25 de março de 2022

When it comes to finding women leading the charge at Anchor, we didn’t have to look very far. From product management, to engineering, to creator marketing, and beyond, each corner of the Anchor app wouldn’t be the same without women speaking up for the future—and diversity—of audio. 

For Women’s History Month, we caught up with a few of them about their leadership journeys, favorite quotes, and why moms continue to be so inspiring.

Whitney Schumacher is a Group Product Manager at Anchor, focused on helping creators grow their audiences and earn money from their content.

Whitney Schumacher, Group Product Manager at Anchor

What’s one moment in your Anchor career that you’re especially proud of?

Whitney: Many of my proudest moments have been when I see Anchor podcasters sharing their milestones and achievements on social media. Building out a platform that helps people is the coolest job there is.

What are the qualities of a good leader, in and out of the workplace?

Whitney: I think a good leader is someone who really cares about and listens to the people around them. Diversity of perspective helps decisions get made no matter what setting you're in.

How do you think people who are not women can show up in support of women’s rights in the workplace, or in general?

Whitney: The easiest way to show up in the workplace is by supporting policies that drive equality—like flexible work schedules, generous parental leave, and pay transparency.

Do you have a favorite quote from a woman that inspires you to keep going?

Whitney: “The most dangerous phrase in the language is ‘we’ve always done it this way.’” -Grace Hopper

Why do you think women audio creators continue to be important to Anchor, and to the world?

Whitney: Probably not surprising from someone who works here, but I LOVE podcasts. One of the most exciting things about podcasts is the opportunity to dive into someone else's perspective, learn from their lives, and build community around what makes us special. Given that opportunity, I'm often disappointed that there still aren't enough visible podcast creators who look like me. But building our podcasting universe to support diverging and diverse voices makes it a better, safer, and more exciting space for everyone. ✨

Anna Sian is the Director of Marketing for Spotify's Talk verticals, including Anchor and Spotify for Podcasters. 

Anna Sian, Director of Marketing for Spotify's talk verticals, including Anchor and Spotify for Podcasters

What’s one moment in your Anchor career that you’re especially proud of?

Anna: It's hard to pick just one! Our team has launched so many incredible product features including Music + Talk, Podcast Subscriptions, and Video Podcasts on Spotify. Anchor also went through a rebrand last year that was a fun creative exercise and helped set us up for our long-term vision.

What’s one landmark challenge you had to overcome to get where you are today?

Anna: I've always struggled with imposter syndrome. As a Filipina woman, growing up I was taught never to be the loudest voice in the room. Over the years, I've been inspired to help others share their own voices through podcasts and other creative types of audio, and I feel that my passion for what I do is what gives me more confidence at work.

What are the qualities of a good leader, in and out of the workplace?

Anna: The leaders I've always admired are able to make sound decisions no matter what's going on. Someone told me once it's like being a flight attendant—no matter the turbulence, you always have to keep your cool. And as a new mother I've had to learn some form of this kind of leadership on the job.

Tell us about a woman in your personal life who has influenced you.

Anna: My mother has always had the biggest influence on me. She immigrated to America in her 20s, and founded an architecture firm in NYC with her business partner, a Jewish woman. Despite the discrimination and sexism they faced throughout their careers, the business is still going strong. She's always teaching me how to be a better, more resilient person.

If you could give one sentence of advice to the women following in your footsteps, what would it be?

Anna: Try lots of new things. Always be learning by taking risks and failing sometimes.

What’s one thing you’re looking forward to in your future working at Anchor?

Anna: I'm looking forward to seeing even more people around the world becoming creators for the first time and making content with Anchor. We try to make our creation tools straightforward and easy for anyone to use, and because of that, so many stories are being told that have never been heard before. ✨

Michelle Johnson is a Senior Web Engineer on the analytics team at Anchor. 

Michelle Johnson, Senior Web Engineer at Anchor

What’s one moment in your Anchor career that you’re especially proud of?

Michelle: I built a tool that allows creators to place ads at specific timestamps using the audio waveform of their podcasts. It was technically challenging, but it came out great and made placing ads that much easier for our creators.

What’s one landmark challenge you had to overcome to get where you are today?

Michelle: When you're the only person in the room who looks like you, sometimes you feel as if you don't have the right to be there. I had to do a lot of internal work to reach a place where I felt that I belong and deserve to be in any room I find myself in.

Tell us about a woman in your personal life who has influenced you.

Michelle: My mother no doubt. She came to this country by herself, not knowing anyone, with very little resources and managed to make a successful life for herself. That takes intelligence, courage and grit.

How do you think people who are not women can show up in support of women’s rights in the workplace, or in general?

Michelle: By enthusiastically creating space for us and encouraging that we unashamedly take up that space. Also have the courage to speak up when you see someone infringing on women's rights or making comments that aren't conducive to building a safe space.

Do you have a favorite quote from a woman that inspires you to keep going?

Michelle: “Next time, ask: ‘what’s the worst that will happen?’ Then push yourself a little further than you dare.” -Audre Lorde

What’s one thing you’re looking forward to in your future working at Anchor?

Michelle: I look forward to working on exciting features that help empower our creators. I love that what I build directly contributes to the democratization of audio and allows for new perspectives to be heard. ✨

This month is a great reminder to pause and appreciate some diverse perspectives women at Anchor bring to the table. One way we’ll continue honoring the significance of Women's History Month is to turn the mic over to leaders who are paving the way for women in tech—leaders like Whitney, Anna, and Michelle—and listen.