Meagan is Head of Demand, EMEA & Americas at AppLovin – a platform that enables developers to grow their business with a powerful set of industry-leading solutions. She joined the team in 2022 after AppLovin’s acquisition of Twitter’s MoPub, where Meagan most recently served as Senior Manager of Agency & Strategic Partner Solutions.

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

Currently, I am Head of Demand for EMEA and the Americas at AppLovin, where I work to cultivate relationships with demand side platforms (DSPs) as well as further educate and develop ways to unlock value for agencies and advertisers in the mobile ecosystem. I moved into this position at the start of 2022 as part of AppLovin’s acquisition of MoPub, and now  aim to support agencies and advertisers in helping them tap into the massive opportunity that mobile presents today.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

I’m not sure I had everything planned out, but having said that, I was definitely drawn to the app space in particular. I joined MoPub in 2014, which was then owned by Twitter, having taken an interest in understanding how apps and ads become streamlined with other digital channels. I liked the pace of the industry, the people I worked with, and the problems we were solving – I still do. But, to be honest, it wasn’t until I became a parent that I really focused on building a career. It sounds clichė, but this was a major push in self actualization that helped me clarify where my strengths lie, and really encouraged me to step into who I was, where I wanted to spend my time, and what I could achieve – not just for myself.

Prior to joining the mobile advertising industry, too, I had been working in an office role, which required a lot of printing and filing. It’s probably partly because of this that I liked the idea of creating efficiencies and understanding we could streamline the many manual processes of app advertising through automation and real-time solutions so that it all makes sense.

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

One of the phrases we hear today is “work smarter, not harder.” My take is that you just need to know enough to make the next step. There is no way you will always have all of the information you need, but you have to keep moving. You might make a mistake, but you can’t let failure stop you from moving forward. My advice is to keep moving, learning, and growing. Don’t give up!

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

For publishers, the MAX and MoPub integration was no easy feat over a short few months. Not only did it require them to shift their ad stack to a new mediation technology, but publishers also had to move quickly to ensure most of their users had time to update their apps to the newest version so that when MoPub shut down, their ad monetization wouldn’t be significantly impacted.

When AppLovin was first in discussions to acquire MoPub, my team and I knew it would come with challenges. Merging two platforms and transferring a significant number of new features onto MAX ultimately required a major lift in a short amount of time. As AppLovin’s CEO, Adam Foroughi, described it, “we had to build 10 years of development effort, features and infrastructure into our platform in 6 months.” In the end, however, I am so proud of what we created, and definitely consider it one of my greatest career achievements to date. MoPub and MAX created the most comprehensive, powerful, and efficient set of integrated features available for developers to increase revenue, improve efficiency, and exceed demand for greater competition and massive supply.

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

I’m fairly stubborn and curious. I like to understand all of the pieces of a puzzle, and ultimately try to synthesise that disparate information into the larger picture. Sometimes, this can feel  like running in place or taking two steps forward and one step back, but other times, things just click. No matter which route I take to get there – the straightforward approach or one that involves a few setbacks – ultimately success is about consistency and continuing to do the work the best you can while understanding why.

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

In all sectors, technology is changing and evolving quickly, so it’s essential to keep up and, if possible, stay ahead. Companies must continue to innovate, which ultimately comes down to the individuals who work for them. For someone who is trying to excel in their career in technology, or specifically in mobile, it’s important to keep innovating and thinking ahead.

This also means not waiting for people to tell you what to do. To excel in a career in technology, take ownership of problems and projects, and don’t be afraid to take up space or make mistakes. This is easier said than done, but always trust your instincts. Especially as women, I think we get stuck doing what other people want us to do instead of leaning into our own ideas and interests. Allow yourself to get a little weird: it’s only tech – you’d be surprised how much of an advantage that can give you.

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

Though we have come a long way in identifying and finding ways to break them down over recent years, there is no doubt that barriers do still exist for women in tech. I think language can be a barrier for women, especially when it comes to tech jargon and industry corporate speak. I see this all the time and am guilty of doing it myself sometimes, but how we communicate and the style in which we speak can be very exclusionary to groups of people that have not been indoctrinated in the industry. I certainly felt this earlier in my career when I was trying to fit in and keep up – sometimes you don’t want to ask the ‘dumb question.’ We may find ourselves relying more on industry corporate speak to help with the shorthand, but can end up excluding other ideas or opinions in the process. The way to overcome this is through building a network of people who you can turn to to ask for clarification, bounce ideas off of, continue asking questions to, and seek clarity from. Chances are: if it doesn’t make sense, it’s because it doesn’t make sense.

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

Helping women cultivate a network is a huge support for career growth. Additionally, companies can continue to invest in benefits and welfare services that help offset the disproportionate responsibility that women have in childcare. One example is having equal parental leave for both men and women that support a shared responsibility for the emotional and physical labor of the home. Women can’t ‘break barriers’ unless there is support on both sides.

What would you do to accelerate the pace of change for women in the industry?

Women continue to be largely underrepresented in the tech sector and this can create obstacles for those who might be considering a career in the industry. Ensuring that we promote tech companies as places where women can not only be involved but also have a positive and valuable impact on the technology industry is vital to accelerating the needed change.

Personally, there is nothing more satisfying than attending a leadership conference and gathering with like-minded women working in the same industry – facing and having to overcome the same challenges. Surrounding myself with other women who can relate and support growth are invaluable.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech?

One of my recent networking events included attending the IAB Leadership conference last year where I was surrounded by other women in tech and came away with some really valuable insights.

And, while I do like to read as well as listen to and learn from podcasts – the resource I would put above all else for all women is to prioritize self-care. This means prioritizing yourself in whatever form makes sense for you – be it exercise, connecting with your people, or pursuing your talents outside of work. You are the one person who knows how best to take care of yourself. Don’t be at the end of your own to-do list.