Celebrate International Women’s Day and Hear from Some of Our Fierce Females Across WarnerMedia

 

To celebrate International Women’s Day (March 8) and Women’s History Month, we are highlighting the extraordinary work done by women from across our regions including LATAM, APAC, EMEA and the U.S. Read their incredible stories below.

 

Sima Westley

EMEA

Location & Department: Executive Director Sales and Customer Marketing
Tenure/Years with WM: 16

What is your background?
My sales training began with Coca-Cola where I worked for five years. Having studied design at Glasgow School of Art, it was quite a shift, but I never thought I’d be in sales as a career!

That said, I found my niche in sales and LOVED it. I moved from Coca-Cola to BBC World-Wide, again in a commercial role before moving to WarnerMedia.

I’ve had many roles within WarnerMedia and have been incredibly fortunate to have moved between commercial and marketing roles and now back to sales. 

What’s is your current role?
Executive Director – Sales and Customer Marketing. Heading up the physical sales and customer marketing teams for the UK & Ireland.

What does your current day-to-day work entail?
Meetings, meetings and more meetings!

I’ve been in my current role since January 4, 2021 (six weeks) and have been in lockdown the entire time. Because of the lockdown, I have been meeting the team, customers, my new boss, finance etc. all on Microsoft Teams.

We’re working on our marketing strategy right now and ways we can continue working with our partners.

What’s your favorite part of your job?
I love interacting with people, whether they are a customer or my team. I also love a challenge & my new role is challenging! It’s a tough market and we are in the process of transitioning Universal content over to ourselves from March 1. Between that, our own restructure, COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions, it’s been interesting to see how people and organizations respond to change and pressure. I personally have been incredibly impressed by how we as a team and organization have rallied together.

What does celebrating International Women’s Day / Women’s History Month mean to you personally?
For me, it means taking a moment to stop and give each other a pat on the back – to acknowledge our achievements and how far we’ve come. If you think back to the lack of freedom and choices women had even just as recent as our parents’ generation, the progress has been phenomenal. To think there was a time not that long ago when women could not get a mortgage unless they were married, it feels outrageous!

Who is/are the woman/women that inspire you? How have they helped mold the woman you are today and/or aspire to become?
My parents moved to the UK from India. I grew up in Edinburgh with four sisters and a brother. My mother has always been remarkable to me, she was married at 16 and had a family of six in a foreign country.

Through all the trials and tribulations life has thrown at her, she has ALWAYS maintained a super strong sense of self and kept her own identity. Between her and my sisters, I have always had strong female role models. Now as a mother to two daughters I am eternally grateful for the strong feminine energy I was surrounded by while growing up.

What do you do to find more balance while working from home during the pandemic?
I’m lucky to have a hugely supportive husband, and since the summer of 2020 when the lockdowns started, I’ve been training four times a week. It’s kept me sane, mentally and physically. I don’t know how I would have coped without doing that.

What’s something no one knows about you?
I cry all the time watching soppy films!

Prab Greenwood

EMEA

Location & Department: EMEA / WMTO Workplace Support
Tenure/Years with WM: 9

What is your background?
I started my career in IT working for a major IT provider. From there I worked for Financial and Professional Service companies before coming to WB where I came full circle to help manage the service provider I first worked for.

What’s is your current role?
Executive Director for WM Workplace Support. Our teams support the technology WM uses constantly - all the IT you find at your desk. I'm based in London and I’m responsible for EMEA and APAC.

What does your current day-to-day work entail?
My days are split in my mind and in my diary. I do my own version of following the sun.

I start early by checking in with my team in Asia and then Europe to see where we are with projects or general operations. Throughout the day, I work with our business stakeholders to help resolve issues or plan for big changes, for example, resolving IT issues as a result of an unexpected global pandemic closing all of our global offices. But before 2020, my work entailed working on more predictable changes like: migrating meeting tools from primarily audio to using more video tools, or moving/changing our offices towards modern and agile environments. As our company undergoes so much change, we help provide a face for technology in our region.

Once the US is online for the day, I work with my peers in each region on our group’s strategy. The days of supporting employees at their desk every day are gone, and the new "digital workplace" is now the office, a meeting room or the dining table in your house. We are planning constantly and adapting quickly to change our traditional support to a more consumer like service - fast remote support, chat with our teams online or – the jewel in our crown – our ever-expanding Tech Bars. 

What’s your favorite part of your job?
When I am not working, I spend a large amount of time scrolling pantry reorganizations. My favorite feeling at work is taking anything – a complex technology project, support process or an organization – and bringing order, rationalizing, simplifying, communicating and demystifying. It's my pantry.

What does celebrating International Women’s Day / Women’s History Month mean to you personally?
On International Women’s Day I take the time to reflect – am I helping to make things better? Do I mentor and encourage women with potential? In the tech industry, have I taken enough time to show women there is more than one type of job? Will my daughter remember a home with equality between her parents? These are all very important things to me, and IWD helps me remember to reflect.

Who is/are the woman/women that inspire you? How have they helped mold the woman you are today and/or aspire to become?
My mom. She came to the UK as a young adult from India with little relevant education, starting with nothing, and she built a business with sheer grit and elbow grease. I got my work ethic from her.

Growing up I didn’t know women in business – I knew teachers or social workers, but never women in business. The only place I saw them portrayed was in entertainment content – and as much as I wanted Carrie's wardrobe, I knew early on I was more likely to thrive with Miranda’s job and pant suit.  

What do you do to find more balance while working from home during the pandemic?
I won’t pretend that I have great balance right now, I worry it sets us up for a “coping competition.” Like most working moms, I micro schedule – my waking hours are planned in 30-minute slots to cover home, schooling and work. I try to work out every morning and make sure we eat lunch as a family almost every day. And I take every small opportunity for enjoyment now: sledging in Hampstead Heath, long Sunday walks with a friend into the city I love, movie night with my family.

What’s something no one knows about you?
When I was 2 my parents changed my name. In an alternate world, I am Monica Greenwood. I like to think she is as lucky as I am.

Penny Jiang

APAC

Location & Department: APAC China / Local Production
Tenure/Years with WM: over 3 years

What is your background?
I was trained as a vocal performer and schoolteacher originally, then I got bitten by the film bug, relaunched my career entirely, started as a post-production coordinator and here I am.

What’s is your current role?
I am VP and Head of Local Production in WM China.

What does your current day-to-day work entail?
Frankly, everything needed to get a film done. That involves reading scripts and project proposals, meeting directors, writers, producers and talent, creating schedules and budgets, supervising production and postproduction, working with marketing and distribution teams on theatrical release plans, etc. We have numerous films planned, and China is a very huge but different market, so just multiply the work listed above by the number of upcoming films we’re working on. 

What’s your favorite part of your job?
I genuinely like every part of my job, that’s why I was willing to start over from scratch when I wanted to go into film. If I have to pick one thing, my favorite part is when I see my film finished, released and starting to make money.

What does celebrating International Women’s Day / Women’s History Month mean to you personally?
This may sound cliché, but International Women’s Day reminds me of how important it is to feature women in front of and behind the camera, and it prompts me to think of way I can contribute to such a great effort.

Who is/are the woman/women that inspire you? How have they helped mold the woman you are today and/or aspire to become?
Mulan. Maybe Disney made the name well-known worldwide, but she is an important historical figure for young girls and boys in China. Her story tells us that men and women are equally responsible, and capable, when facing challenges. I tell myself the same when I need to carry film reel boxes or stay awake overnight like my male counterparts working in the lab.   

What do you do to find more balance while working from home during the pandemic?
Honestly working from home during the pandemic is more tiresome than working in the office. I do enjoy the 1-hour drive to the office because it helps me clear my mind. We are fortunate that WM China is among the first back-to-workplace territories, because we find that our local production teams work more efficiently face-to-face since our work involves lots of communication and coordination.

What’s something no one knows about you?
Some people know that White Snake, an animated feature that grossed over USD 73 million domestically in China, was my first local production project at WM. But they don’t know that I literally broke my leg before it released theatrically.

Marcela Doria

LATAM

Location & Department: Data Insight & Performance Marketing
Tenure/Years with WM: 2 years

What is your background?
I am psychologist, graduated by PUC São Paulo Brazil

What’s is your current role?
VP of Data Insight & Performance Marketing

What does your current day-to-day work entail?
Most of the time is spent with my team meeting with our stakeholders. The nice thing about my professional life and my role is the fact that I have such a broader scope of work that makes my days surprising and motivational. Also, once a week I block my agenda to read and study different topics, specially consumer trends.

What’s your favorite part of your job?
It is the interaction with different themes and projects, and the fact that my team plays a consultant role inside the company. Listening to each one of my stakeholders’ business objectives and knowing that I will be able to help somehow, excites me. I have a phrase that I always say: “I have your answer, what is your question?” this is the soul of my area of work and my MANTRA as well.

What does celebrating International Women’s Day / Women’s History Month mean to you personally?
International Women’s Day is big deal to me, because I believe women do so much and work so hard to conquer a space in the business world that we forget to celebrate and to stop for a while to reflect. I guess unconsciously we feel that we can never stop to celebrate and reframe our path. International Women’s Day is here to remind us to do this, and to recognize all those brilliant women who were able to create a space, but more importantly to use the success of few as a representation of many. We are all hard workers, smart, and powerful women, and we must be there for each other, this day is about union and affinities.  

Who is/are the woman/women that inspire you? How have they helped mold the woman you are today and/or aspire to become?
I had and have many; it is interesting that the women who inspire me comes in circles, depending in each stage of my life. I am a people person and learn so much from others, and most of the times, the most common woman shows me more than anybody else. I like to listen to stories from regular people like me, they help me become stronger through their difficulties and achievements; this is the beauty of seeing yourself through others. I live in a country where all women have a big story to share, and they are my inspiration. Once, I went to a wedding from a very poor lady in Brasil, and I was worried about what I should wear because I did not want to look snobbish. I asked her how I should dress, and she told me, “I am so proud to have a friend like you. Please wear your best clothing, your brightness it is my brightness too.” I say this to say that we must not be shy about our achievement because we are representing all women at the end of the day.

What do you do to find more balance while working from home during the pandemic?
My division made a commitment to clock two hours every day to take care of family and home needs. I take those hours religiously, and it has helped me feel like I am accomplishing everything that I need in my home and at work.

What’s something no one knows about you?
When I was younger, I wanted to be a doctor. I was also a professional tennis player when I was teenager, and I am writing a novel and taking writing classes at the moment.

Anna Claudia Cezar de Andrade

LATAM

Location & Department: WarnerMedia Latam & Distribution
Tenure/Years with WM: 24 years

What is your background?
My background is in marketing – I studied advertising in PUC University in Rio de Janeiro. I started my professional life in the consumer product industry. I worked for Nabisco, BR Foods, Unilever, among others, always as a marketing executive working on marketing managed product launches, development and growth, from the product´s creation to its P&L. Then came HBO, which launched in Brazil in 1994, and in 1997 I joined the company as a marketing manager – sales and negotiations became my passion. I never looked back… I wasn’t selling gelatin or tomato sauce anymore!

What’s is your current role?
I am a General Manager of WarnerMedia Brazil, and I handle negotiations with clients like Vrio and AT&T for Latin America. It’s a new role and it’s very exciting – there’s a lot to achieve as Brazil plays a key role in the launch of our HBO Max platform in the LATAM region.

What does your current day-to-day work entail?
As a GM in Brazil, I am getting closer to the people and the business that WM has in the country; theatrical, consumer product and all the video and networks businesses as well as HBO Max , that translates into a lot of meetings during the day. My week days are in front of the computer in video calls surrounded by Excel and PPT, I know it doesn’t sound very thrilling but I promise, it is. What is interesting is the understanding of the other person needs, being them one of our WM people or one of our clients and try to get the best of it for all. In the end everything is a negotiation. It is all about connection, listening and understanding the other and reach a common ground. It is fun.

What’s your favorite part of your job?
The people. My favorite part of the job are the relationships I’ve made and developed. I believe we are in this world to create bridges, open communication channels and exchange information. This is the reason why I like negotiations so much. There is no negotiation or marketing without paying attention to the needs of others, and when we are able to open that channel the magic happens.

What does celebrating International Women’s Day / Women’s History Month mean to you personally?
I think is the International Women’s Day/Month is a date to remind us of our value in this world. How much we walked to get here. I am very excited to see my daughter´s future, how free that seems. When I look back and think of my mother I can see how much we have conquered, my mother didn´t work outside the house but she worked like crazy to get everything running smoothly so my father could have his peace of mind at work, so much love and care there. But nevertheless my mother taught me the value of being independent as she was in her own way. I worked since I was 15 years old and she was very proud of that. Now I see my daughter entering in the work space and looking for her independence, there is nothing of more value in this world than that feeling of freedom. This is something to be celebrated, we must be thankful for all the women that brought us here. They pave the way and we cannot take this for granted.

Who is/are the woman/women that inspire you? How have they helped mold the woman you are today and/or aspire to become?
My daughter is my ultimate role model, she taught me to accept who I was just the way I am and cheered me all the way. God knows how difficult it was to leave the house and travel when she was just a baby, she complained a lot and I struggled… but when she understood the value of independence she became that woman that defends the women´s rights. She is my guiding light. But there are a lot of women I admire here in the company; Dionne Bermudez, Regina Malfatti, Vanessa Travieso are some of them but there are a lot of sisters in that circle, they all contributed for the woman I am today. I have learned the value of the sisterhood later in life, when I was young we competed for the light spot now we can share them and make it bigger.

What do you do to find more balance while working from home during the pandemic?
Routine. It seems boring and repetitive but is a life savior, but…  I have it easy, my kids are gown up and I can focus in my work and rest calmly at night. There are a lot of women struggling with kids at home, parents to take care of, is not easy… Let´s be patient and kind to one another and to ourselves. It will pass, we will be able to be together again, send kids to school and have a Friday dinner outside the house and be entertained and relaxed. Just breathe until we get there ;)

What’s something no one knows about you?
I cleaned the floor of IBM when I was 15, it was an opportunity to work and I took it, I also sold  flowers when I was 16, both jobs were great and I had the pleasure to buying my first “biscoito de polvilho” (typical treat of Rio de Janeiro) with my own pay check.  Ah, I also painted porcelain and sold them all, I guess I was better in sales then cleaning…  Although I am not sure nobody knows, as you can see I talk a lot 

Katie Hasty

US

Location & Department: Los Angeles, Editorial Strategy – HBO Max
Tenure/Years with WM: 1 year

What is your background?
Prior to joining WarnerMedia, I worked for more than 15 years as an entertainment journalist. I started out covering music and then film and TV as a reporter, editor, and content manager. Almost every role I’ve had was a digital-first position, though I still love magazines, radio — any kind of media.

What is your current role?
Senior Manager of Editorial Strategy at HBO Max. Our team does the hand-picked curation and programming for the platform.

What does your current day-to-day work entail?
I head up long-range planning, which means forecasting titles and trends that will influence what/how we curate in the months to come. I analyze data; watch a ton of TV and movies; read news and criticism; and gather input from team members and other experts on what audiences love (and what they don’t). I lead our amazing copy squad, and we all shape Editorial Strategy’s in-app copy and guidelines. I write, edit, proofread, fact- and spell-check. I also manage campaigns like Max Horoscopes (yup: what to watch based on your astrological sign) and improve discovery of Classics Curated by TCM.

What’s your favorite part of your job?
I love learning about what everyone watches and listens to, and why. Art and entertainment tastes are so personal, it’s like getting to look at a little slice of someone’s DNA.

What does celebrating International Women’s Day / Women’s History Month mean to you personally?
It’s a reminder that I am indebted to women who have fought oppression in the past so that I might enjoy greater freedom in the present. And it’s a call to action, that I should honor the women around me, examine my own biases, and fight discrimination so that all underrepresented genders (including cis women, trans women, trans men, non-binary people) will enjoy a more equal future.

Who is/are the woman/women that inspire you? How have they helped mold the woman you are today and/or aspire to become?
My mom and my mother-in-law inspire me. They are both invested in their communities and “get involved” as a default. They are women who don’t stand around waiting for permission to move forward with a project or to lead. And my mom is a deeply sentimental and deeply loving person. She proves daily that love is infinite, not something to ration but to dole out abundantly and unconditionally. I aspire to love like my mom loves.

What do you do to find more balance while working from home during the pandemic?
Exercise evens me out, so I work out or go on a walk when I can. And try not to use my laptop or phone in front of my toddler. Believe: He’ll close the laptop lid for me if I try to sneak it in.

What’s something no one knows about you?
Living in New York in my 20s, I biked everywhere. My favorite memories were Sundays in the fall: I went to church, I played in a street hockey league, I’d spend all day bouncing around seeing friends and going to concerts at night. I once biked from a show in Riverside Park to Prospect Heights in heels — hockey stick strapped across my back — because I thought it’d look epic. Note, I am not a “cool” person, or epic by nature. But I hoped someone saw me coasting through stoplights in Times Square at 2:30 a.m. and thought “Yeah, she just had a DAY.”

 

 

Sydney Langdon

US

Location & Department: Atlanta, Corporate Social Responsibility
Tenure/Years with WM: 7 years

What is your background?
I come to CSR from the nonprofit world where I used to work in nonprofit fundraising and consulting and have worked for a variety of charitable organizations including The Posse Foundation, Spelman College, the Woodruff Arts Center, and The Dallas Opera. I have an MBA and Masters in Nonprofit Arts Management, and my career has focused on community impact.

What’s is your current role?
Director of Corporate Social Responsibility

What does your current day-to-day work entail?
I’m in the Contributions & Engagement Team, so I primarily focus on WarnerMedia’s charitable giving and strategic nonprofit partnerships, as well as our employee community engagement and volunteerism.

What’s your favorite part of your job?
What gets me excited is finding truly authentic and meaningful ways to partner with nonprofit organizations and causes. Our team approaches these partnerships as more than just a check – our goal is to find mutually beneficial value creation and impact for both the charity and the company. It’s exciting to create unique and inspiring ways to leverage WarnerMedia’s incredible brands and resources for social impact.

What does celebrating International Women’s Day / Women’s History Month mean to you personally?
Women are superheroes and often don’t receive proper recognition for the work that they do or the challenges that they continue to face, each and every day. I’m proud that WarnerMedia is hosting our first Period Project this March in honor of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month. WarnerMedia’s Period Project is focused on ending global “period poverty” by donating menstrual hygiene projects and raising funds and awareness to support menstrual equity. Period poverty, period inequality, and menstruation stigma are truly an issue for women and menstruators in almost every part of the world. I’m so proud that we are partnering with Action Aid, I Support the Girls & The Hygiene Bank to tackle period poverty and support menstrual equity by donating menstrual products and funds.

Who is/are the woman/women that inspire you? How have they helped mold the woman you are today and/or aspire to become?
There are so many women that inspire me – from my mother to Michelle Obama, the list goes on and on. I am incredibly grateful to have a small group of women in my life that has become a sisterhood. We intentionally decided to form a community of support for one another and gather monthly (via Zoom) to chat about our lives and the challenges that we face, both at work and at home. And we group text multiple times a week to share updates, chat about current events, or just vent about a situation. We’re in similar stages of life/career, but with very different backgrounds and representing different fields and industries. It has been so incredibly rewarding and powerful to have these women to lean on to help support one another. I think that is the power of women – the bonds of sisterhood are unlike any other. It’s incredible to see what women can accomplish together.

What do you do to find more balance while working from home during the pandemic?
Working remotely with a young child at home has been rough – I cannot lie! But one of the most important decisions I made early in the pandemic is to invest in my mental health. I started working with a therapist last April (we connect weekly on Zoom!) and it has been truly life-changing! And in November, I started working with a life coach who has been such an amazing support for me during this strange time. There is still such a stigma around therapy and getting help, but, especially in uncertain and stressful times like these, it’s essential to make mental health a priority. Everyone (no, really, I mean everyone) can benefit from therapy! I see my time with my therapist and coach as “me” time. I get to turn off all of the other distractions and just focus on myself – how I’m feeling, what’s going on, how I’m taking care of myself, etc. I always feel so amazing after each session! 

What’s something no one knows about you?
Well… some people know this about me, but it is my go-to fun fact… I’m a professional-trained opera singer! I’m a very proud alum of the Eastman School of Music where I majored in vocal performance. Music is a huge part of my life and the way that I connect with the world. Singing brings me immense joy, and, while I’m rarely performing onstage in a full-length ballgown these days, I never pass up an opportunity for karaoke.