When the going gets tough, the tough get going
Mandy Ginsberg, interviewed by hostess, WIN Speaker Coordinator, Elia Nichols
January 2022 Meeting speaker recap
by L.A. Robbins & Donna Scharnagl
It wasn’t long ago that a wife and a mother of two growing girls, a vibrant woman who had battled serious health problems and lost half of her home in Texas, United States, packed her bags and moved to Florence.
Mandy Ginsberg, the former CEO of Match.com, is recreating herself right here, in the cradle of the Renaissance.
And to think she chose Florence:
“My husband and I had talked about it a lot, and it just so happened that my great friend Alatia Bach paved the way for me. I also wanted to find a place that was not too big and not too small for my 13-year-old daughter, a place where she could settle and find friends. I’m still in the honeymoon phase but I just love it here. Women helping women is what it’s about; one person here can change your life.”
Mandy has racked up quite a curriculum along the way as Chief Executive Officer of the Match Group (NASDAQ: MTCH) and CEO of The Princeton Review (acquired by IAC/MatchGroup), Vice President of Consumer Technology for Edelman Public Relations Worldwide, and subsequently as Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at i2 Technologies (not necessarily in that order). She is currently serving on the Board of Directors of Uber Technologies (NYSE: UBER) and ThredUp (NASDAQ: TDUP).
However, during her 60-min long Zoom interview with the Women’s International Network on Wednesday, January 19th via Zoom she demonstrated that she goes way beyond her business savvy to include a humorous, strikingly straightforward, and lively personality. She fielded a wide array of questions ranging from details on how to safely navigate online dating to advice for teens looking to advance in today’s job market – and she did so with fast-paced energy that kept us listening until the last moment.
We have a feeling that Mandy will make Florence her new canvas, with the same vibrant energy that she has applied to past successes. “Fast at executing” and “highly competitive” by her own admission, Mandy is obviously innovative; her courageous life choices make it clear that she is an intrepid risk-taker.
It’s anybody’s guess what she will do here, but you can bet your bottom dollar it is going to be a triumph.
To Date or Not to Date with an Online Dating App
The first half of WIN’s virtual fireside chat with Mandy covered the ins and outs of online dating, including a few tips on the perfect profile.
Her first suggestion was to not fudge the small stuff like your height and age: “… at the end of the day, you have to meet someone… you can’t completely lie as it will be revealed. You can’t build a decent relationship if … (you don’t tell the truth)” However, people do try and put their best foot forward and so they should, she conceded.
“Professional photos don’t get a lot of attention. The more ‘real’ (candid) the photos are, the better,” she stated, noting that “All men like to see skin; we know that from the data!” Mandy’s advice comes from the stats and they don’t lie either.
She summed up: it’s really all about you, so don’t forget to let your light shine through.
“It’s also about your personality. Humor is very important,” she added.
And then life beyond dating apps
The second half of the WIN interview was uniquely inspiring. Mandy spoke of some of the things that directed her career. One of her surprising declarations, coming from a woman of obvious success, was: “I didn’t even know if I could run a business …”.
Elia Nichols, one of our speaker coordinators, asked Mandy to elaborate on something she had once said:
“We stay ahead of the competition by never resting. And even though we’re a strong leader in the market, we have to act like underdogs. And so it’s being constantly paranoid about innovation and making sure we’re ahead of our competitors”
Mandy explained: “You like to think you’re brilliant, but we were so lucky … But we knew how to take all the best practices and turn that to our advantage.”
We all like to think that women are no longer struggling in a male-dominated environment, even a vibrant, positive woman like Mandy. And yet, she confessed that she has had a few challenging moments in this regard, like when a colleague “asked me to make the coffee! He did apologize when he realized his mistake, but I reminded him that he would never say that to a man!”
Her refreshingly candid way of examining her life and talking about her strong points was empowering. And her closing piece of advice applies to all ages and all ambitions, whether you are a 14 yr old thinking of the future or a 56 year old (almost 57) attempting to make a success of your new business:
“Understand your strengths, don’t try and hide your weaknesses. And ask. Ask for what you want. Women generally don’t ask for money, they ask what value they can bring. So just open up your mouth, in a professional way of course, and ask. The worst they can say is ‘no’.”