Empathy and Empowerment: Transforming Tech Leadership for Women

Tech Leadership for Women

Interview with Stacy Bohrer of OpenX 

Discover how empathy, mentorship, and creating supportive environments can drive success, foster innovation, and inspire the next generation of women to thrive in the tech industry. In this exclusive interview, Stacy Bohrer, Vice President of Buyer Development at OpenX, opens up about her unique approach to leadership, the transformative power of servant management, and her mission to uplift women in tech.

Stacy, you have a strong background in building teams for success, how do you approach leadership? 

One of the most important things a leader needs to know is that you can’t do it all yourself. Leaders that micro-manage their staff will hold their team back. Rather than standing in the way, a good leader will act as a blocker and a tackler, clearing a path to give the team the space to perform and deliver on goals.

Empathy is also key; managers must understand the obstacles that every individual on their team faces and help them to solve or remove internal challenges. By providing a safe environment for each team member, you give them the room to be their authentic selves.

These aren’t just nice-to-haves, either. This is a demonstrated path to reaching business targets. People on my teams achieve their goals not because I demand that they do, but because they have the freedom, the power, and the support to do so.

Talk to us more about servant leadership, why is this concept so important to you?

I believe that servant leadership is one of the best management styles to enable an organisation to scale and thrive. When a manager empowers their team with everything they need to reach their collective goals and hit their own personal development targets, performance levels will soar.

When a manager empowers their team with everything they need to reach their collective goals and hit their own personal development targets, performance levels will soar.

Dictatorship on the other hand doesn’t empower employees to perform to the best of their ability. If team members are afraid of the consequences of making a mistake, they won’t take risks. If people are always told what to do, they won’t think creatively to reach their objectives. But when a manager considers how each team member is motivated, empowers them to take control of their role, and gets out of their way, that team will run through walls.

Why is empowering other women to succeed in tech so important?

Representation matters; it’s essential for an equitable and successful industry. Seeing more women in senior management positions inherently encourages other women to embark on a career in tech as they can see a potential pathway for themselves.

There are still not enough women – especially BIPOC women – working in senior and technical roles in adtech – and the same goes for the wider technology industry. If people don’t see faces that look like their own in the boardroom, then they will look elsewhere and the tech industry will lose out on valuable skill sets.

Organisations such as The Female Quotient and Chief are doing great things to help redress the balance in the workplace through visibility initiatives and mentorship. But collectively we can do more to take up space, be visible, and advocate for one another.

What are some ways you’ve been supporting women? 

I’ve been actively taking part in mentoring sessions through the OhHello platform; anyone seeking mentorship can book time with me or another mentor on the platform. All the proceeds from my bookings go directly to Girls Who Code, an international nonprofit organisation that works to increase the number of women in computer science.

When the time comes, be responsive to those who reach out to you. It takes all of us to make progress.

I’ve always been a firm believer in women having financial independence, so another key focus of mine is acting as an advisor to women who are in the process of transitioning their careers while maintaining their earning potential. Other areas I’ve invested in mentorship are speaking at a range of industry events and schools on the topic of supporting women in business and hosting networking events for women that focus on overcoming barriers to growth in the tech industry.

What advice would you give to other women looking to start a career in tech? 

One of the most important messages for women who want to get into the technology industry is to continue to look for new opportunities to learn, whether in formal or informal environments. Qualifications count for a great deal, but there are also many virtual and digital courses out there that enable you to learn specialised skills in your own time and fit around full-time work.

It’s also vital for women to build their own networks. With strong relationships in place, a world of opportunities will open up. Attend events and meetups when you have the chance, and keep in touch with the people you meet. Virtual meetups and social media platforms such as LinkedIn also provide great potential for networking. Don’t be afraid to take up space and reach out to people you’ve not met in person. And when the time comes, be responsive to those who reach out to you. It takes all of us to make progress.

Executive Profile

Stacy Bohrer

Stacy Bohrer is VP of Buyer Development NA at OpenX. With decades of experience within the digital marketing and technology space, she works with her teams, clients and agencies to ensure that high-quality inventory is coupled with rich data for effective digital marketing campaign results.

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