Meet Rebecca Dykema, SVP of Partnerships and Creative Transformation, CreativeX

Rebecca Dykema

Rebecca Dykema is SVP of Partnerships and Creative Transformation at CreativeX, provider of an industry-first creative data AI platform. She talks to us about her career journey, the challenges she has faced and shares her goals for the future.

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

I graduated with a degree in International Relations, but have had the fortune to work for three tech start-ups – all of which have been female led – which is a surprising track record. One of those start-ups was a leading SAAS business in the very early days of social media.  We were acquired by Google, where I spent over ten years leading teams and building $100M+ programmes across the global and UK businesses. I left Google because I was looking for the next revolution in the marketing landscape, which led me to CreativeX – a tech start-up transforming how brands measure creative practices. Here I lead Sales, Customer Success and Partnerships.  It has been an incredible opportunity to exercise the skills I’ve been building for the last 20 years. I get to help marketers leverage the next generation of data which will revolutionise the way they think about creative – and I also get to grow and nurture a team of incredible people who are smart and hungry to leave their mark on the world.  It’s the perfect job!

Did you ever sit down and plan your career? 

We all know that you can’t predict what the future has in store, no matter how much we might want too. So, when it comes to my career, I’ve always liked to maintain a flexible mindset. Navigating your career is much like sailing a boat – en route you will inevitably encounter wind, waves and obstacles, knocking you off course. During your career, you will be faced with obstacles that require you to adapt and re-strategise, but at the end of the day this will ultimately lead to growth, something which is important to keep reminding yourself.

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

Starting a family alongside building my career was extremely challenging and really taught me the meaning of ‘patience is a virtue.’ This hurdle led me to stay at Google five years longer than I was anticipating. However, the amount I learnt during my tenure enhanced my professional growth in ways I could never have expected. By the time I left Google, I knew I was ready to throw myself back into the fast paced and dynamic world of tech start-ups.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

I like to see the accumulation of them all as my biggest career achievement to date – it has been a real journey! Saying this, coming to CreativeX was a really amazing moment for me. I knew I was itching to get back to the world of start-ups, and I also felt ready to find the newest revolution in the marketing landscape. CreativeX combines both elements, and gives me the freedom and the power to make cool and exciting ideas become reality.

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

I think my mindset, determined but flexible, has propelled me towards success. As I mentioned, you have to learn to accept that unexpected challenges are going to derail your plans. But a golden rule I like to follow is to make sure you learn at least one thing from each bump in the road.

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

My biggest piece of advice is to throw yourself into the process – don’t be afraid to try, to ask questions and to learn from your mistakes. My other top piece of advice is to invest in your education. I decided to complete a MBA at London Business School and it was the best thing I ever did. It was hard, but it has been invaluable for my professional development.

There are currently only 21 percent 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 feel very passionately about investing in the education system. We need to make sure we are giving young girls exposure to experiences such as coding and entrepreneurship, earlier on in life. This will empower them with the skills and confidence to pursue a successful career in tech.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech?

Speaking from personal experience, having a mentor is absolutely fundamental to career development. Being able to discuss and strategise how far you’ve come, where you want to be and how you’re going to make it happen is so important. In parallel, you also have to make sure you make time for your friends and family, something I’ve definitely learnt to prioritise in recent years. As crazy as work and the world around us can get, it’s essential to have those people you can relax and unwind with.

What do the next two years look like? 

There is so much to accomplish in the next two years in the ad-tech space and I am excited to see how the industry will have evolved by then. Advertisers are hungry to maximise their creativity, we have seen the likes of Google, Facebook and TikTok emphasising the importance and power of creative. However, many marketers don’t know where to start.

This is what really impressed me about CreativeX – it gets under the skin of what challenges marketers are facing.  One challenge, which I believe ad-tech will help to increasingly nail over the next two years, is representation. Currently, representation in ads is below par. CreativeX’s analysis of over 3,000 ads found that whilst female characters are being shown 43% more frequently in ads than males, they only received 18% more ad spend. This is something brands urgently need to work on to resonate with their customers and build long term loyalty.