EQUALITY IMPACT AWARD WINNER: Steph Urban
Historically and notoriously unequal, the tech industry has already come a long way in terms of promoting diversity and inclusion. Much of this success has been due to the amazing women and female-identifying people that break glass ceilings everyday.
In honor of these women and in celebration of Women’s Equality Day on August 26, BounceX launched The Equality Impact Awards, awarded to an honorary group of women in the tech, publishing and retail industries, each of whom has broken barriers, changed their companies for the better and fought for equality and gender parity.
Today, we honor one of our 2018 winners, Steph Urban, Senior Director, Digital and Commerce at Tarte. Steph answered 5 questions about the state of equality in the industry. Take a look!
WHAT STRATEGIES DO YOU USE TO FIGHT FOR EQUALITY IN YOUR FIELD?
I’ve had the unique opportunity to work for two women-led companies with majority-female workplaces. This has allowed me to learn from some very bright, inspiring women along the way, all of whom helped me build my managerial skillset. Managers have a big impact on their team members’ careers, so this is one place where I focus a lot of my time. I believe in hiring smart people and letting them run with their ideas and giving them true ownership at every level. That means more of my time is spent guiding, supporting, and advocating for my teams to continually grow and learn. Much of my job is about pushing and finding ways to bring the best out of every member on my team, and I take that role very seriously. If your teams don’t feel safe or supported, they will be much less likely to take risks and succeed.
WHAT WAS YOUR DREAM JOB WHEN YOU WERE IN COLLEGE, AND HOW HAS THAT EVOLVED?
I always loved fashion and writing, and my original dream was to become a magazine editor. Both of my parents are journalists, and they encouraged me to explore digital publications. I started fashion blogging in college and I moved to New York City when I graduated. I was one of the first accredited bloggers to get into New York Fashion Week in 2008. I knew I ultimately wanted to work in retail marketing, so I used my fashion contacts to eventually network into an interview at Ann Taylor. I joined the eCommerce team there during a very exciting growth period under an incredible leadership team. I have loved working in digital ever since, because eCommerce is always changing which makes my job more challenging and exciting. I enjoy being able to tie our results directly back to our campaign work, and always trying new things to create a better online experience for shoppers.
WHAT IS THE WORST DECISION YOU EVER MADE? WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM IT?
I don’t have one specific decision that stands out to me as my worst. We all make mistakes. It is more important that you learn from those experiences and try not to make the same mistake twice.
WHAT RITUALS OR HABITS DO YOU HAVE FOR WHEN YOU WANT TO HAVE A KICK A$$ DAY?
I have a few playlists on Spotify that I will listen to on my commute when I know I have a big day ahead. The songs range anywhere from the Doors and Queen to classical music (if it’s going to be a budget-oriented week). I’m also a big believer in “look good, feel good” – if I have a big meeting or am bouncing back from a rough day, I will wear my favorite heels or a dress that I love for a quick confidence boost.
WHAT DOES FEMALE EMPOWERMENT MEAN TO YOU?
Female empowerment means working together to bring out the best in each other and supporting every woman you know to achieve her personal and professional goals.