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Philippa Dods, Head of Marketing, Meltwater

Philippa Dods: The Ambitious Trail-Blazing Change-Maker

There are plenty of women doing incredible work in the tech industry all over the world, while making space for others at the top. One of these women, who caught our attention here at Insights Success, is Philippa Dods.
Philippa is the Head of Marketing for Africa at Meltwater, the global leader in media intelligence. Here, she is responsible for the strategy development and execution of marketing initiatives and integrated campaigns across the continent.
She is also the co-founder of Women In Tech, a Meltwater initiative created to build a mutual learning exchange, resulting in progressive female leadership on a global basis.
In her spare time, Philippa runs Future Females Foundation, a nonprofit organisation fighting to eradicate gender-based violence and discrimination.
We caught up with the philanthropic businesswoman to learn more about her journey. Below are the highlights of the interview:
Philippa, congratulations on being selected as one of the Top 40 Influencers Under 40! You’ve had an influential career so far. Can you tell us more about the work you do on a day-to-day basis?
Thank you!
My full-time day job is Head of Marketing at Meltwater, for the African region. I oversee the marketing activities and campaigns across all 54 African countries. Meltwater is a global media intelligence company – the software helps clients track their brand reputation, manage social media campaigns, and understand industry trends.
It’s such an exciting industry to be in. I’m so grateful to do work that I love in a space that is really at the forefront of big data, innovation, social media and analytics.
I recently launched a nonprofit organisation (NPO), called Future Females Foundation, which I run in my part-time capacity, separate from Meltwater.
Future Females Foundation works to combat gender-based violence and discrimination. We work on tech-enabled, community-driven initiatives that are safe, scalable and sustainable, to eradicate gender-based violence and support, upskill and empower survivors.
All my life, I’ve been passionate about achieving gender equality.
I want to see equal representation of women across all industries, I want to shorten the gender pay gap, I want all women to be free to choose to be who and what they want. I strive to create
equal opportunities, and to open doors for women who come after me. I work towards gender equity in business, entrepreneurship, politics, sports and society. And I aim to combat
gender-based violence and discrimination, which is why I launched Future Females Foundation.
That’s amazing. I’m sure both must keep you busy! How do you juggle both?
It helps that I’m passionate about the work that I do, and that I’ve aligned my personal values with the company’s.
Meltwater is a global leader in media intelligence, a major player in the tech industry and a publicly-listed company. It’s so exciting to be at the forefront of media intelligence and innovation. I’m enthusiastic about marketing and the impact that it can have on brands, businesses and the bottom line, so love what I do on a day-to-day basis.
It also makes it easier to work for a company whose values you align with. Meltwater’s core company values are Moro, the Norwegian word for “fun, enjoying what you do” Enere meaning “number one / average just isn’t good enough,” and Respekt, meaning “respect, treating all people with respect and humility.” These values are strongly aligned with my own personal values.
Future Females Foundation has five core values; which we hold true to the centre of everything we do, every action we take and every decision we make: Compassion, Advocacy & Social Justice, Diversity & Inclusion, Peace, and Big, Bold & Brave.
We’re here to make big, bold, brave moves. We’re here to talk about what scares us, the uncomfortable. We promise that everything we do is rooted in and will come from a place of compassion. We are passionate social justice fighters, who value diversity and inclusion, and will take peaceful forms of protest and action to create a nonviolent world in the future.
These are strongly linked to my personal values, too.
Can you tell us about the initiatives you’re running at Future Females Foundation and how our audience can get involved or help?
We are currently running the Future Females Foundation Financial Independence Program, a three-month program for survivors of gender-based violence in South Africa.
During the course, they learn practical skills: sewing, beadwork and garment production, as well as financial literacy, entrepreneurial and business skills, so that they can start their own businesses, become financially independent from abusive partners, and find financial and emotional freedom. During the program they also get access to trauma counselling sessions and motivational talks, to rebuild their self-confidence.
We are also running Consent Workshops for school boys to teach them about sex education, and consent. We believe that prevention should start early in life, by educating and working with young boys and girls to promote respectful relationships, sexual health and education, and gender equality. Working with youth will help us to achieve a sustainable way of preventing and eradicating gender-based violence.
Please reach out to us if you’d like to get involved in any way, help, donate or volunteer.
Technology is playing a significant role in almost every sector. How are you leveraging technological advancements to make Meltwater’s software solutions resourceful?
Meltwater has more than two decades of experience, 55 offices across six continents, and a company culture second to none, that has contributed to the brand becoming a global player.
Meltwater leads the way in strategic acquisitions that help us stay ahead of the curve and improve our overall product offering of software solutions. We’ve completed 10 acquisitions over the past 3 years, and we are dedicated, as a company, to staying at the forefront of technological advancements and blazing the way for the rest of the industry.
A recipient of several awards including being voted as the number 1 Media Monitoring Software by G2 Crowd subscribers, Top 50 Best Products for Marketers 2020, Best Company for Happiness, Best Company for Women, Best Career Growth and Best CEOs for Women, Meltwater created a huge impact in the tech world.
I believe the internal Women In Tech initiative that you co-founded at Meltwater has had a big impact on the company too. Can you tell us a little bit more about it?
More women in the workplace is proven to increase profitability.
In fact, gender diversity helps to make companies more successful in every aspect, including better employee retention rates, broader talent pools, more creativity and collaboration, enhanced customer experience, as well as more revenue.
Yet – women are still largely underrepresented in the STEM industries (science, technology, engineering, mathematics), specifically tech.
So, I joined forces with two colleagues who feel just as strongly about gender equality, and we co-founded Meltwater’s Women In Tech.
Women In Tech was launched to create a digital community within the Meltwater organisation to share ideas, continue learning, and be inspired, to create a safe space for employees to talk about topics that genuinely matter.
Via active participation and support, together we hope to build a mutual learning exchange, resulting in progressive leadership on a global basis.
We host quarterly global, online events, where we invite fellow inspirational women leaders in tech to share their advice and wisdom with those trying to breakthrough the industry for the better.
What advice would you like to give to budding leaders and entrepreneurs?
To me, the most important thing is to have a positive impact in the world. So find your purpose, lead with integrity, and always strive to give back. This fuels energy and success.
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