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This Woman’s Work: Rose Hutchison, Rogers Media

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 month, we caught up with Rose Hutchison, Director of Programmatic Trading & Data Ad Solutions at Rogers Media.

IX: Tell us a little about Rogers Media and how you got started there.

RH: Rogers Media is a division of Rogers Communications Inc., a Canadian telecommunications company. The Media division of the company is comprised of 56 radio stations, nine TV channels (both specialty and conventional), seven publications, over 70 owned and operated websites and another 100 or so exclusively represented partner websites.

Rogers also has a proprietary data offering called Rogers Enabled Data Solutions (R.E.D. Solutions), which leverages deterministic and verified data sets to build aggregated and anonymous audience segments. These data sets can then be targeted across all platforms (i.e. TV, digital, mobile and audio). With this first party data, we’re also able to target returning customers by leveraging information about their past interests and behavior.

I started at Rogers as a Sales Coordinator on the Digital Media team.

IX: Sounds like you’re certainly staying busy over at Rogers! You’ve been there for a little over eight years now. Can you tell us how your role has evolved since your Sales Coordinator days?

RH: I’ve always been focused on digital media sales and helping to monetize our digital assets and properties, moving from a Coordinator to an Account Manager to a Sales Manager in a little over three years.

In that time, my role has evolved to become more and more focused on programmatic strategy. Most recently, I was also tasked with leading our data sales strategy as Director of Programmatic Trading and Data Ad Solutions.

Overall, I’m extremely fortunate to work for a solid Canadian company and to work with great leaders who have provided me with interesting and challenging career opportunities.

IX: As your roles and responsibilities have evolved, what would you say has been the greatest challenge you’ve faced in your career? How did you handle it? What did you learn along the way?

RH: When I was first asked to lead the programmatic monetization strategy for Rogers, admittedly, I had no idea what programmatic even was. I had to ramp up fairly quickly and throw myself into it head on. I began to educate myself, seeking out colleagues and industry connections who could support me. I also had an extremely supportive leader who allowed me to operate in a test-and-learn environment, which enabled me to take risks, make mistakes and learn a lot along the way.

I would also be remiss if I didn’t give a big shout out to the Index team for their support on this front, they really did get us set up for success in those early years.

IX: Glad to hear it! Another challenge a lot of professionals in the tech world face is striking the right work-life balance. Any advice on how to navigate this? What are your favorite ways to destress?

RH: I think it’s important to remember that, ultimately, we are not saving lives. Don’t get me wrong, I believe the work we do is important, but work-life balance is vital to both personal and team success. Prioritize, delegate, and have fun! Remember to celebrate your successes as well, which we always aim to do at Rogers (prosecco is always a good idea!).

For me, having a career and being a parent has been especially challenging and stressful at times! I like to de-stress by working out. Even though I have to work out at 6 a.m. (trust me, you get used to it), that dedicated time sets me up for a solid, much-less-stressful day.

IX: Any advice for young women, specifically, who are just getting started in the industry?

RH: Two things come to mind:

  1. My first piece of advice comes from watching one of the most influential leaders I’ve had and a fierce female in her own right: Don’t be afraid to ask questions, no matter your level of understanding, the setting, or the situation. In the tech space especially, there is always more to learn. It’s so much better to get clarity and take the opportunity to learn something new than let something pass over your head.
  2. My second piece of advice is to be your own advocate. It’s important to showcase your successes and own your awesomeness. Because ultimately, no one else is going to do that for you if you can’t do it for yourself.

IX: Great advice! With Women’s History month underway, we’d love to hear more about the “fierce women” in your life who have truly inspired and impacted you (both in and outside of your career).

RH: I’ve been fortunate enough to be surrounded by so many great women throughout my career, both as leaders and colleagues. It’s been especially inspiring to watch women navigate motherhood and career ambition and make it all look so easy (even though it definitely isn’t).

Additionally, my mom is a huge inspiration — raising four kids and ensuring we each had access to every possible opportunity meant that she sacrificed a lot of her own aspirations. I’ll forever be indebted to her and I strive to be even a fraction of the mom she is.

IX: In terms of your own aspirations and ambition, what’s next on your bucket list, either personally or professionally?

RH: I’d love the opportunity to speak at an industry conference!

IX: And finally, let’s finish with a round of rapid fire questions on all things Canada…

  • What’s your favorite hidden gem in Toronto?
    • Mon K Patisserie on Coxwell Ave has the most delicious French toast, only available on Saturdays!
  • Which Canadian Ryan do you prefer: Ryan Gosling or Ryan Reynolds?
    • Gosling!
  • Dragon’s Den or Shark Tank?
    • Dragon’s Den.
  • Go-to Tim Horton’s order?
    • Oh, I’m a coffee snob. I’m going to give a shout out to Jay and team at Rooster Espresso Bar on Jarvis Street in Toronto — my main order there is an Americano Misto. Just hook that stuff to my veins!

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