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. Welcome to This Woman’s Work, a series highlighting how different women are advancing the tech industry, both professionally and personally.
This week, we caught up with Steph Miller, Head of Sales, Marketing Services at Zoopla Property Group. Read all about the shifts she’s navigated in her career, advice she’d give to her younger self, and her favourite spots to explore in London…
IX: Tell us about Zoopla. What first attracted you to this company?
SM: I actually got acquired by Zoopla when they bought Digital Property Group from DMGT (Daily Mail and General Trust) years ago. I had never considered working at a startup at the time, but it’s been the best thing that ever happened to me.
IX: And now you’ve been with Zoopla for about seven years! Can you tell us about your journey there, and what your current role entails?
SM: Seven years ago, I’d call someone up and say, “Hi, it’s Steph from Zoopla,” and they would think I was from Zoosk (the dating website). Going from that response to a household name — in just a few years’ time — has meant a huge amount of change, which has been so interesting. When I joined I was Employee 50, and today we’re just short of 1,000 people. It’s been a crazy ride.
Now, as Head of Sales, Marketing Services, I look after a sales team running all of the programmatic, display, and data sales for Zoopla and PrimeLocation.
(I should also note that we have amazing offices now, each themed after rooms you might have in your house. I’m still not used to meeting people in the “Bathroom” — the table is a roll top bath with glass on top of it!)
IX: Love that! You’ve been on quite the ride. As someone who’s now worked in so many different environments, what advice would you give to other women hoping to climb the ranks at work?
SM: Hmmm, good question! It’s a bit of a cliché, but I would say work hard, network as much as you possibly can, find yourself a good mentor, and try to surround yourself with people who challenge you to be better.
Speaking of challenging, my Director, Andy Stewart, recently suggested that the team challenge ourselves to break out of our own echo chambers — taking the time to reflect on our opinions and then forcing ourselves to explore perspectives that defy those beliefs. I’d recommend everyone to give it a go, it’s more challenging than you first expect!
IX: Saw that you’re also a member of Bloom UK. Can you share what this organisation means to you and why you chose to get involved?
SM: An industry friend of mine got me involved, actually — I love it. It’s a really great organisation and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my first year as a member. Every older member (sadly, I’m one of those) is paired up with a younger mentee, which I think is a really nice idea, I learned loads from my mentee this year, so it’s been mutually beneficial. It’s really good to meet up with women from the industry who are all trying to push themselves, and each other, to strive for more.
IX: Very cliché question, but what career advice might you give to your younger self?
SM: Maybe take more risks? Generally, I am really risk-averse, and that only gets harder as you get older (as you’re tied down with mortgages, potentially children, etc.). So, when you’re bright-eyed and carefree, I say take more risks. Take that role abroad. Move around a bit more. Why not?
IX: Last but not least, we’d love to get your Zoopla expertise on the hottest neighborhoods in London. What are your favourite spots to explore around town?
SM: Well, I don’t have loads of exciting intel on the up-and-coming spots to move or buy, but I do love to explore (and recommend) new restaurants. At the moment, I’d say my favourite place to explore is (drumroll, please!) Soho, the heart of ad land! There’s always a load of new restaurants cropping up around there, so it’s perpetually vibrant and fun. One of my favourite, old faithfuls is Bob Bob Ricard; I’ve never had a bad meal there and love the whole “Orient Express meets The Great Gatsby” vibe.