In our blog series “Life in Adtech” we’re showcasing the different ways in which StackAdapters are driving innovation in adtech, and creating a progressive tech culture. From using modeling and data to create advanced algorithms to building stylish and robust user interfaces, everyone at StackAdapt is contributing to evolving the StackAdapt platform and providing the best product and service to our clients.
This month features Gelicia Walpole, StackAdapt’s Manager of People and Culture, who is based in the UK. Gelicia shares her journey into adtech, what her role entails, and how the People and Culture team supports the growth of StackAdapt.
Can you share a bit about your journey into working in the adtech field?
While working in project management, I took part in a transformation program. It was a 3-year program which was intended to help employees develop the skills and capabilities that the company needed to remain successful as their industry evolved.
Throughout the program, I mainly worked on project and change management, as well as organizational design and development. While I completed it, I realized that I was interested in learning more about Human Resources (HR), and shifting my career toward working in that field.
I got my first job in adtech in October 2015. At the time I had no idea who that company was or what they did, I had just thoroughly enjoyed the interview process and was excited to develop my career in their HR department. During my time there I went from being a HR Advisor to an international HR Manager, responsible for employees across the UK, Berlin, Cyprus, Moscow, Singapore, Japan and Australia.
After almost 6 years with that company I knew it was time to make a change. I wanted to stay within the adtech field, because it’s a forward thinking and progressive industry. That’s how I found myself at StackAdapt!
What is the main focus of the People and Culture team at StackAdapt, and how do you contribute to the team?
The main focus of the People and Culture team at StackAdapt is to support our colleagues across the whole company. We do this by focusing in a couple different areas, which range from working on developing training programs, learning and development programs, and initiatives to fostering StackAdapt’s values and culture.
Our team is divvied up to support StackAdapters across the different regions that we hire, but we do work collaboratively to ensure our initiatives are accessible to everyone at StackAdapt. I’m the Manager of People and Culture for EMEA and APAC. When I joined StackAdapt in July 2021, there were just 16 StackAdapters in the UK to support. Now, I represent more than 140 colleagues across 9 different countries!
How is the People and Culture team helping to support StackAdapt’s culture as the company grows?
The People and Culture team supports StackAdapts growth and culture in a couple ways. To start, we collaborate with our People Managers, who are our greatest culture advocates! We empower them to find new hires that are a perfect fit for StackAdapt by providing them with tools and resources, supporting them with training, keeping them up to date about learning and development initiatives, and broadening their awareness about diversity, equity, and inclusion.
We also support StackAdapt’s culture through our own initiatives. When StackAdapt decided to become remote first, my colleagues and I brainstormed ways to keep everyone connected and support work-from-home life. We created global initiatives like work-from-home allowances, virtual events for every region, passes for accessing WeWorks all over the world, and more.
We also come up with small initiatives that make a big difference. For example, we recently started a Slack channel called #Kudos, where StackAdapters can shout out their colleagues. The channel has hundreds of members already, and there are positive messages shared in it every day!
What has been one of your favourite People and Culture initiatives in recent months, and why?
It’s been really exciting for me to be part of our global expansion, because I get to collaborate with my StackAdapt colleagues across the world, and I’m exposed to different cultures and different ways of working.
Learning the differences in work styles across the globe also enables me to find opportunities to adjust StackAdapt’s perks and benefits so that they meet the needs of different regions.
What advice would you give someone looking to start their career in People and Culture?
Working in People and Culture is incredibly rewarding, but it doesn’t come without its challenges. Much of what you do has a positive impact, but it’s important to be prepared for the tough parts, too. Some of my top tips for anyone wanting to work in this field are:
- Become a great communicator! It’s key in people-facing roles.
- Be an active listener, which means listen to understand, not to respond.
- Put effort into your work relationships on a daily basis.
- Find the right balance of being empathetic, compassionate, firm, and fair.
What is the most rewarding part about your role at StackAdapt?
There’s nothing more rewarding than being able to positively impact or improve another person’s life, even if it is in the smallest way. And that’s what I get to do in my job! The goal of my team is to support our StackAdapt colleagues, and so seeing the impact we have on StackAdapters is incredibly motivating.
Interested in joining StackAdapt? See our open roles and apply, here.
In each new addition, we will be highlighting our teams and employees in our “Life In Adtech” series—stay tuned for more!