8 Business Leaders to Celebrate on International Women’s Day

By Elizabeth Hilfrank
drift podcasts international womens day

I love a good success story. I mean, who doesn’t?

As we all know, success rarely comes easy. But often, it’s the journey to success that’s actually the best part of the story.

And, as the producer of Drift’s Podcast Network, I hear success stories all the time — be it around a career journey, managing a team, building a product, or otherwise. In the past year, I’ve had the privilege of hearing a lot of great stories, and some have really stuck with me.

That’s why today on International Women’s Day, a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women, I’m highlighting eight female business leaders whose success stories represent what this day is really all about.

These women have risen through the ranks, made their names under lists of firsts, driven change, and continue to advocate for a world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. It’s been an honor to sit on these podcast recordings, and I’m excited to share them all with you again, right here👇

Here’s how it will go down:

  • First, I’ll give you a quick overview of the show.
  • Then, I’ll share a couple of the amazing women who have been guests on each show.
  • You’ll learn what they’re all about, hear their mic drop moment, and you can click to save their full episodes to listen to later.

Heads up! This list is nowhere near exhaustive. We’ve had tons of amazing women on our shows this year, and we’d love for you to hear all their stories. Click here to catch up on all our podcast episodes.

Conversation Starters with Sammi Reinstein

We’ve said it before and we’ll gladly say it again: Everything starts with a conversation. That’s exactly what Conversation Starters is all about — hosted by our Product Education Marketing Manager, Sammi Reinstein. Sammi speaks with fellow conversation experts to find out how conversations can accelerate revenue for your business.

Here is someone who inspired us from the show 👇

Ryane Bohm

Who she is: Product Marketing Director at Gong

What she’s all about: Ryane is focused on strategic messaging at Gong, where she just celebrated her one-year anniversary. Before that, she led platform product marketing at Salesforce, and before that, she held a variety of roles at General Electric.

Her episode: How Gong Uses Revenue Intelligence to Improve Its Conversations

Her mic drop moment 🎤

“The sales team is definitely customer-facing, and it’s one of the most important roles to stay on message. However, at a certain point, everyone is in sales in some capacity. If you’re in recruiting, you are selling to a potential candidate or a potential new hire. You want to make sure that you are articulating correctly what is the company, what is the mission, what are you getting started in. We want our product teams to be building and understanding the whole goal of the company and what they’re building towards. It is way more than go-to-market.”

American Dream with Elias Torres

Drift is proud to be part of the 1% of startups led by Latin American founders to hit unicorn status — and we want to empower others in the same way. Our co-founder and CTO, Elias Torres, chats with leaders from underrepresented groups to delve into their versions of the American Dream.

Here are a couple of the women who inspired us from the show 👇

Nicole Obi

Who she is: President & CEO of the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts, Inc.

What she’s all about: Nicole studied urban planning, design, and business at MIT. While there, she joined up with classmates to start the first of what would be many venture-backed startups. For 22 years Nicole started new companies, ran her own companies, then started up and led a new function at Fidelity. In 2020 she joined BECMA as the Vice President of Member Experience and Engagement. In January 2022, she became the president and CEO.

Her episode: Understanding the Racial Wealth Gap

Her mic drop moment 🎤

“It’s good to acknowledge that in 2022, you should be able to walk in and offer the same services, but also know…the issues being ingrained in the process.

Sometimes the requirements are, ‘Oh, you have to have experience in doing this.’ Well, how am I going to get experience? Because I’ve never been hired to do this because you’re saying I have to have experience.

So, you asked earlier about policy and advocacy, what’s more important. And this is where the ‘and’ comes in. So, this is where we can push on the policies, the laws, and advocate for change in things like this.”

Stacie de Armas

Who she is: SVP of Diverse Consumer Insights & DEI Practice at Nielsen

What she’s all about: Stacie has been drawn to her Latinx community for as long as she can remember. Her first job out of college was as a bank teller, where she quickly became the Spanish language loan manager.

Through this experience, Stacie learned that the Latinx community doesn’t need help — it just needs resources. The problem was the community often lacked access to the same information other groups had. Since then, she’s advocated for inclusivity in media and entertainment and has also conducted identity research both within the Latinx community and outside of it, among Native American, Black, and disability communities.

Her episode: Exploring the Root Cause of Social Inequity

Her mic drop moment 🎤

“I just had a conversation the other day, a business conversation, and people were talking about different experiences, having done things, and if I had done that experience growing up. I hesitated for a minute, and then I thought, ‘I’m going to say it.’

And I said, on this call with very, very important people, I said, ‘I didn’t do that growing up, but what I can do is retile your bathroom in a weekend, and I’m very good at it. And if you have any sprinkler issues, I’m your girl. I can take care of all of that.’ And I started thinking about in experiences I had growing up and how much they shaped the tenacity and the dedication that I have to work through difficult things today.

My brother and I always say it’s from my dad. Nothing’s really too hard. You just don’t know how to do it yet.”

Operations with Sean Lane

While the work that operators do isn’t flashy, it’s crucial for getting companies off the ground and running. Sean Lane, our VP of Field Operations, hosts Operations (of course) — the show that examines the behind-the-scenes work that operators do to enable businesses to scale growth and drive massive revenue.

Here are a couple of the women who inspired us from the show 👇

Caitlin Quinlan

Who she is: SVP of Revenue Operations at Gainsight

What she’s all about: Caitlin has been playing the operations game for over 10 years. But in the last few, she’s been focused specifically on customer success — one of the newer post-sales operations. Managing customer success operations at a customer success-based company means Caitlin is in the weeds, studying what makes a customer stick every single day. 

Her episode: Designing the Post-Sale Customer Journey

Her mic drop moment 🎤


“It is a common misconception that comes up that people are working towards different goals. I think a lot of ops people would agree with that, and I think it comes from the fact that [compensation] is confidential. I believe it’s super important to keep it that way. I don’t want anyone sharing other people’s comp, but it can make for some gaps in understanding.

So, what we do, and plan to do, is set up sessions with sales and [customer success] separately that explain at a high level what the other team’s incentives are. The goal here is to ensure that CS and sales feel like they have a mutual plan and a mutual goal because, at the end of the day, your best advocates for new prospects are happy, healthy clients.”

Meghan Gill

Who she is: VP of Sales Operations & Sales Development at MongoDB

What she’s all about: Meghan joined MongoDB 12 years ago, when the platform was entirely open-source. She’s since risen through the ranks and helped drive two go-to-market iterations with the company — the most recent being five years ago with their cloud product, MongoDB Atlas.

Her episode: Building MongoDB’s Complex Go-to-Market Motion

Her mic drop moment 🎤

“So you fast forward to today, and designing territories and finding the accounts that we think have the highest propensity is a big part of what the sales ops function does. And so we look at a bunch of different signals.

Some of the signals are internal ones like, are they active on our website, are they doing different activities, attending events, being part of our MongoDB University platform? Some of them are product signals like, hey, do we have developers using the free tier or paid tier? Some of them are external signals like, do they have a MongoDB job listed on their website or do they have people with MongoDB skills on their LinkedIn profiles?  

And we look at all of that data, and we actually built an internal application to bring all that data together and present it to the sales leaders in a very simple format so that they could design territories and focus their sales reps on the accounts that have the highest propensity to buy.”

Growth with Matt Bilotti

Everyone can agree that they want growth for their business. But…what exactly does that mean, and how do we achieve it? That’s the question that Matt Bilotti, Senior Product Lead, has set out to answer. On Growth, Matt talks to other growth whizzes to discover actionable strategies to hit and exceed revenue goals.

Here are a couple of the women who inspired us from the show 👇

Ilona Abramova

Who she is: VP of Operations at AppSumo

What she’s all about: Ilona joined AppSumo four years ago as an Email Marketing Manager and turned AppSumo’s email strategy on its head. As a result, she doubled email open rates and drove the subscriber base to one million. Since then, she’s moved through the ranks before becoming the VP of Operations.

Her episode: Getting Back to Fundamentals on an Often Overlooked Growth Channel…Email!

Her mic drop moment 🎤


“It’s hard because it’s a little counterintuitive. I don’t think that growth means that you have this overinflated list. People get really hung up on having a big number they can show. But a smaller, more engaged list means you can have a lot more consistency with what you can expect from a campaign, and you’re more likely to make it into an inbox.”

Holly Chen

Who she is: Founder, CMO, and Growth Advisor at ExponentialX

What she’s all about: Leading growth teams at Google and Slack (and taking it through IPO), Holly knows what it takes for a company to scale. Now, Holly runs ExponentialX, where she advises companies like Loom, ServiceNow, and Teamflow on their growth strategies to acquire, retain, and monetize users.

Her episode: How to Scale from a Product-Led to Sales-Led Growth Model

Her mic drop moment 🎤

“This is probably not a conventional observation from the advisory work I’ve been doing. I noticed a few companies started experimenting with high-velocity sales motion, and I really try to compare because in Silicon Valley we always talk about automation. Automation is always better than human touch. But actually, if you can use a high-velocity SDR motion to convert your leads in a quick motion, your SDR is not going to cost that much necessarily, and you’ll probably close higher [average order value] deals that retain longer, and you’ll probably be able to explain your features better for them to adapt.

So, it’s not necessarily more expensive to have human touch…I think my approach is always not necessarily say one is always better than another but using a more experimental approach to run experiments and really see if this motion is better for my business or not.”

Seeking Wisdom with David Cancel

We could all use a little more wisdom in our lives, right? David Cancel, our co-founder and CEO, shares personal and professional lessons from fellow business leaders on Seeking Wisdom, as well as his own musings in his weekly newsletter, The One Thing.

Here is someone who inspired us from the show 👇

Rebecca Messina

Who she is: Senior Advisor at McKinsey & Company

What she’s all about: Rebecca spent over 20 years working in marketing at Coca-Cola where she took on about eight different roles — six of which were brand new when she stepped into them. She then went on to become the first-ever CMO of Uber and now serves as an advisor to a variety of brands.

Her episode: Brand Love

Her mic drop moment 🎤

“I kind of always said, I found value to create. I didn’t always follow the job description and entrepreneurs you didn’t even have a job description, so you take the structure out altogether. I’m given a little bit of structure and will be like, ‘Okay, so you sort of want me here,’ and then I kind of go, ‘Ok. Now, how do I kind of add value? Where’s there a white space?’

…But there’s a discomfort you have to thrive in, and it makes objectives hard. It makes explaining what you do hard. And if you just put it in the context of value, it tends to work.”

Who inspires you? Let us know by sending an email to podcasts@drift.com and help us keep adding to this list! Make sure you’re subscribed to all of Drift’s podcasts here 👇