Ahead of International Women’s Day, we sat down with Sonia Zammit, Lead AM Advertising, to discuss her career progression to date, career challenges, her involvement in The Ladder community, and her advice to young women starting out their careers.
- Tell us a bit about yourself, background, and your current role
I am Sonia, and am the Lead AM Advertising at ManoMano. I have been working here for more than 3 years, however up until about a year ago I was taking care of Affiliation in the Marketing department. Before ManoMano, I worked at the affiliate marketing platform Zanox in Amsterdam before moving back to Paris. I stayed at the same company, and was in charge of the project management of its rebranding to Awin. This included migrating all our accounts from the old platform to the new one, training teams, adapting the product to the French market, and coordinating the training of advertisers.
In 2019 I started at ManoMano, to lead the Affiliation programme. This involved driving our affiliate network in France and expanding it in our international markets (Belgium, Spain, Italy, Germany and the UK).
Last May, I had the opportunity for internal mobility, to change teams and departments and take on the role as Lead AM Advertising. This is advertising for our partners, where we propose a best in class visibility and performance experience to our partner sellers.
2. What made you choose a career in online marketing/advertising?
I was looking for a dynamic environment in tech that could easily be "sellable" in the future, for in case I wanted to move country or sector.
3. What stood out about ManoMano and why did you choose to join the business in 2019?
ManoMano had already been on my radar for a few years, as I was working with major e-commerce companies in France, and I am myself fond of gardening and DIY. My career development was also going into the "advertiser" direction (in ads there are publishers, advertisers, and agencies, I was in an agency). ManoMano represented a new professional challenge as one of the most innovative, data driven, and fast growing companies in the country.
4. Have you faced any career challenges along the way and how did you overcome these?
Oh yes, many. A strict organisation with only one kind of evolution possible, managers being reluctant to move a good performer, a position not existing yet… I overcame this by talking openly and showing how it would benefit both the company and the employee. I had to be creative to effectuate change.
5. Are there barriers when it comes to women starting a career within your industry?
No. In Digital Marketing and Advertising, the male/ female gap is less pronounced
6. How has The Ladder helped you progress your career at ManoMano?
Thanks to the Ladder, I got to know many people from different teams and levels at ManoMano. Networking sessions are definitely useful, but it is also hugely beneficial to meet with people who want to do something about gender equality and want to make things move. I could debate and understand the point of view of colleagues on certain topics, always in a respectful and stimulating way. Fun fact: this is actually how I got to know my current manager before my mobility!
7. What has been the most important feature/function of The Ladder programme during your time at ManoMano?
Definitely the mentoring programme. This is empowerment right? Not making a taboo of self promotion, getting advice, and understanding how one can make a difference in a career path
8. What has been your biggest career achievement at ManoMano to date? Did The Ladder programme play a role in achieving this?
I would say that it has been to make the affiliation programme go from 0.8% of BV to 5% of BV in 2 years with an amazing team. Simply great work as a team did it all!
9. How do you find the work/life balance?
ManoMano offers a totally flexible working environment called WorkAtom, where we can work from anywhere within the country of our contract, and up to 8 weeks abroad a year within Europe. This means I can go to the office regularly to see my teams and meet up with my colleagues from other departments, and at the same time I have a lot more freedom to pursue my interests, especially my love of travel, whilst maintaining my career.
10. What advice would you give to young women at the start of their career?
Don't be sorry to be where you are, we chose you! You have ideas, speak them out loud, dare, go meet people. Most of the solutions or guidance you need is one conversation away from you.
11. Why do you think it is important to celebrate International Women’s Day?
The reality of the world is that women are still discriminated against. It is important to celebrate our rights to equal treatment, salary, speaking events, access to school, to jobs where they are under-represented. The road is long but I am proud to be working for a company where it's an empowering place for women.