Matlock’s Women’s History Month Spotlight

Our next feature in our celebration of Women’s History Month will showcase two of our own extraordinary female leaders here at Matlock. Previously we have talked with some of our clients who are great business leaders. Now we wanted to move even closer and talk with two of our Matlock Leaders: Matlock’s SVP & General Manager Kirstin Popper (L) and Matlock VP & Brand Group Director Pamela Bishop (R).  These two women represent a face of diversity and inclusion that Matlock prides itself in bringing to our work. PS, they are also our bosses ;o)

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  1. When you were a child, what did you want to ‘be’ when you grew up?
    1. Pamela: I wanted to be either a Biostatistician or a Truck Driver. Believe it or not, this is true :o)
    2. Kirstin: I wanted to be a teacher.
  2. Why did you choose this career path?
    1. Pamela: I liked Math and I thought riding around in the cab of a truck would be fun.
    2. Kirstin:  (Laughing) My path was a bit more direct: I worked on the yearbook in high school, which got me interested in the world of world of writing & design, and well, which eventually led me to where I am now.
  3. If you had not chosen this career path, what do you think you would be doing now?
    1. Pamela:  A producer, a background vocalist or a physical therapist.   
    2. Kirstin: Philosophy professor or an Intellectual Property lawyer.
  4. Is it hard to find time to balance your personal life and your professional life?
    1. Pamela:  It is not easy, as a mother, a wife, a boss and an employee!!  Most times I don’t think either gets enough of my time.  My son is a trooper and has been very adaptable to travel, conference calls in the car, Babysitters, etc.  When I leave Matlock at the end of the day, I definitely start the second shift as Mommy.  There is very little “me” time.
    2. Kirstin: Definitely.  My job is demanding, and sometimes long hours are required, however you have to find time for other focuses as well.  Without that balance, both sides eventually suffer.  (Some weeks I am better at striking that balance than others.)  (:
  5. Pamela: How do you balance being a mother and a Business leader? 
    1. Pamela:  It is not easy!!  Most times I don’t think either gets enough of my time.  My son is a trooper and has been very adaptable to travel, conference calls in the car, Babysitters, etc.  When I leave Matlock at the end of the day, I definitely start the second shift as Mommy.  There is very little “me” time.
  6. Have you ever felt denied a role/promotion etc. based on your gender? Can you share, and if so, how did you handle this denial? 
    1. Pamela: I don’t recall knowingly being denied a promotion because of gender; however, I do feel that I was denied opportunities because I was a mother, so I guess that is considered gender bias.  I also recall working for women who preferred men reporting into them and I felt at a disadvantage…strange.  Oftentimes, we as women hold ourselves back by not giving other women a chance. 
    2. Kirstin: To my knowledge, I have never been denied a promotion based on my gender, but I have had experiences where I believe my compensation was effected by my gender, which was disheartening.
  7. Have you ever felt at an advantage based on your gender? If so, please explain.
    1. Pamela: I think being a female has definitely affected my leadership style for the better. 
    2. Kirstin: I can’t think of any of the top of my head.
  8. In your role at the agency, do you find there are differences in working with men vs. women? Do you see any key comparisons/contrasts between how men and women work, handle work situations, excel in certain areas?
    1. Pamela: Not in the agency do I see a difference, but overall, it has been my experience that men often feel more comfortable with their position of authority.  We as women must work on that.  
    2. Kirstin: As a general statement, I find that women are interested in the details, and in talking them all through more so than men.  Of course, that can be both a positive and a negative trait, depending on the situation.  That said, there are exceptions to that observation (in fact there are some exceptions to that here at Matlock).  Not all individuals are alike.
  9. In mentoring many of your team members, do you see any differences now from when you were in their roles?
    1. Pamela: “Back in the day”, there was definitely a more “pay your dues” mentality.  Now people definitely want/expect to move ahead more quickly.  It is challenging to offer diversity of opportunities without always an opportunity for advancement. 
    2. Kirstin:  I share Pamela’s sentiment here.  Workers of my generation, coming up in the Agency world definitely had a “pay your dues” mentality.  Workers entering the Agency world today, have different expectations.  This can be challenging.  On the other hand, workers entering the Agency world today grew up in a time where technology was changing at a rapid pace.  This experience has made them quick to adapt to changing tools and perhaps more adaptable overall. 
  10. Do you have any favorite moments or situations that have occurred at Matlock that you can share?
    1. Pamela:  I really enjoyed working on the BMW pitch as it really brought out the best in the agency.  
    2. Kirstin: Participating in the Atlanta Medical Center pitch – I was so proud of this, as it was our first large General Market Brand win.  Also, moving to the current Atlanta offices, it was such a step up from our old offices.  The old office was in a lovely high rise, and was nice, but lacked character & creativity.  It felt like it could have been an accounting firm or a law office.   I remember seeing the new space for the first time & loving it. When we moved in, I Immediately saw a change in the culture and the work.  It’s amazing how much your environment affects the work that goes on it.  Similarly I remember how proud I was when I moved into my current office. I have strong memories of working together with our old GM, Marla Jones in this office, so even though I had been in the new role for some time when I moved to this office, it was that move that really made me realize the new role.
  11. What advice would you give to young women hoping to become Business Leaders?
    1. Pamela: Determine your standards early and stick to them.  Don’t allow a culture to shape you…strive to shape the culture.  
    2. Kirstin:  Set goals.  Determine the steps necessary to achieve that goal, and don’t lose sight of that path.  Believe in yourself.

 

 

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