Senior Marketing Advisor, SMB, Zebra Technologies
Nena Brichetto is a purpose-driven marketing professional known for her ability to demystify, design, and deliver powerful customer-centric growth strategies. She is currently the Senior Marketing Advisor, SMB, for Zebra Technologies. In this role, she leads the build and execution of a broad spectrum of marketing programs targeting small and growing businesses in a fast-paced high stakes environment.
We sat down with the contagiously positive marketing professional. Find our full conversation with Nena below!
Thank you for taking the time to speak with us. Can you recall the moment when you decided you wanted to pursue a career in marketing, how did you get started?
I was in college working part-time for a mortgage company and I figured out what marketing was by accident! I found a new career; I changed some of my coursework, I changed majors, I even changed universities. This was the 90’s and everyone was talking about marketing, I wanted to be a part of it.
Did you have a supportive community to help in the early years?
From a young age I learned the power of the pack, the idea that women supporting each other could create momentum for our gender. My first example of this came from the women in my family. My grandmother, my mother, and my aunt were my pack as they each played a very specific role that they agreed upon in my life. They were all working women, my grandmother worked for The Department of the Treasury, my mother was a physical therapist, and my aunt was a nurse. I was surrounded by women that were lifting each other up. Witnessing this as a young child left an impression on me.
Madeleine Albright famously said, “There is a special place in heaven for women who support other women.” Have you found this to be true in the workplace?
Absolutely! Over five years ago, there was a group of us that decided we should get some of the women in technology together. We started by doing our own thing and it eventually fell in line with Zebra’s vision for diversity & inclusion which is to have professional inside the four walls working together. We created The Women’s Inclusion Network (WIN), an employee-driven resource group committed to supporting the growth of the women in our business’ workforce. I serve as a Co-Lead in the North America region but the idea is to keep the conversation elevated because at any time you could help lift another woman up or you could help give another woman a hand up.
How important is allyship to you and to the WIN Network?
WIN is all about collaborating with other ERGs at Zebra. We’re getting together to network on bigger causes with Zebras of All Abilities, Zebras Equality Alliance, Zebras of African Descent, etc. And on a more personal note, I encourage sisterhood but along the way you have to find some good guys. They’re there and they will become your allies.
Everyone’s been hit hard by our current circumstances. How has the pandemic affected your ability to socialize and have space for community with like-minded women?
Now more than ever women are hungry for community. They’re hungry for networking. Women are disproportionately leaving the workplace. Live events are on hold. I’m an extrovert so this has been a very emotional time period for me. My virtual experience with the AWE Accelerator Foundations program came at a great time.
Tell me about your experience with AWE Accelerator.
I made new friends during a time period when it felt like it was impossible to make new friends. My cohort showed up in my life at the right time because there was nowhere to go, there was nowhere to be. The cohort I was a part of is a community that I get to be a part of indefinitely. AWE made a whole bunch of deposits in my emotional tank.
How did Accelerator change how you show up to work?
Something that was reinforced for me week after week was confidence. I would leave the Friday cohort full of confidence and I carried that into Monday meetings and into the next week. I felt I was going to bring something valuable to the table every week. I highly recommend the program and can’t wait to be in the position to sponsor someone to Accelerator as I was sponsored by Zebra’s Women’s Inclusion Network.
What would you say have been the three most important keys to your success? Do you have any piece of advice for our readers?
- Network in some way every day. Take the work out of networking. Send a message on Linkedin, check in with someone. It’s all about connections.
- Ask a lot of questions. I was once criticized by a peer for asking too many questions but I’ve never had a good leader tell me to stop. Stay curious! It’s a win-win for the other people in the room with you and it’s also a win-win for the presenter who couldn’t fit everything into a presentation.
- Raise your hand. Seek out special projects. You’ll learn new skills and use the skills you already have in new ways.
What are you eating? Drinking? Bingeing?
I’m eating a lemon meringue pie while sipping a Chai tea latte and bingeing Shameless, the best Chicago-based show ever made!