Stephany Van Willigenburg – Senior Industry Head, Google UK

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We meet the best and get their success advice. From different industries, these inspiring women tell their story and predict the future, giving us an insight into their key career strategies.

Stephany Van Willigenburg – Senior Industry Head, Google UK

In 2018 thinking you need to do something different can be a distraction

Don’t let distractions take hold of you but be clear about the challenges and opportunities. Use research and practice rather than reinventing the wheel. Do what you do well with your team and your customers – it can be a bit of a ride, there will be risks, but as long as you know where you are going you should put all your energy into it. Be in it for the long run, know that sticking to the basics is sensible and set up success beyond 2018.

There is plenty of dialogue at Google about diversity lead by the superiors which are mainly men. The pressure we face as women also comes from ourselves, we don’t always have to step up like a man, instead speak up, standout be known for something by your peers. You can train yourself to do this, so don’t hide in a corner, be present, be proud because you do add value. Success can be different things, but one thing is for sure, it will never happen in a vacuum.

I have grown within Google and my leadership is about being present, learning from my peers, encouraging everyone to help each other and know who to turn to, to source the answer themselves rather than just coming to me – championing the journey of the solution rather than handing over the answers.

Overall, enthusiasm, tenacity and remaining positive and open-minded will lead you to success

The adoption of certain technology is easy but the implementing and in influencing people is hard. So it is important to have the right people on the ground to make the hard happen. This year there is a real need for data scientists to translate the very complex into business decisions for our customers. Even if they are not advertising understanding data will improve their website numbers.

I have huge ambitions for the future – I am a true entrepreneur at heart and I know that growth means being curious and not being afraid to fail. Be ok with feedback, be good at communicating and helping and supporting others.

Overall, enthusiasm, tenacity and remaining positive and open-minded will lead you to success.