Welcome to This Woman’s Work, a series highlighting how different women are advancing the tech industry, both professionally and personally. Working women receive a slew of advice — lean in, lean out, be aggressive, but not too aggressive. We’re constantly inspired by the women who are paving the way and taking charge in the ever-evolving world of technology.
We sat down with Elise Hinchey, VP of Revenue Operations & Strategy at Apartment Therapy Media, who met with us just one week after getting back into work from maternity leave. Elise shares advice to women in the ad tech space and gives us a look into how she worked her way up at her company since starting as employee number 20.
IX: Tell us about Apartment Therapy Media.
EH: Apartment Therapy Media consists of Apartment Therapy and Kitchn.com. We reach over 20 million readers each month, and our content is all about living well at home.
IX: I love that concept. Do you think working for a site with a mission like this has inspired your own life at home?
EH: I lived in a 400-square foot apartment in New York for five years with my now husband. We wouldn’t have made it that long without Apartment Therapy! Now that I’m a parent, cooking at home is more important. I love that our sites were born out of a passion for the content – from an authentic place. To me, that really makes a difference and I think it makes a difference to the audience too.
IX: Tell us about your role at Apartment Therapy Media
EH: Specifically I lead our Ad Operations, Account Managements, and Programmatic Revenue teams. In general, I work to make sure we’re maximizing yield and revenue. Basically, I have my hands in all things revenue.
IX: So how did you get to this role?
EH: My first job was in the sales department of a newspaper upstate. I actually then went into a digital role because it was so clear that this would be the only way forward for media. Once in New York, I worked for direct response agencies before finally landing on the publisher side, which was always the goal! I started at Apartment Therapy in an ad ops role and quickly took on commerce and programmatic oversight. I was the 20th employee here — and have grown with the company since then.
IX: How did you become interested in programmatic?
EH: Apartment Therapy really enabled me to explore programmatic. When I started, the company was in a place where I could take on projects and responsibilities that were outside of my core area. They were really open to giving me enough latitude to test some new things. Ad operations is a great base for programmatic so right when programmatic revenue was becoming more of an important revenue stream for publishers, I was able to flex those muscles and explore outside of my role.
IX: It’s very inspiring for a woman to hold such a recognized position within the digital media industry. What’s your advice for women wanting to grow within the tech industry?
EH: So, a few things:
- Advocate for Yourself: Work hard and document your successes. Don’t expect other people to notice your hard work if you’re not able to speak to it.
- Absorb Knowledge: Always keep learning.
- Embrace Tech: For those in the ad tech space, don’t be intimidated by “tech”. You don’t have to have an engineering degree to be really great in this space. We’re all interacting with “tech” all day long – it should be the least intimidating thing. Even though I work in tech, I think of it more as a digital first, ever changing, modern landscape most people do.
IX: What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career and how have you dealt with it?
EH: It’s an ever-evolving industry, so you have to be adapting and changing continuously. On the other hand, that’s also what makes our industry fun and what makes it an area where young women can really get ahead in their professional lives!