< More articles

Best Leadership Advice From 20 Women Leaders Who Changed The Face Of B2B

share

Here at ProofHub, we’re always on the lookout for role models, and there’s no shortage of them in the B2B world. 

On this International Women’s Day, we wanted to commemorate 20 women leaders in B2B who inspire us every day. Although there are many more than 14 to highlight and we hope to update our list over time. 

In the field of B2B, these women have demonstrated great leadership in a variety of roles. They serve as role models for all women in the workplace, inspiring them to be more courageous, confident, and outspoken. 

While their reputations speak for themselves, they always strive to improve their skills and knowledge to meet and exceed expectations.

So, here is ProofHub’s list of the top B2B women leaders without further delay.

This women’s day, invest in something worth your time. Try ProofHub

1. Sophia Casey, Master Certified Coach, International Coaching & Leadership Institute

 

Sophia-Casey

 

There is a fair share of B2B opportunities even in the coaching industry. For example, in our coach training and leadership development school, we rely on Canvas as the virtual learning platform or training centers for in-person learning space for our students. In my opinion, the most important aspect of B2B leadership is a willingness to co-create services and products that empower the global economy and our customers.

We need to commit to the win-win spirit as, after all, the goal is to capitalize on resources and minimize expenses for both sides. For our school, the benefit is creating a community around the transactions we exchange with other businesses. This community empowers women leaders like us because it lets us know that we are not alone and don’t have to create success from a solo place. 

This giving and collaborative spirit and our superpower of being natural nurturers and creators of the community are some of the things I love about women business owners. As my advice for all women in B2B, an African proverb comes to mind: “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” I want to expand that proverb: “If you want to go quicker and further, go together.”

2. Vartika Kashyap, Chief Marketing Officer, ProofHub

Vartika-Kashyap

There are numerous elements to consider in B2B leadership and work-life. Creating and growing a supportive community of like-minded women, peers, and business owners transformed my life.

Maintaining a consistent message is one of the most effective ways to establish leadership influence and respect. Make sure that your team knows you’re there for them. This is how your brand earns trust and respect. 

Your brand is a reflection of your leadership style. At ProofHub, we make sure that our leadership and marketing styles are reflected in our branding since it helps us earn the trust of both our team members and our audience.

My advice to aspiring B2B female executives is to follow your passion and develop your love for constant learning. Never settle for less, and always push yourself to learn as much as you can. I earned the respect of my peers and leaders by turning my passion into expertise. Learning when to speak out and not being scared to express myself has allowed me to progress from contributor to leader, which has been crucial to my career.

3. Galina Goduhina, Head of Sales, ONLYOFFICE

Galina Goduhina

B2B is always a matter of a high level of responsibility to your customer and the ability to make quick and sometimes difficult decisions, on which the success and convenience of the business of millions of customers worldwide depend. In the process of creating a solution for b2b different company departments and a lot of technical and marketing specialists are involved, whose activities directly affect the daily work of the customers. Our main task is to ensure the efficiency and clear interaction of all components of success. Sometimes it is not easy and requires remarkable energy and motivation.

What’s also important, your task is to create such an effective and strong team of marketers and salespeople that your solution is accessible to users and they feel sincere support while using your project. It is a task to charge your colleagues with the desire to make the lives of your customers better every day, to support them, and help them in moments of doubt and problems.

The main principle in my work, which helps me to work every day on the best solution for customers, is the passion for the project itself, in which we are all engaged, and the willingness to share this passion with our colleagues. Together with the team, you can do anything!”

4. Sharon Winton, Director of Marketing, GoMontana

Sharon-Winton

To excel in the B2B industry, being a strategic planner is a must characteristic of a leader. Having an assessment of the current situation and performance to create a good forecast and wiser decisions is a big part. 

Considering that this business world is tricky, having strategies and plans for your next step will contribute to success. 

The notion of men being above women should die forever. Hence, women in this industry should also continuously learn as this concept slowly disappears. Acquiring new knowledge and skills will help create a balanced competition and disregard the bias that there has been. Doing this will also contribute to building a new perspective as to women’s capabilities.

5. Masha Mahdavi, Co-founder, SEM Dynamics

 Masha Mahdavi

In leading a B2B organization or entity, creating relationships with different people is the most important aspect. Through continuous communication and efficient building of trust, the possibility of success will be higher. 

Moreover, nurturing connections with other people, including employees, the public, and different entities will lead the organization towards greater success and progress. 

For every woman in the B2B industry, I know that there is a great challenge regarding competition and gender bias that still exists in the industries. But continued perseverance should always be part of our weapon to prove ourselves and our abilities. 

6.  Paige Arnof-Fenn, Founder & CEO, Mavens & Moguls

Paige-Arnof-Fenn

It takes effort and a commitment to excellence for people to continually learn/grow, especially in a virtual/remote environment. I do not think there is one silver bullet to keep your leadership skills sharp and fresh; I recommend using a combination of reading and learning online and off, attending conferences and talks, networking, newsletters from influencers, TED talks, podcasts, finding mentors and listening to all feedback good and bad. To stay relevant and keep growing, I try to encourage the team to prioritize professional development to keep skills fresh and stay on top of new trends and technologies. 

For me, leadership is also about consistency — the best leaders are guided by strong values and principles that do not waver, so you know their word is true, they have standards that do not change based on the audience or who they spoke with last, you may not always agree with them but you respect how they made the decision. There has never been a more important time for leaders to provide accurate, empathetic communication with transparency, truthfulness and timeliness. It is inappropriate now for content to appear tone-deaf in any way to this crisis. We have learned to acknowledge that now things are different, so we need to communicate in a way that will give our audiences better focus, helping them to create a bridge from today to the future. 

Leaders need to communicate in a way that combines information and need, synthesizing feelings and facts. I feel we have a tremendous responsibility because never before has communications had the power to help society in the way that it does right now. Words are part of the healing process, and we can see which leaders are doing the best job every day with messages that touch the mind and the heart and soul.     

Maybe a silver lining is that this crisis reminds us that we have always needed each other, and we have learned that everyone is struggling right now to find a new normal, so the key is to show our humanity and compassion while we look out for one another. Effective leaders today see that technology does not have to be isolating; it can be used to build our real-world communities and relationships too!

7. Vanessa Arellano, CEO, Steer Financial

Vanessa-Arellano

When it comes to explaining leadership in general, the answers might be infinite. Essentially, all good leaders in a B2B environment may have exponential qualities and characteristics that drive growth and unity amongst companies. The most important aspect of leadership that leaders usually miss is having the ability to listen. 

That can range from listening to internal employees to what your clients are saying when we say listen. Having the skill to listen enables a leader to understand, comprehend, and grow as an individual truly. Listening and improving growth essentially leads to humility, which transcends the work environment.

Perseverance is the one piece of advice I would like to share with all the women in B2B environments. Persisting to get the job done, persisting in listening, not giving up or losing hope, and continuing the good work and effort are all elements of molding a woman leader in B2B. It might sometimes be difficult to achieve certain goals or visions, but continuous determination leads to better results. In a B2B world, grit and hunger are needed to succeed. Grit, together with persistence, will get the job done.

8. Prama Bajaj, Marketing Director, Leena AI

Prama-Bajaj

B2B leadership pertains to understanding customers’ challenges and delivering solutions to business growth to improve employee experience and enhance customer satisfaction. It is imperative to have a deep understanding of your customers, target audience, and buyer personas to establish a solution-led approach. 

Leadership comes with a broader vision to strategize, plan and build frameworks. In addition, collaborating with stakeholders for a cohesive approach works very well. The core of B2B leadership lies in building empathetic relationships with customers, partners, and employees. A customer-centric mindset is at the heart of becoming a trusted advisor and solving pain points. 

Another crucial aspect to driving successful leadership is an agile and a growth mindset that is flexible towards the rapid market changes and takes proactive decisions to support customer needs. My one piece of advice to all the women in B2B would be “Walk boldly in uncharted terrains and build a path to success while raising the bar and striving for excellence.”

9. Lindsey Allard, CEO and Co-Founder, PlaybookUX

Lindsey-Allard

It is all about the people you surround yourself with, and it can make all the difference. The noise in today’s world can be overwhelming and neverending for entrepreneurs, especially if you are a female, especially in a B2B/remote setting where noise is coming from every angle. So many people will try to offer advice, tell you not to do something, and put a negative tone on what you are doing. It can become too much, and it is just not helpful; it’s the opposite!

Soon after becoming an entrepreneur, I started picking who I wanted to be around and who I wanted to lean on. I closed my circle, kept things to myself, and became more protective of my thoughts. I partnered with another female co-founder who worked well with me, and we’ve created a protective blanket around us. 

My advice for other women in B2B is that If you can surround yourself with positive, motivating, encouraging people, you’ll begin to see the potential of what you might do! This was crucial for me, and I think it’s especially important when working in a B2B space.

10. Paula Glynn, Director of Search Marketing & Digital Strategy, Pixelstorm

Paula-Glynn

The most important aspect of effective B2B leadership is inspiring and motivating others. Leaders need to create a vision that people can believe in and then put in the hard work necessary to make that vision a reality. 

They also need to foster a sense of trust and teamwork to work towards the same goal. As for advice, I would encourage all women in B2B to stay confident in themselves and their abilities.

There will undoubtedly be times when you feel like you’re not good enough or that you don’t know what you’re doing, but don’t let those doubts stop you from achieving your goals. Believe in yourself, and persist through the challenges.

11. Ayelen Osorio, Content Manager, Netcoins

Ayelen-Osorio

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the most important aspect of effective B2B leadership will vary depending on the business and its goals. However, a few key things to keep in mind include: being able to clearly communicate the company’s vision and mission, having a deep understanding of the industry and what changes are happening in it, and creatively building strong relationships with customers and clients.

For instance, women entrepreneurs often have a better understanding of the importance of creating and nurturing relationships. They know how to communicate effectively and build trust, essential skills in the B2B world. Women are also more likely to be creative and think outside the box, which can be a major asset in a competitive market.

Create and nurture your board of advisors, consisting of both men and women. This group can provide valuable insights, support, and networking opportunities. Stay authentic to who you are. Women often tend to try to be all things to all people and, in the process, can lose sight of their strengths and values. When you lead from your authentic self, you are more likely to be successful and respected.

12. Roxana Motoc, Head of Marketing, SocialBee

Roxana-Motoc

I’d say the winning combination in B2B leadership starts with having strong industry knowledge, combined with great knowledge of the entire business. This empowers anyone in a leadership position to make data-informed decisions aligned with the strategic vision for the whole department and company. This further expands to setting goals and processes for your team and helping them evolve alongside the company.   

In an ever-changing environment, those characteristics of B2B leaders will be the ones differentiating the brand when customers will have to decide what’s their go-to company, beyond the products and services you offer. 

The first piece of advice I’d love to share with all the women in B2B is to step up and speak up. Do your “homework” and be prepared to take a seat at the table and believe that you have something to offer. 

Build the connections you need, establish yourself as an ethical partner, and work hard — cause there is no substitute for hard work. 

Lastly, don’t forget to lift and support others while keeping a great sense of humor.

13. Ewelina Melon, Head of People, Tidio

Ewelina-Melon

In my opinion, the most essential tip for efficient B2B leadership is leading your team with empathy. Empathy is defined as the ability to understand and share another person’s feelings, which is crucial for effective collaboration in the workplace. It doesn’t simply mean being kind; it means putting yourself in other people’s shoes, impacting the organization’s culture with your thoughtful decisions, and making choices based on the values that matter. 

Leading with empathy also means you accept and respect the ability to learn from others as much as possible: in the end, the key to success is not being the smartest person in the room but being open-minded enough to look at issues from different perspectives. It allows you to be more human, more creative, and more empowering as a leader. 

My piece of advice for all women in B2B is to never doubt themselves and be totally proud of who they are and what they have achieved. It’s vital to stay true to yourself whatever happens and always put yourself first. A woman doesn’t need to pretend to be harsh and ruthless to climb the career ladder and get to the leadership position – being who you are is more than enough to take you places.

14. Katheriin Liibert, Head of Marketing, Outfunnel

Katheriin-Liibert

The most important aspect of leadership is communication. And this is especially true in the context of B2B. Much has been said about the need for sales and marketing leaders in B2B to communicate well, but they need to communicate well across the functions: from product to customer success and of course, revenue-driving teams like sales and marketing. The different functions have to have excellent communication between leaders for the company to run like a well-oiled machine.

In the early years of your career, find mentors, and win-win ways of mentorship. One of my favorite examples is someone who was looking to learn about SEO from one of the top people in the business. They worked out a collaboration, where the mentee did some work for the mentor for free, and in exchange got to learn from the best of the best.

15. Rohini Rachita, Co-founder, It’s FOSS

Rohini-Rachita

 

The first thing to remember is that you’re managing a team, not a business. Your employees are a team, and a team is only as good as its members. You can’t just sit back and expect the team to reach its full potential unless you get to know them at the deepest level.

If you are a woman, you face many challenges and obstacles. However, under the core of all this, there is one common theme: confidence. You have to be confident in your own abilities, and you deserve to be in the business world. You have to be confident enough to believe in yourself and your abilities, no matter what others might say or think. If you can do this, you will succeed.

16. Janina Moza, CMO, Flipsnack

Janina-Moza

Leadership in a B2B company requires great communication skills, with employees, business partners, and clients. In addition to having these skills as a leader, there has to be a focus on getting the entire team trained to know the customers well and to adapt their messages and approach to the customer’s needs and goals. A team like this is set for success. 

However, a leader is nothing without their team. The strength of a leader comes from acknowledging their limitations and empowering others to make decisions, to take initiative, and to take charge of different projects that are fit for their skill levels. This is how teammates can hone their skills and become more responsible, learn how to become leaders, which will help them grow and help the company grow as well. 

I’ve experienced this first hand over the last few years, and I’m impressed with how rewarding it is to let go of control sometimes, take a step back and allow others to take charge and lead. You get to see how people truly blossom as leaders as they become empowered. It’s an honor to know that you’ve contributed in a way to that and it also helps you focus on other strategic goals as you delegate responsibilities.    

Great leaders grow leaders. 

17. Carla Andre-Brown, Content Marketer at Mailbird

Carla-Andre-Brown

If I have to share just one piece of advice with women in B2B, my one advice is to believe in themselves and to believe in their team. Find people that have potential and that you collaborate well with, and work together towards success. You can make it to the top in many different ways, but the most rewarding way is to make it there along with a group of people that you trust and that support you.  

Effective leadership is about developing relationships that instill trust and show that you have confidence in your team. In the B2B space, it should also involve finding ways to uplift and incorporate expertise wherever it is found. Don’t run to find experts outside of your team when it might be right under your nose. In a busy month, leaders usually look for hand-raisers who are eager to share. They’re great, but it’s also important to get to know who is working with their head down and what they may have to offer. Maybe they aren’t keen on speaking in front of large groups. Great leadership finds ways to facilitate other outlets for collaboration. A few ideas that might work for different people are peer-to-peer conversations, video walkthroughs, or brainstorming sessions.

18. Nicky Chenery, General Manager at SafetyCulture

Nicky-Chenery

“Putting yourself in the customer’s shoes is so important. We do a lot around the product and we listen a lot, but the reality is it’s so important to live the customer’s life as well and to make sure you understand their challenges really well. We’re really deep on driving the pain of the customer versus a commercial proposal, I would say. We’re always keeping the customer at the heart of everything we’re doing. We’re constantly thinking about what we could do to help our customers get through these challenging times. We’re trying to be more proactive in the way that we approach it, being a little bit more forward-thinking about how our tools could benefit or make any change to our customers that could financially benefit them, whether it be sensors or turning the heat down in rooms just to be more efficient overall. We’re trying to always think in the customer’s shoes, where we can help them make these small changes that could have a huge impact on them.

Some of the stuff we’re trying to get better at is what’s coming. We’re doing a lot about sustainability, and we’re really passionate about carbon zero. This is not nice to have a conversation anymore. This is really like communities are now on the hook, and a lot of people don’t know where to begin with that. It’s a little bit more of a consultative approach, but we’re really digging into what’s coming earlier in the cycle and trying to preempt these conversations. I think we’ve always prided ourselves on empowering the customer to build their own checklist which we still do, but having these insights can have more meaningful conversations around the climate and what they’re doing. I know that a lot of businesses don’t even have anybody solely responsible for this. It’s like being left to an operations manager or H&S managers, so it’s really about trying to help them uncover what they can do to start this process early and get themselves in better shape as a business and how can we help them with that. It’s coming, there’s no stopping it, and a lot of businesses haven’t made that investment yet.”

“I’ve always said, passion is the difference between having a job and having a career. That’s my mantra. So, passion and challenge. I certainly don’t feel like it’s the world that it was five years ago or 10 years ago where you had to hide that you had a child or that you were a working mom. We’re in such a better place than that right now. I think the opportunity is out there, it’s huge and I feel like women have never been more accepted in the commercial space, I would say. The women’s stuff that we do in the business has never been a witch-hunting session or anything like that but it’s really about empowerment—empowering women to believe in themselves for equal opportunities and to drive that but it comes from within. Don’t be a victim; you are your own destiny.

Always challenge the status quo, so never sit back. One of the things I’m passionate about is to never apologize for changes. We make changes a lot, and we learn a lot. I think the worst thing is to remain stable and never keep challenging the process. Change is interesting. There are people that will accept change and a lot of people are very resistant to change. People don’t like change. And so I think it’s the way you deliver change, and it’s important that you always reference the why. Don’t just make changes. When you can back it up with great content and data, why we’re doing that, and what the impact will be, you bring people on that journey a lot better. Somebody walking in and thinking you’ve changed their whole job role or how we approach different things never works incredibly well so the why is really important and constantly reiterating on the why.

Never sit still, always keep thinking of the next thing. I think the great thing about SafetyCulture is that this is not a business that is stagnant. We are permanently reinventing ourselves and our focus, whether it be the product or acquisition. I never feel like I’ve achieved what I need to achieve, so I challenge myself a lot on that. You gotta keep empowering your people, and driving your people, and if you don’t have that passion, it cascades down so make sure that you lead. Keep personally challenging yourself and the team.”

19. Sindhu Nandedkar, Head of Operations at Troop Messenger

Sindhu-Nandedkar

As a head of operations (product), I feel it is indispensable to keep efficient processes, standards, and policies in place to achieve the broader vision for the products and services that we deliver to our customers.

While collaborating with the senior management to put together the strategies that take the product growth further, I understand that the leadership qualities are not ingrained, rather they are learned from situations.

Having said that, to better understand the customer and the product team’s needs, I keep working closely with them to evaluate risks and find solutions to retain the customers. And the most important aspect for successful B2B business growth would be allowing young minds to share their views on the product’s growth.

I see a remarkable change in B2B in the way women are taking up the challenges to stand out and be successful in these competitive markets, and it is quite impressive! And I’m of the view that when it comes to leadership, women make things work better with their brilliant strategic and management skills than anyone else.

Women are the best leaders when it comes to accountability. The advice to all the incredible women out there would be to keep your teams inspiring to deliver you the best products and services.

20. Jenna Bunnell – Senior Manager, Content Marketing, Dialpad

Jenna Bunnell

Vision. Vision puts the words in your messaging, it gives you the right nudge whenever you feel disoriented or lost in your strategies, it points you towards the right stakeholders and clients, and most of all, it dictates where your organization is headed. Every leader has been a victim and a victor of doubt and slump, especially when you’re not hitting the right targets. It may look different for each unique organization with unique products and services to offer, but the common denominator of them all is that they have a specific vision in mind that pushes them to get up setback after setback and accompanies them milestone after milestone. It is your ‘why’ that helps you come up with the ‘how,’ the ‘what,’ the ‘when,’ the ‘where,’ so basically if you know your why, you already have a head start to every question you will encounter in your journey as the leader of your organization. Vision is really important because you need it to start and you most definitely should have it in your disposal if you want to reach the end goal.

As for women in B2B, you are the future. Women are the future of B2B. B2B won’t be where it is today without its women – from the sales team up to the executives – women make up the pillars of every successful B2B organization. If you feel that you have no space in a male-dominated industry, think of all the initiatives, goals achieved, improved numbers in ROI, and business challenges resolved through tough conference calls, and how those wouldn’t exist without the help of the women in the team. If you feel that you have no seat at the table, maybe it’s because you were meant to set up a table of your own and lead a team of your own. Right now, women should be taking up space in the industry because the industry wouldn’t be where it is today without women.

Let’s take some time this Women’s Day to appreciate all the strong women out there.! Happy International Women’s Day. 

Conclusion

These women have made significant contributions in areas such as planning, sales, operations, marketing, human resources, management, business growth, and more. 

Their skills, advice, and recommendations continue to inspire new projects, raise funds, and make way for strategic alliances, helping their businesses to prosper.

A big congratulations to all the B2B boss ladies out there!

 Nandini Sharma
Nandini Sharma

Nandini Sharma is the Assistant Marketing Manager at ProofHub - a powerful project management software loved by more than 85000+ teams and businesses worldwide. She brings unparalleled expertise in digital marketing through her years of experience in the field; especially when in the area of brand building, targeting a large audience and building strong connections with them. When not busy in creating winning marketing strategies, she can be found involved in art and craft activities.


So, let’s start delivering projects!

  • No installation
  • No credit card
  • No chaos