On a cold rainy Manhattan day, The Marketing Society’s “Under The Spotlight” event venue is a warm welcome. The space is beautiful, it looks like the dream New York apartment. Huge living space with sofas and chairs set up, a full bar, a full kitchen and brand new, cutting edge Samsung portrait televisions, where framed artwork might previously have hung. The portrait televisions show stunning images of mountains, in-line with the theme of the evening, bravery.
As we mingle we notice the room filling up with more people, more lively conversations. All here to hear two incredible women share their stories.
We take our seats and although the room is full, the feeling is intimate.
After a few welcome remarks, we meet our host for the evening, Margaret Molloy, global CMO of Siegel + Gale. In a stunning red dress and ear-catching Irish accent, she introduces us to Meredith Levien, COO, The New York Times and Doris Daif, senior VP customer data strategy, NBA.
The opening question is “What does your organization stand for”?
Meredith starts, “The New York Times is in charge of making sure digital transformation happens faster than it happened yesterday, faster than it’s happening other places.”
The speed of digital transformation is the key in helping millions of people spend more time with The New York Times. In-turn helping advance people’s understanding of the world.
The mic is handed to Doris and she explains how the NBA stands for inspiring play. They want individuals to experience sports, in all different ways, not just TV. They want to drive integrity and innovation, respect for the game and authenticity.
After a few more questions, the women were asked to discuss a time when they had to be brave. They talked about times of change in their personal and professional lives that pushed them to be brave.
I felt they answered this question throughout the entire evening though with their answers to other questions.
These women were asked questions on the #MeToo movement, Black Lives Matter and Data Privacy. Topics that are difficult to discuss, especially in a room full of unknown faces and unknown opinions.
They answered these questions so eloquently and thoughtfully, showing how important it is to take a stance and have an opinion.
Doris spoke on the MeToo movement and how there hasn’t been anything negative come out around the NBA. She feels this is due to the leagues' great leadership, mainly Adam Silver. The fact that he surrounds himself with a diverse leadership team that doesn’t shield away from talking publically about the issues and even partnering with these movements to show support. Bravery again being shown by not being afraid to have an opinion. Meredith brought up journalists and their bravery in being the ones actually breaking these stories that led to #MeToo and Black Lives Matter. Hard investigative journalists that work for months, even years, to make sure the stories that need to be told and getting them to the public.
Towards the end of the conversation, Meredith brought up a great point around businesses now having an obligation and requirement to step in and do its part.
“Brands in many ways have more power than states and nations and if certain issues are handled with authenticity, businesses can play a huge role.”
And where does it all start? “At the top”, said Doris Daif.
Alexa Caldicott, Business Development Manager, Omobono