Written by WOM member, Samantha Iodice
From financial services to technology, Dacquiri Connors has embraced her many passions throughout her career, ambitiously working her way from one role to the next and acquiring new skills along the way. As Head of Vendor Management at Spotify, Dacquiri evolved to where she is today by leveraging her skills as an accomplished generalist with a strong entrepreneurial spirit.
With more than 10 years of experience in vendor management, project management and sourcing, in addition to working within the music and entertainment industry, Dacquiri was well positioned to transition to a new position with Spotify. Equally important to her success as a team leader, Dacquiri is also well known for her commitment to advancing mentorships and opportunities for other women in her field.
We Never Fail When We Lift Others Up
While it may sound trivial, the teams closest to us are often the connection to much of our development and success. Dacquiri believes that as leaders, women need to be open to all opportunities for ourselves and our teams, effectively interpreting what the next steps will be for success. When describing a setback she experienced, Dacquiri said, “We have the power to enlighten and uplift, and I had lost sight of that while working my way to my next opportunity, and it cost me.” Dacquiri stressed that teamwork is vital to success in most situations, and it was definitely the case with this challenge. “Lifting another woman up is always a benefit. Some of my previous bosses got that wrong and I was caught up in that cycle.”
A misinterpretation of someone else’s goal led her to setbacks, but it also helped her to grow. Dacquiri is grateful for the experience, as it allowed her to develop a renewed understanding, and focus on continuing to empower and amplify women in the workplace.
The Belief In The Power & Value Of Mentorship
Concerned that there weren’t enough women advancing in technology careers, and guided by her passion to help women advance, Dacquiri created the Women in Tech group at Viacom, during her time as Head of Technology Vendor Management. The Women in Tech group was developed as a pipeline for women in the technology field, offering support and mentorship. Within two years, Dacquiri developed a business and action plan and grew the group from 15 to 50. Through a collaboration with Girls Who Code (GWC), Women In Tech empowered recent GWC participants to earn internship opportunities at Viacom, with some interns eventually returning as full-time hires at the company. Dacquiri is extremely proud of her role in helping launch Women In Tech and remains a partner to that committee as well as a mentor for Girls Who Code.
Many women often have mentors in their careers that inspire them, motivate them and help them be better at what they do and even who they are. Dacquiri says, “My mentors have been women and men. I’ve had more success with women mentors and male allies. The thing that helped me the most has been believing in myself. Having confidence to know my worth and finding my voice helped me throughout my career. I mentor other women to share the guidance and advice that has been shared with me. It is important to me to pay it forward.”
In the same vein, Dacquiri has some advice for fellow professional women, “Know the difference between a sponsor and a mentor and find both… My sponsor in my role [at Viacom] was an unexpected ally that spoke for me when I wasn’t in the room. It may take time vetting different people, however, this investment in you is more than worth it.”
It’s also possible to have more than one mentor, and sometimes those mentors will have varied levels of experience, offering different types of guidance. “I have multiple mentors ranging from peers to my junior resources to the C-Suite. Find like-minded people you connect with – they are out there, even if they aren’t at your present company – to help you along your career path no matter what angle that path may take.”
Martech Predictions: Connect With Audiences Through Diversity & Inclusivity
Technology evolves quickly, and we must be able to adapt quickly alongside it. Dacquiri believes, “Technology is always changing and marketing needs to mirror the shift. Marketing will need to be more inclusive and diverse.” Dacquiri explained “This next generation will not be okay with not seeing their whole selves in marketing. [Diversity and inclusion] is a simple (yet drastic) shift that will elevate marketing to the next level. There is so much opportunity for advancement, social responsibility and enlightenment. It won’t be easy however the benefits will definitely outweigh the efforts.”