors:

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