There’s no doubt we have made tremendous strides in the last few decades regarding diversity in Tech. Women and minorities continue to rise within leadership positions, and companies are making efforts to appreciate diversity and implement strategies to ensure positions are filled equitably. Still, we often picture a formidable glass ceiling when we say the term “Women in Tech” and gaps still remain within management positions for both women and minorities.
That’s what makes championing for DEI leadership so critical and why we here at Par + Punchh are trying to elevate the way we think about our business and the way we support diversity.
On October 28th, alongside the incredible men and women across Par + Punchh, I had the opportunity to sit in on a fireside chat with one of the most thoughtful and enthusiastic women within tech marketing, Paramita Bhattacharya.
Paramita Bhattacharya is a global marketing executive with over 20 years of strategic and operating leadership experience. Currently, the CMO for Blurb, a book-making platform and creative community that enables individuals to create, publish, and share or sell high-quality photo books, trade books, magazines, and wall art, Paramita guides the communication and eCommerce strategy for this growing brand.
She also has been recognized as the Top 50 Women in SaaS for her performance as a CMO and as a leader with the ability to foster innovation and growth, spur new initiatives, leverage strategic partnerships, and contribute to company success. She was also included in the Asian American Hall of Fame Top 100, a curated list of Asian Americans with storied victories. Most recently, she was celebrated amongst the Top 50 Thought Leaders and Influencers in Customer Loyalty.
Joining us for this 60-minute webinar, she opened up about her career, her insights on building brands and her views on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).
“Like all careers, mine was more of a journey, so I guess I will take you through just a few of the milestones. I actually started within big advertising agencies, which really gave me a fundamental understanding of brands, sort of their ethos, and their foundation. From there, I was lucky from a timing perspective, as digital innovations were beginning to emerge, and I just so happened to sort of get on the digital bandwagon as an early adopter. Pretty soon, that landed me in doing some really breakthrough, digital and web initiatives that drove business growth in sort of its early days of technology.”
Paramita goes on to talk about her career within tech giants such as Hitachi, Adobe, and Nokia. When she later joined Blurb, she admits that it was a little bit of a wake-up call to go from a fortune 500 to a smaller startup.
She explains, “I would say it was an excellent and challenging transition, but the goal for me here was to really build and flex different muscles in terms of scale, you know, in terms of sort of how you tackle challenging areas, within a business. And certainly part of this was also an M&A that we drove last year as part of my joining Blurb.”
While many women in Tech use these challenging times to lean on mentors or be inspired by influential people around them, Paramita says that she doesn’t rely on a single mentor but instead takes her influences from multiple sources.
“I think my early experience within the agency environment really prepared me for career growth,” says Paramita. “For example, I go into every go-to-market, every new product, every business wanting to know how all of the departments operate and impact the larger business. I go into every project with an awareness of being a broader business leader, outside of just the scope of my position.”
She also revels in gaining new perspectives from the pop culture around her, opening herself up to new ideas and influences. To do this, she often listens to leadership podcasts or reads. Currently, one of her favorite women in leadership books is Pepsi-Cola’s Former-CEO Indra Nooyi’s “My Life in Full”. She also recommends McKinsey Insights as an excellent source for business insights.
Beyond her professional career, Paramita has recently expanded her professional interests into investing in women-owned businesses. She is a founding Limited Partner at How Women Invest, an early-stage venture firm focused on female entrepreneurs, and the founding member of FirstBoard.io, dedicated to increasing women’s representation on corporate boards. In addition, she is a member of Neythri Funding Circle, a global community of South Asian professional women. Paramita is also actively involved in coaching and mentoring upcoming business leaders through Torch and Women Unlimited.
“Women found 40% of businesses in the U.S., but only 2.4% are venture capital, and I really think disruption is needed there,” says Paramita. “While I am still very early in my investment journey, my ultimate goal is to make capital accessible to these women-owned businesses with a focus on women of diversity.”
While Paramita recognizes the necessity of women supporting women, she also feels like it doesn’t stop there. That males within the workplace and particularly men in authority positions should be just as accountable for encouraging career growth among women within the industry.
“My advice to leadership is to pay attention to those that don’t speak up at the table. Oftentimes these happen to be women, but not always,” says Paramita. “I assure you these individuals have a lot to say. Don’t be afraid to approach the quiet ones and ask for their opinions, get their insights, and find out their professional aspirations. I think you will be surprised by the quiet strength and insights this group brings to the table, and all they need is your advocacy as a leader.”
Our heartfelt thanks to Paramita Battacharya for her time sharing her experience and insights, as not only a woman in Tech, but an inspirational leader that is genuinely influencing our industry as a whole.
If you would like to learn more about our PAR + Punchh Women in Tech Events or to attend the next session of our “Get Inspired” series, please feel free to visit us at Punchh WIT or by contacting your Customer Success Manager.
The PAR+Punchh Women in Technology (WIT) program seeks to provide like-minded individuals with support and professional development. We strive to create a diverse workplace, and with this intention, launched WIT in August of 2020, on Women’s Equality Day. WIT’s mission is to provide a resource that addresses diversity, professional development, and mentorship for the women of our organization. Our goal is to empower our peers to positively influence the betterment of our organization and the tech industry.