To women in business, the last few years have thrown a lot up in the air. Johanna Bauman wants to make sure the sky remains the limit.

In this video interview with research analyst Joanna O’Connell for Beet.TV, Bauman, CMO, PubMatic, explains why new opportunities thrown up by the pandemic could actually end up putting workplace gender equality back.

The changing landscape of female leadership

Bauman notes that some women are raising their hands to leave the workforce, while others are starting their own businesses or taking a break to refresh. “It’s nice that women have been able to get to the point in their professional careers where they can have that reset and financially are secure enough to do so,” she acknowledges. However, this shift is impacting the next generation and reducing the number of role models for young women.

To counter this trend, Bauman suggests rethinking how to make work more fulfilling and flexible for women. “We need to rethink how to make work, work for women in ways that they can get some of the fulfillment that they’re looking for in addition to just doing a good job and getting results,” she says.

Bauman thinks this requires understanding their needs and creating a supportive environment that allows them to thrive professionally and personally.

PubMatic for the people

For many companies in the media pace, the focus is on two aspects: the marketing and advertising side, as well as the internal company culture. “Advertising has a huge opportunity to be a real leader in this space,” Bauman says. “We influence so many people around the world. We have so much data, so much insight and a big impact on society and on the planet.”

Bauman says PubMatic has a DE&I (diversity, equality and inclusion) council since 2020 and has recently launched Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to provide a space for employees. “That’s been our big focus, just creating the opportunities for people to connect, engage, learn, and inform leadership around what we need to do to make things better and make things work better for our people and for our teams,” she explains.

On the sustainability front, PubMatic has taken steps to educate its leaders on the topic and completed a carbon footprint analysis of its business. Bauman reveals, “Through that process, we found out that our data centers were already operating on exclusively renewable energy, which was a huge milestone.” By sharing this information with employees, the company aims to build engagement and pride in the company while also supporting more responsible and informed advertising technology for its customers.

Authenticity and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion

It’s all about leaders being seen as beacons for change.

Bauman emphasizes the importance of authenticity in leadership, stating, “We need to practice what we preach. We can’t just tell younger employees that we believe in things that they believe in and that we care. We need to actually do it and we need to put our actions behind what we’re committing to.”

She believes this level of authenticity is crucial for both male and female leaders in order to create a more inclusive and supportive workplace.