Marianne Vita

Since VAB began framing its branding, communications and insights through Vita’s perspective, the company’s key performance indicators have skyrocketed. The milestones for this year alone are remarkable: up 26% in weekly website sign-ups, 51% in average number of content downloads and 43% in weekly website visits. But Vita’s success far exceeds those statistics. As creator and speaker of VAB’s “Inspire” learning series, she breaks down today’s issues into digestible takeaways, acting as mentor, teacher and leader all rolled into one. “You’ll find women doing remarkable things everywhere,” she says, “and our impact on the world can be immeasurable.”

What’s one way your company has broadened the recruiting process to ensure greater diversity?
I firmly believe that diversity—of background, of experiences, of perspectives—makes for a more interesting work environment, ultimately producing a better product. To foster that diversity, we have done a number of things, such as actively look for individuals seeking a flexible work environment, recruit from multicultural organizations, and created the VAB Young Leaders Committee to nurture young talent.

What question(s) should you ask to ensure you’re achieving pay equity?
When it comes to pay equity, it’s important to be aware of how others in similar positions are being compensated. You should also ask yourself what unique skills, experience and value you bring to the position and consider how that should impact your compensation.

How would you rate the industry regarding gender bias in shows/characters?
Certainly, progress has been made, but women are often portrayed according to a handful of classic stereotypes that don’t accurately reflect the modern reality for most women.

Best advice for someone looking to re-enter the workforce after a hiatus?
Don’t be apologetic or try to explain away your hiatus. Instead, be confident and focus on your unique skills, how they translate to the position or industry and why they will set you up for success.

Do you have an example of male allyship that made a difference to you?
A great example of male allyship has been working with my counterpart at VAB, Jason Wiese SVP, Director of our Insights team. Jason and I began our careers together over 20 years ago on the agency side. As a male ally, Jason is supportive and collaborative, and as such, sets a terrific example for the younger male (and female!) employees on our team. This spirit of partnership not only makes working together fun and often a learning experience for us both, but results in better work.

What one female empowerment book do you think every woman should read?
I found inspiration in “The Rose Code” by Kate Quinn. It shares the story of female codebreakers during World War II. Their extraordinary achievements literally changed the course of the war, saving hundreds of thousands of lives. My takeaway was that you’ll find women doing remarkable things everywhere and our impact on the world can be immeasurable.

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