Barracuda’s Erin Hintz on storytelling, simplicity, and doing what you love

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Today is International Women's Day, and Barracuda has been celebrating all week by sharing words of wisdom from notable women in tech.  International Women's Day (IWD) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.  People around the world use this day to advocate for gender parity.  The theme for IWD 2019 is #BalanceforBetter, which speaks to the vision of a gender-balanced world.

As part of the worldwide effort to raise awareness to this issue, Barracuda SVP & CMO Erin Hintz participated in an exclusive panel with six other high profile women in business.  The panel was hosted by Siegel+Gale, a global branding firm that celebrates IWD each year by holding events in several cities to highlight successful women who are building some of the world's most prominent brands. 

Erin joined several other executives in San Francisco to discuss their personal journeys and the lessons they've learned along the way.  Here's some of Erin's participation in the panel discussion:

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I didn't have a particular role in mind, but something that I loved doing as a child was putting on plays.  When I was a little kid I would put on plays, I wrote a play and had all the neighborhood kids come to act.  When I had the opportunity in a class I built the set and I really enjoyed that.  When I think about it now and how it ties to where I landed, it was all about telling a story.  I think that's how I ended up in marketing.

Every panelist was asked to bring an object that represents simplicity.  What did you bring and why?

 I chose the ever-so-simple Post-It Note.  What I was reminded of when thinking about this exercise was my opportunity to participate at the design school at Stanford, and Post-It Notes were a big part of the program.  It was about ideation and people putting their ideas on a Post-It Note.  You have to keep your ideas simple when you have so little space, so you have to capture your thoughts in a very succinct way.  The idea is that after capturing everyone's thoughts on the Post-It Notes and putting them on a wall, then you organize them and group them into common ideas, and then distill it down into one idea, one answer, one pursuit.  So it's going from the complex of all the ideas in that room down to that one, so I thought that captured the notion of simplicity really well.

Looking back on your career in terms of balance for better, what is your perspective?

Something that I've seen, witnessed, experienced, is women supporting women.  Even events like this, where we come together and it's a topic, it's something we're talking about, it's just so important.  Several years ago I was working for a company with a female executive, the only one on the executive team, and I found myself critical of her presentation.  And then I realized she was doing an amazing job and I didn't know why I was critical of her.  That was a major turning point for me because it made me realize that I have a responsibility.  Women can be very critical of each other, we watch the Oscars and find “glamour-dos and glamour-dont's” or we're judging people, and we judge a lot, and I think we need to check ourselves.  We need to support each other.

What is something that we can all do to create balance in the workplace?

One thing we can all do is, as we have a project or something that we're doing cross-functionally, is create a diverse group to go solve that problem.  I see it every day when we get those different perspectives together, the more diverse we are, the better the outcome.  Whether it's gender, where people come from, the experiences they've had through their work, the function they operate in, it's just a fact that more cross-functional teams perform better.

Another thing to remember is that men and women interview differently.  When men interview for a job they position themselves from the perspective of their potential — what they can do and what they believe they can do someday.  When women interview for a job, they position themselves from what they've done in their past.  They talk about their track record and what they've done. 

Men tend to position themselves in terms of what they can do, while women position themselves in terms of their track record and what they've done.  It helps to stay mindful of these differences while interviewing a candidate. ~Erin HintzClick To Tweet

You can have two candidates with the same qualifications, but when they position themselves that differently there can be very different outcomes.  So as you are interviewing candidates, be mindful of the fact that you may want to ask different questions or probe a little differently to get the information.

You can get Erin's full take on things in the video below:


 Barracuda is pleased to have participated in this exclusive #IWD2019 event, and we're already looking forward to #IWD2020!

For more information on International Women's Day, visit the official website here.  You can connect with Erin on LinkedIn here, and follow her on Twitter here.

'Whether it's gender, where people come from, the experiences they've had through their work, the function they operate in, it's just a fact that more cross-functional teams perform better.' ~Erin HintzClick To Tweet
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