March is Women’s History Month, a time to celebrate women’s contributions and achievements in different fields and spheres of life.
Ad tech is still a mostly male industry, but there are more conversations than ever around critical issues to the empowerment of women at work, including opening doors and access for women early in their careers so they can progress to C-suite; supporting women to choose and stay with STEM careers; and helping women achieve a work-life balance.
This month at Cadent, we’re profiling women who are leaders in their departments, asking about their career journeys, approaches to growth and mentorship, and their philosophies on leading others.
With more than a decade of legal experience, Senior Counsel Camille Marcos Napa held public-service posts, advised tech start-ups, and taught Intro to Business Law at Bentley University before joining Cadent. Her legal background included representing people before a judge, an experience that many attorneys, even at large law firms, don’t always have in their backgrounds.
“That was a true growth opportunity, to represent cases and make arguments that had successful outcomes,” Camille said. “Now, when I have to deal with a multitude of issues that come across my desk, I have some point of reference, whether it’s in the litigation matter, a vendor issue or otherwise.”
With her varied background and willingness to try new areas of law, it’s no surprise that Camille believes in the importance of taking on new challenges in order to learn and grow. Read more about Camille’s career journey in a Q&A below.
The following conversation has been lightly edited and condensed.
Can you describe your path to Cadent and the experiences that have helped you grow along the way?
It was definitely not linear. As a law student, I worked for the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, and in that capacity, I did a lot of the research and writing for the state’s Universal Health Care initiative. I’ve also worked for an advocacy group that represented employees in cases of wage and hour violations, done family law and immigration work, and consulted for various technology start-ups.
I didn’t come from a media background, and I hadn’t worked at a media or advertising law firm, but when I approached Cadent, they saw I was driven and hungry for the opportunity. I had learned to be agile and handle a broad range of legal and business issues, and I did a lot of research on the ad industry. Chris Poindexter, General Counsel at Cadent, mentored me, taught me about the company, and introduced me to what the media industry was like. He also supported me in joining the Association of Corporate Counsel, a group for in-house attorneys, and that was really helpful to me to grow professionally.
Cadent has changed a lot since you joined the company; has that posed any challenges for you?
I had to evolve very quickly and become knowledgeable about brokering data in the ad tech ecosystem. Because my background is multidisciplinary, I was able to pivot quickly and adapt. So as the company has grown and evolved, I’ve grown and evolved right along with it.
As an example, in January 2020, the CPPA or California Privacy Act was enacted the same time, January of 2020, as we acquired 4INFO, a data activation company. Our team had to learn a lot and evolve very quickly.
What’s your approach to leadership?
I focus on being an effective communicator, understanding what people want and what motivates them. Transparency is also important; when you’re clear about your goals or the problems you’re trying to solve, that gives your team incentive and empowers them.
I truly believe that showing you trust and value people and are empathetic to them makes for better leadership. Above all, as a leader, I focus on helping my team members develop into effective leaders themselves.
At Cadent, you’re known as someone who makes an effort to mentor others and be available to junior employees and interns. Can you talk about why that’s important to you?
Absolutely. I love that I could have an impact on younger, just out-of-college or in-college people, because I feel like I’ve been in that place and I didn’t necessarily have that guidance when I started out. If there’s an opportunity to give back and be accessible and relatable to new employees, I welcome it.
It can make a world of difference when you’re just starting out in an industry to have someone take an interest in you and provide you with guidance.
Do you have any favorite books on women’s leadership?
I would argue that all women should read about negotiation. My favorite book right now is Getting More: How You Can Negotiate to Succeed in Work and Life, by Stuart Diamond, a professor at the Wharton School of Business. I think women sometimes have a hard time negotiating for themselves, so having the set of common sense tools he describes is invaluable. As a parent, I often find myself negotiating with a five-year-old and a two-year-old, so I constantly use these skills.
How has being a parent had an impact on your perspective as a Legal professional?
I think it’s so valuable for people who read this to understand what it means to be a working parent or a working mother. It’s probably the biggest asset that I have, that I’m a working mother. It’s taught me to be more patient, understanding, and efficient; to get more things done in less time while keeping perspective on the bigger goal.