Chloe Grutchfield joined Permutive with more than 12 years of experience in the adtech and martech industry, with an emphasis on product management and privacy. Prior to Permutive, Grutchfield most recently served as chief product officer at Sourcepoint, a role she held after selling Redbud, the company she co-founded, to the organisation. 

As VP of Products, Grutchfield is responsible for driving success and innovation across the business. Grutchfield’s decade of commitment to the publisher community within the adtech ecosystem is a tremendous asset to Permutive as she defines and stewards the overall strategy of the publisher business.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your current role.

After nearly a decade of experience leading product teams across the industry, I’m currently the VP of Products at Permutive. In this role, I oversee a team of product managers and work collaboratively with a number of other teams across the company, including engineering and sales.

My wealth of experience in product management and privacy to date has left me with all of the skills necessary to define and adapt the overall strategy of Permutive as a publisher-focused business.

How did you get into technology as a career?

I didn’t start out my career intending to go into technology, it happened by chance. My first internship was as an Assistant Product Manager for an Anti-Virus company many years ago, and this piqued my interest in technology and set me on a path I’ve not diverged from in 15+ years.

Have you faced any career challenges along the way, and how did you overcome these?

I’ve faced many career challenges, especially when I’ve tried something new: a new role, a new company, or setting up a business. One of my former bosses always used to say, “Trust the process and rely on your strengths.” This advice has proven invaluable. Discomfort is only temporary; if you know your strengths, you can rely on them to get you through the challenges. In the early stages of my career, this meant putting in extended hours, which I leveraged whenever doing something new.

What are you most proud of in your career to date?

There is one thing I was convinced I would never be able to do, launch a successful business. This is largely because I lacked confidence and doubted my strength in being able to succeed. But it turns out my concerns were unnecessary.

Alongside a great business partner who believed in me more than I believed in myself, I did it! He convinced me to join him, and we founded an amazing business called RedBud. We built a great team, experiencing rapid growth and profitability. It was hard work, but we subsequently and successfully sold the company a few years ago. Whenever I doubt myself now, I try to remember that.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in your achieving success?

At the beginning of my career, a significant factor was my work ethic. I worked harder than anyone I know. I learned an awful lot at the beginning of my career. As time passed and I faced more obstacles, my growth mindset helped the most. Now, I view obstacles as an opportunity to learn and progress: what’s the point if it’s too easy?

What barriers for women working in tech are still to be overcome?

Some of the barriers are self-imposed. We have preconceived ideas about what we can achieve. One of my classes at University was Java programming. I thought I’d be terrible at it, but I wanted to prove myself wrong. I got excellent grades, and it baffled me. Why didn’t I believe in myself?!

What advice would you give to women who want a career in technology?

It’s cheesy but based on my experience the most important thing is to believe in yourself.

What do you think companies can do to support and progress the careers of women working in technology?

I didn’t think I’d be good at programming because I didn’t see any women working in programming at the time. It’s hard to project yourself when you don’t see women in senior tech roles. I believe many companies can still do a better job of supporting women in technology by hiring other women in senior positions.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech?

Books. When you are learning a new skill or doing something you’ve never done, reading about how others have done it is empowering. There are so many tech books, whatever role you have, that can inspire, teach, or guide you.

In an ideal world, how would you improve gender diversity in tech?

I have two kids: a boy and a girl. Improving gender diversity in tech, starts with our kids’ education. I never want my daughter to think, like I did, that she would be terrible at programming. She’s excellent at maths and loves it. I would never want my son to think boys are more predisposed than others to be good coders. In theory, it sounds easy, but in practice, not always (e.g. the well-intentioned grandmothers’ comments, “She’s very polite and pretty” vs “he’s such a boy!”)

Read more about our inspirational women here.