CEO Deann Evans talks International Women's Day and #BalanceforBetter
Our CEO since January who has already made a massive impact here at GoTo HQ! In the spirit of International Women’s Day, we thought we’d learn a little more about her past experience, visions for GoToDigital, and why #BalanceforBetter is such an important theme for IWD2019.
Deann Evans joins us after working in marketing technology for almost 20 years. She started her career at a direct marketing agency with a small team focused on delivering results for clients - something she returns to here at GoTo! Whether working in smaller tech firms, startups or large corporations like Ebay, the running themes have always been a focus on data, technology, creativity and delivering results.
What will your role be at GoToDigital?
As CEO, I’m here to provide leadership and help the team realise its potential, achieve great things, and build GoToDigital into a successful company that helps other businesses grow!
What is your favourite thing about GTD so far?
The team! And that we’re slowly moving into a better position within our office closer to actual sunlight.
Ah the woes of shared office space. What is your greatest professional achievement?
I love seeing how far the people who have worked for me in the past have come. I’ve always enjoyed mentoring people in their careers, and seeing those in junior roles now leading a team or a business, or starting their own! I’m honoured to be part of their journey. I get so much more out of other people succeeding than out of my own personal achievements.
Spoken like a true manager! What is your greatest personal achievement?
It’s got to be the adventure travel I’ve done with my husband, like trekking the three passes in Nepal or climbing an active volcano in the Democratic Republic of Congo. I really like pushing myself to explore new places and try new things.
‘77% of mothers in Britain reported having had a negative or possibly discriminatory experience during pregnancy, maternity leave or on their return from maternity leave (2016).’
Why did you pick this statistic as an important one for International Women’s Day?
We lose a lot of women in the workforce to pregnancy, partly because of the discrimination they face when they have young children. I have so many friends that were on high growth/trajectory career paths that had to leave the workforce because their industry didn’t offer a supportive, flexible environment. Of course, some choose to stay at home - it’s certainly not easy to have a career and a child!
Why does this issue resonate with you?
I was interviewing while on maternity leave when my son Rory was 6 months old and my ability to work in a senior level role that required travel and high demands was doubted because of my young son. I was asked questions that my husband would never have been asked in the same situation, whether that was due to conscious or unconscious bias I don’t know.
What’s the impact of working in a gender-balanced company like GTD?
One of the things that attracted me to GoToDigital was that there was never a question about my ability to come in as a CEO to grow, build and expand internationally. The fact I’m a mother just wasn’t a part of the conversation, because it didn’t matter.
The reason I joined was because of my confidence in the team, part of which came from the fact we are a balanced, representative team in terms of gender. We’re doing incredible things because we’re the team we are - demonstrating #BalanceForBetter. We still have a long way to go in terms of representing complete diversity across the board, but I’m excited to find more talented people and actively change that.
What are you most excited about?
I can’t wait to launch the platform and product, then scale it across multiple verticals and expand internationally while supporting SMEs along the way. We’re a small close-knit team now, but I can’t wait to add more talented, driven people as we grow.
You can usually be found…
Trying to escape to Verbier!
Planning a trip to Verbier. Showing the team pictures of Verbier. Checking the weather reports for Verbier. Talking about Verbier…
What’s your GoTo food?
Pret, which is so boring. It’s very sad, the team probably respects me less because of it.
Only a little. What’s your GoTo karaoke song?
One that anyone else will sing with me because I’m so bad at karaoke. Or any 90’s hip-hop, especially Snoop Dog.
Revenue? Revenue. Revenue!
Revenue all the way! What’s a fun fact about you?
I started a pregnancy fitness business with my friend and our bumps! When not pregnant, I make a mean espresso martini.