Jessica Rosevear is a Business Development Director at EXTE, a global adtech platform offering end-to-end creative, media and targeting solutions for the open web. With a 14-year track record spanning agency and demand-side roles, her journey reflects a genuine passion for understanding business needs, forging connections, and delivering tangible results.

Rooted in a people-centric approach, Jessica excels in translating her deep understanding of people into effective business strategies. Jessica brings a down-to-earth energy to her professional expertise. Armed with a wealth of knowledge, a drive for success, and a constant smile, she approaches work with a touch of humour that keeps things light without losing focus.

Beyond business metrics, she advocates for inclusivity and champions support for parents in the industry. As the co-founder of &Beyond, Jessica spearheads crucial conversations with organisations to build inclusive, fair and empathetic cultures for current and future parents.

Tell us a bit about yourself, background, and your current role.

I am Business Development Director at EXTE, a global adtech platform that provides end-to-end creative, media and targeting solutions for the open web. We collaborate with leading publishers to support advertisers with creative solutions. My main responsibility is to foster partnerships with online publishers.

I am also the co-founder of &Beyond, a company that collaborates with organisations to support working parents in the industry and to empower women returning from maternity leave to thrive in the workplace. This venture is inspired by motherhood.

Outside of work, I’m a mother to two young boys aged 4 and 7.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

I never sat down and planned my career. My first sales role was driving an ice cream van, and I was pretty good at it! I identified the best areas to target to sell ice cream and challenged groups of young men to eat the biggest ice cream I could make within 60 seconds or less. I made a fortune doing that!

Later, I went to Bournemouth University where I studied at its Media School. After graduation, I was fortunate enough to be selected for the graduate scheme at Starcom Mediavest, which is where my media career started. From there, I transitioned into more commercial roles. I love connecting with various people, and business development roles give me that opportunity.

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

Yes, I have. Returning to work after having my first child was a very lonely experience. I struggled to regain my confidence, which resulted in me leaving my job. But it wasn’t all doom and gloom! That experience motivated me to set up &Beyond. What started out as a challenge, turned into an amazing opportunity that I am incredibly proud of and still passionately working on today. It also helps that I work for a very supportive and flexible company where I work 3 days a week, which enables me to run &Beyond alongside it.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

There have been a few different achievements. On a personal level, stepping out of my comfort zone and speaking at an event hosted by The Women In Programmatic, with over 300+ attendees last year for International Women’s Day, was a huge achievement for me. On a team level, being recognised as the best team to collaborate with my clients in the media industry at the IPA Awards a few years ago was a special moment that truly solidified our team bond.

Overall, I’m pleased with my current progress and what I’m achieving right now. My dual career of working collaboratively with partners through my role at EXTE, and making a difference to parents through my work with &Beyond, brings me a great sense of achievement.

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

I believe the key factor in my journey to achieving success was gaining a true understanding of what success means to me, and recognising its unique definition for each individual. I often used to compare myself to my peers, engaging in thoughts like “they’re more senior than me now”, or “they must be earning significantly more”.  While it’s important to acknowledge our values and ensure fair treatment, my gauge for success revolves around making a meaningful impact and fostering a sense of belonging and collaboration, all while being the best mother I can be. What’s great, is that I am currently experiencing the fulfilment of these aspects through the combination of my various roles.

What top tips would you give to an individual who is trying to excel in their career in technology?

Know your worth, be yourself, work hard, and speak with others. Seek mentors or individuals at various life stages who can support, motivate and inspire you. Also, remember that your career trajectory isn’t set in stone, so don’t be afraid of change.

Do you believe there are still barriers to success for women working in tech, if so, how can these barriers be overcome?

Yes, I believe there’s still unconscious bias in the industry. Unfortunately, we often find ourselves preaching to the choir when speaking at events targeted at specific groups. The challenge lies in reaching those who are not present and may benefit from hearing these messages.

Organisations should be looking at the long-term picture and investing in and implementing strategies for greater gender equality in leadership, understanding that tangible results may not be immediate. Organisations need to consider their hiring practices, retention of female talent at mid-management levels and supporting systems for mothers returning to work or women going through pre/menopause to ensure they feel valued during critical junctures. These obstacles can be overcome, but it will require time and effort.

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

I believe more support is needed at key stages in a woman’s life, such as after having children or during menopause. Statistics show that within three years of having children, 85% of women opt to leave full-time employment. Only 24% return to their pre-maternity working hours, while 57% depart the workforce due to difficulties in maintaining a work-family balance. With improved support from organisations through empathetic leadership, educated line management, and heightened awareness of individual experiences, more women would advance in their careers, leading to increased gender equality in leadership roles.

There are currently only 21 per cent of women working in tech. If you could wave a magic wand, what is the one thing you would do to accelerate the pace of change for women in the industry?

I think organisations should visit schools to ignite children’s and teenagers’ excitement for the possibilities of technology and showcase its creative potential. By bringing in inspiring speakers and incorporating them into various subjects like history and science, we can inspire the next generation of women to recognise the diverse and intriguing opportunities the field has to offer.

It is also crucial to evaluate gender equity within leadership teams, identify where women are veering off the leadership path, understand the reasons behind it, and take immediate action to implement a change plan.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech, eg Podcasts, networking events, books, conferences, websites etc?

Networks such as “The Women in Programmatic”,  “Digital Leading Ladies”, and “Bloom” offer a wonderful opportunity to connect with like-minded women, share concerns, and seek advice. “The Blend” by Tobi Asare is a fantastic book, that provides practical tips on successfully balancing a career and family. Lastly, this Ted Talk by Brene Brown on The Power of Vulnerability is worth watching if you haven’t already.

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