International Women’s Day feature with Malini Doddamani, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

As a women-owned business, we are honored to highlight women who are incredible leaders in marketing and communications across a wide variety of industries. Each year on International Women’s Day we share an interview series celebrating these women and sharing their stories.

This interview is with Malini Doddamani, Chief Marketing Officer at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.

How do you define your leadership?

I am a believer in authenticity, transparency, and charm. You’d be surprised how far charm can ease discomfort and serve as the ultimate diplomacy tactic. I try to listen to all ideas, from all people. You never know what you’ll learn or what will spark a new direction. Diversity of ideas leads to maximum education.

How has your leadership changed in the past year?

Online meetings have literally flattened perceived hierarchy, and I find collaboration happening simply because team members are willing to speak up with the added protective layer of a screen. I have been able to listen better.

Can you share a story that demonstrates a key learning for you in your leadership journey?

About 12 years ago, younger women in different departments would ask to have coffee with me, or lunch, or just go for a walk. They all asked the same theme of questions – “How did you say no like that” “How did you get your point across?” “How did you negotiate that point?” “How did you get that budget?” And I realized they were asking me, as often the lone woman (and POC) in a meeting, how was my voice heard? I realized then, that I couldn’t take for granted the opportunity I had, in some small way, to help the next generation of women managers, executives, etc. learn how to have their voices heard. I was an example whether I wanted to be or not. I have never taken that privilege for granted since then, and am always aware of being an example of leadership to others in the room, and to those looking in.

Check out the stories of other incredible women leaders in the marketing and communications industry.

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