As our community grows, it becomes clearer and clearer that certain challenges are more prevalent for some CMOs than others. That’s why we’re in the process of developing dedicated spaces on our Slack community to give support on such matters.

One of the first community spaces of this sort we launched was Women In Leadership, an inclusive space for everyone who supports greater female representation in marketing leadership.

Soti Vayena, CMO of Wellics, is a passionate member of our community, particularly in the Women In Leadership space. We caught up with her to discuss how she’s finding the community, and what advice she has for other marketing leaders looking for development and networking opportunities.

Hi Soti, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your role at Wellics?

Marketing has been my playground for over 20 years now. I started my journey as a copywriter, and that's actually where it's coming full circle – I recently published a children's book, you could say it's my unexpected third child!

Coming to Wellics wasn't just about a new position; it was a chance to rewrite my own story. After facing challenges like gender bias and burnout, I found a company that champions employee well-being. This focus really resonated with me, both personally and professionally.

At Wellics, we created a product that proves a simple truth: Happy employees are good for business. It's not a mystery, it's pure V(alue)OI. Here, our work culture embodies this philosophy, and it works – we walk the walk, not just talk the talk.

My role is very much like other CMOs’, but with maybe a little more emphasis on prioritizing my own well-being. Here's the thing: When I'm at my best, everything else thrives too – my work, my family, my social life. It's all connected.

How did you find out about the CMO Alliance community in the first place, and what motivated you to get involved?

I think it's just an algorithm's fault!

I randomly saw a post from a very good friend about the Alliance on LinkedIn, I think, and I thought, yes, I would really like to be there too, and here I am.

What have been some of the main benefits of the community for you?

I think the networking and The Women In Leadership Community cohort have both been incredibly impactful, but Women In Leadership truly sparked a fire in me.

Networking has been fantastic, of course. It's opened doors to new perspectives, knowledge, collaborations, and a fantastic support system of like-minded professionals. But the Women In Leadership? It's a game-changer.

There, I found a safe space to unpack the unique challenges we face as women in this industry. It's been a constant source of "food for thought" and inspiration. It's shown me the gender gap in all its stark reality but also fostered a powerful sense of community and solidarity.

This kind of awareness has ignited a personal marketing "coming out" of sorts. I'm committed to using my voice and skills to advocate for change. I want to raise awareness of these issues, promote inclusivity, and empower other women to thrive. It's about creating a more balanced playing field for all.

Are there any particular channels in the CMO Alliance Community that have been a big help for you, and how have you been utilizing them?

Women In Leadership, as I mentioned, has been transformative. It's a safe space for open discussions about the specific challenges women face in marketing. It's been an eye-opener, fostering a strong sense of community, and providing constant inspiration. 

But beyond that, the Resources and Content channels are a marketer's dream come true! They're like an overflowing wellspring of knowledge. I constantly tap into them to stay updated on industry trends, find fresh content ideas, and discover new strategies.

How should marketing leaders go about building a peer support network?

Build a marketing brain trust!

Focus on a network that actively shares knowledge, collaborates, and fosters continuous learning. Engage, be inclusive, and celebrate wins together. This powerhouse group will keep you sharp, fuel innovation, and ultimately amplify your impact.

What is your main piece of advice for CMOs right now?

Invest fiercely in your marketing team. They're the magic behind the success. I'm talking conferences, workshops, certifications – anything to keep them sharp. But it's not just about knowledge. 

Publicly celebrating wins, big or small, fosters a motivated and valued team. This investment isn't just about skills, it's about building a passionate, innovative team that thrives on challenges and achieves remarkable things together. 

Thanks, Soti!

If you’re looking for the perfect place to hone your skills and make connections as a marketing leader, make sure you join Soti and other fantastic CMOs by joining the community for free.

Got ideas for other community spaces we should have in the CMO Alliance? Contact our community manager Millie with your ideas.