Happy International Women's Day
Happy International Women's Day from Affiliate Summit! Last but not least, we interviewed our very own Missy Ward, CO-CEO and Founder. We hope you enjoy your day to the fullest :)
What is the proudest moment of your career?
There have been many highpoints, but the one that gives me the most gratification (besides Affiliate Summit) was starting Affiliate Marketers Give Back, an organization I founded back in 2007. AMGB raises money for organizations that support breast cancer research, treatment, awareness, and community programs through combined efforts within the affiliate marketing industry. I’m pleased to say that, to date, we’ve raised over $625,000.
What has been the most challenging moment of your career?
The most challenging moment came when I decided to leave a company that I worked at as VP of Marketing for ten years without having another job lined up, no nest egg to fall back, and barely juggling life as a single mom of a toddler. I was one of their first employees, and together with my colleagues, we grew the company to $125M annual revenue. But, after finding out that I was earning 40% less than staff in comparable positions, I was so angry that I immediately gave my notice without accepting the raise they finally offered. It was scary, but if I didn’t make that move, Affiliate Summit might not have ever happened.
What advice would you give to a woman in affiliate marketing?
While the affiliate marketing industry is still male-dominated, the playing field has leveled out significantly since I started back in 1999. There are equal opportunities for every person that is willing to work hard, speak up and directly, and become invaluable to the successful company that you wind up working for.
Why have you chosen to work within affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing chose me… One day back in 1999, one of the owners of the company I was working for came into my office so excited about this new thing he heard of where this company had these virtual, independent consultants that marketed the company’s product on their own, with no expense to the company. The best part was that the company would only have to pay those independent consultants a commission if they made a sale. He was referring to Amazon, and it was their Associates Program. He tasked me with figuring out how to make that scenario work for our company. The rest is history….
What female figure is your inspiration, and why?
Katie Couric is someone I’ve drawn inspiration from for many years. Katie started in a male-dominated industry and is now every bit as powerful as her male counterparts. One of my favorite moments of her career was when she underwent a televised colonoscopy on the Today show, after losing her husband two years prior from colon cancer. She turned her tragedy into a teaching moment to help other people and shattered the norms of network television.
The most important message you would send out to your peers, friends, and colleagues?
About 1 in 8 U.S. women and 1 in 883 U.S. men will develop invasive breast cancer throughout their lifetime. Early detection is the key to beating it. That’s why it’s so important to check your breasts for abnormalities or lumps at the same time each month. It’s also crucial to talk to your doctor about mammograms, especially if there is a family history.
What do you think is the biggest issue for a woman in affiliate marketing?
I don’t think that there are any issues for women related explicitly to the affiliate marketing industry. That said, in any male-dominated industry, two of the most significant problems that I see are a lack of support from their colleagues and inequitable income.
Any empowering books/ articles you would recommend?
I really enjoyed Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay. There’s a lot of thought-provoking content on embracing your imperfections in today’s world.
A quote by a female figure that you go by
“In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.”- Sheryl Sandberg