MSIGHTS’ Christina Woods, A Top 50 Woman Leader in SaaS

Christina Woods was the first person in her family to graduate from college though business was always considered an important tenet growing up.

“My family has owned a printing technology business for 48 years and still does today, so business was always a big part of family conversations,” Christina told The Software Report. “My interest in marketing came from my dad but I would say I get my work ethic from my mom— she worked full time while attending school and raising 2 kids on her own.” These early experiences would go on to inspire Christina in her pursuit of a career in tech.

During a stint working at full-service advertising agency, McKinney Durham in North Carolina, she fell in love with the technology of marketing, and the rest was history. Leading the charge on switching ad servers, Christina also learned about the new systems, eager to also share her knowledge with coworkers. “That’s when I started really getting into technology that supports marketing operations.”

By 2014, she was working at MSIGHTS, a cloud platform designed for marketing data transformation and media campaign performance reporting. Beginning as their Client Engagement Senior Manager, she went from being promoted to their Client Engagement Director to eventually become the VP of Client Engagement. Today, the leading marketing data and analytics company boasts an impressive retention rate. “Out of the total clients, 44% have been with MSIGHTS for more than 5 years,” Christina proudly states.

At the heart of what makes her an effective leader is Christina’s collection of experiences and lessons, which she draws upon frequently. One such moment has informed her entire career. While working at an agency, Christina sent a coworker a project to review, and immediately received one important piece of advice: “make it pretty.”  “Later she explained that the reason for her response was to point out that anything created internally or externally should always be client-ready, which means that your work must look complete and exude confidence,” said Christina. “It was just one little phrase, but it always stuck with me and now I say it to MSIGHTS team members.”

As a woman in tech, the North Carolina native understands the importance of exuding confidence that goes beyond just day-to-day business. Being ready, informed, and polished in a male-dominated industry is also essential to tearing down gender barriers. “Breaking the stigma of being a woman in the technology field can be tough because there is the idea that most women in technology are in account management,” she admits. Admitting that most people assume she’s there to make clients happy, Christina’s position at MSIGHTS is, in fact, multifaceted; playing the role of a technology consultant, account management and leader all at once. “For women, there are so many opportunities to be in an extremely fast and growing industry so we need to keep charging ahead and conquering the obstacles along the way.”

Just as she did at the beginning of her career, Christina is generous with providing others opportunities for both personal and career goals. “As a leader it is my responsibility,” she quips. This passion to create an environment that nurtures confidence and encourages her coworkers to increase their skillset comes from one of her favorite books, Radical Candor by Kim Scott. “This book aligns with my mentality because I want to be real with people and get the same in return,” she says. Sincerity is a rare quality to stumble upon in a nascent field as ambitious as technology, but Christina is determined to be a point of difference. “Asking questions and never being afraid to speak up is something I do daily in the workplace and it’s a foundational skill that I coach to my team. If they have a question on their mind it is almost guaranteed that at least one other person in the room has a similar if not the same question.”

As a mother of two, while working in technology, it’s clear that Christina’s life is anything but normal. “I take time to enjoy the little things like making my kids lunch or folding their laundry since I can’t be there all day.” So when it comes to relaxing with her family, she admits that those two don’t necessarily belong together. “I don't know if recharge and two boys under five years old go in the same sentence, but having a strong support system at home allows for the recharge.”

Christina further adds, “My family does an annual beach trip which I always look forward to. My dad, all of my siblings and their families join and we press pause on our busy lives to enjoy each other’s company.”