Everything seems obvious in retrospect, but in the moment, decisions aren’t always easy to make. Wouldn’t it just be easier if we could travel back in time with the knowledge we have now and tell our younger selves what paths to take? At Adobe, we have the next best thing —leaders with knowledge and experience who are happy to share with the next generation of leaders. Here’s what four of our female VPs had to share.
Anjul Bhambhri, VP, Experience Cloud Platform Engineering
Anjul had 14 years of engineering experience at IBM before transitioning to Adobe.
“My time at IBM gave me the opportunity to lead and grow businesses with bleeding-edge technology and work closely with CIOs from some of the largest corporations in the world, but when I was given the opportunity to join Adobe, I jumped at it,” Anjul said.
Some advice Anjul has followed during her time at IBM and at Adobe is “to be flexible while having fixed views on the outcome and to just be who you are. Ultimately, do what is in your DNA.”
Beyond just giving advice to younger employees, Anjul strives to lead by example in the way she conducts herself in her position — a more lead-by-example approach.
“I strive every day to be genuine, visionary, customer-focused and results driven,” Anjul shared.
Natsumi Akita, VP Japan Marketing
Natsumi wasn’t always in tech. She was in the financial services industry for 20 years before transitioning to Adobe. Many of Natsumi’s coworkers in the financial services industry workers warned her that this was too drastic of a change.
“Some people warned me that the tech industry will be a closed-door community and only certain folks can make it,” Natsumi said.
But at Adobe, everything was open and welcoming. She felt right at home.
Natsumi encourages employees to not let fear inhibit them from trying something new, advice she wishes someone gave her during this transition.
“Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. Everyone fails. Challenges will be a constant in life, and you will make a lot of mistakes and be dejected by repeated failures. But don’t be afraid. Failure teaches you the greatest lessons, and often shows you a better way of doing things,” she said.
Jamie Myrold, VP Design
Jamie jumped into tech later in her career. She hopes people starting their careers now will consider it earlier than she did.
“I was kind of dragged screaming and kicking into the digital side of design – I was comfortable with the analog world,” she shared. “Once I got my first Mac and some early Adobe software, I realized I should have been doing this a long time ago.”
When she arrived at Adobe, she was impressed by how everyone was on an equal playing field in the company. “Adobe is not a hierarchical company, and our founders stated early on that ‘ideas can come from anywhere.’ This value gives everyone permission to have a voice,” she said.
Ever since Jamie got here, she’s taken every opportunity to mentor employees internally and speak to diversity in design and business to different external groups. For Jamie, diversity takes many forms.
“It’s not just balance of gender but also more broadly having a diverse team. If you’re designing products that have worldwide impact it just makes sense to have a team assembled that is made up of people that come from different educational, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds,” she said.
Stacy Martinet, VP, Marketing Strategy & Communications
Stacy came to us from Mashable and immediately saw the benefit of viewing diversity through different lenses, similar to Jamie.
“The conversation around gender equality has, in large part, been focused around equal pay, but we also need to focus on the distribution of opportunities and checking our biases,” she shared.
Though Stacy says the professional world can be biased in one way or another, she’s proud to work for a company that equally supports every employee.
“Diverse voices are so critical. I’m proud to be at a company that hasn’t wasted time in doing what’s right to even the field,” she said.
Stacy has had amazing mentors and now does her best to pay it forward by mentoring others across Adobe. One message she wishes she told herself and can now tell her younger mentees is to always keep moving and focus on doing an exceptional job.
“The start of a career can be overwhelming, but you just have to roll with the punches and do your job. So, take risks, ask questions and strive to put your best foot forward in all you do,” Stacy said.
Looking for some more life changing career advice? Look no further.