Lauren Benedict

Under Benedict’s leadership, the Disney addressable sales team achieved three consecutive billion-dollar quarters. And as a direct result of Benedict and her team’s efforts, a whopping 40% of Disney Ad Sales’ 2021 upfront revenue was attributed to addressable. Consistently pushing for innovation within the industry, she managed the launch of the Hulu-built Pause and Binge ads, and was first to market in a partnership with Brightline. Her contribution to the industry hasn’t stopped there: Motivated by Sheryl Sandberg’s book, “Lean In,” which she says had a profound impact on her, Benedict started the Hulu book club. “One of my biggest takeaways from the book was that the more women help one another, the more we help ourselves.”

Best advice for someone looking to re-enter the workforce after a hiatus?
Be curious and open-minded, talk to many, and be patient. Everyone’s experience is unique. Learning through others is an invaluable part of the exploratory process. Individuals should focus on their core values as they explore what is next in their career. Depending on the circumstance, individuals who have taken a hiatus will have gained new perspective on what inspires them and the values that drive these motivations. As you explore what is “next” in your career journey, identifying roles at organizations that tie back to these values will result in successful re-entry and personal satisfaction. Previous work experience is important; however, diversity of talent and thought is invaluable in the world today. Present what makes you unique, no one wants to hire a carbon copy of the talent they already have. Play up these strengths. In other words, be uniquely you.

What one female empowerment book do you think every woman should read?
Sheryl Sandberg’s book, “Lean In” had a profound impact on me. I read this book when it was published in 2013, while I was on maternity leave with my daughter, Scarlett. Returning to Hulu, in a new role, with three kids under age of four was terrifying and something I wasn’t quite sure I could do. Sheryl’s book gave me the confidence I needed at the time; the extra little “nudge” necessary for me to feel self-assured returning to the office. It taught me to take opportunities and make them fit for me, which was the inspiration I took into my newly created role in Strategic Client Development. One of my biggest takeaways from the book was that the more women help one another, the more we help ourselves. That advice motivated me to start the Hulu book club, an inclusive gathering that started with women and expanded to all. Once a quarter the book club brought our team together to discuss different topics, from career advice in “Lean In” to laugh out loud anecdotes in “Bossypants” by Tina Fey. The club created a support network to listen and learn from one another.

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