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The Beauty of it: The Beast of it

Posted by Veronica Wainstein on September 29, 2017 at 2:37 PM
Veronica Wainstein
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inbound17-898238-edited.jpegThis week HubSpot is hosting the world's premiere inbound marketing event - INBOUND17. Veronica Wainstein, Penquin MD, shares her experiences of the first day with inbounders from around the globe, joining talks and events that inspire and innovate marketing.

As Day Two of the Inbound conference is in full force, I decided to capture my thoughts from Day One, so I don't forget any of the details - this Beast tends to be an information overload, so the brain does require a 'download to back up server' function…

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The Beauty is the #INBOUND17 conference is an annual event in Boston that brings together the best minds in  digital marketing disciplines from around the globe. This year the attendance sits at around 21 400 people! The most astounding thing is the logistics and coordination around an event of this scale. It runs like clockwork, there's nothing the organisers haven’t thought of, the speakers are incredible and the scheduling is run like a tight ship, and so because of this, navigation amongst 21 400 people is seamless.

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From an events and conferencing perspective, I do think South Africa still has a way to go before being able to deliver a bang up conference like this, but it's for this reason I believe if anyone has the opportunity to attend an international conference, they have to jump at the opportunity. It's how we learn, it's how we grow, it's how we share and it's how we strive for excellence in everything we do.

So far, two really big themes have emerged from the first half of #INBOUND17 (Bearing in mind there are a plethora of take-outs, I am just highlighting the two main ones I’ve noted).

I am going to cover both themes, but in order to not bore you to death with a 1 000 page novel, I am going to break it up into two blog posts.

The first theme I noticed at #INBOUND17 is around Women in the Workplace. Now this is not a new point of conversation, it's even been a topic even we’ve covered in previous blog posts, but I can't lie, this is a subject I do sometimes battle to align myself with.  On the one hand, I get it, I really do, and I empathise because it is an ideal women continue to strive for with incremental  progress:

  1.  Women continue to be paid less than their male counterparts across industries.
  2. Only 4% of Fortune 500 individuals are women.
  3. Many industries remain to be associated as male only roles, the reverse of which pales in comparison.

From my perspective though (and this really is just my point of reference, I may piss a couple of people off, but hey, what's the point of having an opinion and not sharing it). The companies I have worked in and with - present and past, have revered women. My value has always been judged on my ability and even when I may have been paid lower than any male colleagues, that has quickly been rectified based on my skills and I have been rewarded time and time again for it.

My career has always been a me thing. It's not been about race or gender. It's been about putting the work in to get the results out. I sometimes think that men get more money because they put a higher value to what they offer and so they ask for it. I have had to learn to put this kind of blind faith in myself, so I have kept my head down, done the work, developed my skills and knowledge and with that the rewards have been exceptional.

I really believe that it's a self fulfilling prophecy to keep reminding yourself and the world that you are lesser valued than men because of the monthly deposit into your bank account at the end of the month. If you love what you do, if it inspires you, motivates you, gives you a reason to get up in the morning, then put a number to what you want to be paid for doing what you love, then go get the number and move on. Let your focus be on the good stuff because 'Woe is me' just leaves you eating worms and focusing on the injustice you believe the world throws at you.

I’m here with some other amazing women, and they shared some of their takes on the women in the workplace conversation and on this incredible conference:


Lisa Singh: “It's amazing to witness that even across the world there is one underlying issue 'women are still not seen as equal to men'. I feel empowered to take this stand and become one of the voices of women succeeding in all facets of life. Whatever it takes to make the future female.”

Alison Leishman: “One of the values I live by is - ‘Sign your work with excellence.’ Living to this standard results in success, it results in respect and it results in recognition. To be true to this value it is essential to be honest, to set realistic expectations for yourself, your family, your business and yourself. And most importantly to make it part of your authentic self. I strive to do this every day. And I will continue to do so.”

Sarah Mills: “It's inspiring to know that everyone around us at this conference can inspire you in some way, shape or form. We're surrounded by the best marketers in the world, and it's our job to take in as much as we can and impart our knowledge with our teams we get home. Knowledge is power - we're using our knowledge from this conference to fuel our agencies, inspire our teams, and ultimately drive exceptional results for our clients - that's what it's all about.”


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