Discussing Resilience and 2022 with WIRe Los Angeles
The Los Angeles chapter of Women in Research (WIRe) met Tuesday for its final meeting of 2021 at a virtual event sponsored by Alter Agents and Full Circle Research. Professionals from the consumer insights, entertainment, technology, and food & beverage industries were joined by Snap Inc’s Global Head of Ad Research & Insights Heather O’Shea and Alter Agents CSO Devora Rogers for a conversation about resilience and what’s next for 2022. You can view the recording here, and keep reading for some of the highlights from that fascinating conversation.
Flexibility is key for resilience
It’s so important to recognize that flexibility is vital to stay resilient. O’Shea began her time at Snapchat just before the pandemic hit and after the birth of her son, and navigating a new world in a healthy way was stressful. “I was worried. I had just started this new role. I had started this role for work-life balance and I wasn’t giving myself any work-life balance,” she says. So many women left the workforce during the pandemic due to issues procuring childcare. Flexibility is how we get them back into the workplace and contribute in the ways that they wish to. “Going fully remote was freeing in many ways,” she says, and “the flexibility that we built into [the schedule] really is amazing.” Instead of ending her work day and commuting, she can spend time enjoying dinner with her son.
We can draw resilience from others’ experiences
While people have faced the challenges of the past two years differently, there is a degree of the experience that we’ve endured together. “Being able to have that shared experience to some extent and building up some level of empathy with each other” is really valuable, O’Shea says. “Reflecting on the positive and having a better sense of what others are going through can strengthen us all.”
Being authentic promotes good leadership
Parenting is hard, and more so when you’re parenting your first toddler during a pandemic with limited childcare options. Like in many other households, O’Shea’s son has made plenty of appearances on work Zoom calls. At first, she thought it wouldn’t be good for her at work and she wasn’t always open when she was challenged in balancing work and family. “I was compensating for where I thought I would be viewed as unprofessional,” she says. That’s changed now, and for the better for everyone. “It’s important for me to set an example. This is what leadership looks like… at this messy point in history.”
Open management will be really important in 2022
As we head into 2022 during the Great Reshuffle, being open and authentic with our teams is paramount. “Going into the new year, it’s about me setting a good example for my team,” O’Shea says. “People who are part of the Great Reshuffle or making more empowered decisions need to see Snap and my team as a good fit for them.” For her, that means that she’ll be clear about setting boundaries and respecting those set by her colleagues. Her team needs to feel gratified and really reap the benefits of working together at a tech company, she says, with a culture that promotes wellness and personal growth.
Alter Agents Founder & CEO Rebecca Brooks announced that she will return as the Event Lead for the L.A. WIRe Chapter in 2022. “Contributing to an organization like WIRe is important for me and for Alter Agents. We’re committed to supporting the research community and helping to lift each other up, in 2022 and beyond.” The chapter plans to return to in-person events next year, and we’d love to see more of our colleagues in the coming months.
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