Celebrating Women: Pinterest's Maddy Loves Publishing, Technology

It's important to celebrate women on International Women’s Day by sharing their unique experiences. Celestine Maddy, head of consumer and brand marketing at Pinterest, began her career working at magazines, but she’s a self-proclaimed “tech nerd.” Once she discovered technology, she never left, she said.

“It’s amazing how fast technology moves, and how you can create products and tap new audiences,” she said. “I was fortunate to be at tech companies at inflection moments.”

Maddy worked at Foursquare as it transformed from a consumer company to a large location data provider. She worked at Reddit as the company discovered its brand image.

Now at Pinterest, Maddy feels she is at the pinnacle of platforms. “I’ve worked on a lot of things, but this is the first time I’ve worked on something that’s purely joyful for users,” she said. “It’s a company that inspires users to take the next step, such as finding a new makeup style or connecting with a brand you didn’t know. It’s about inspiration, and that’s such a rare thing on the internet.”

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Maddy joined Pinterest in November from The Wing, where she served as global head of senior vice president of marketing and communications. Previously, she spent nearly three years as vice president of marketing and communications at Foursquare, and a year at Reddit as vice president of marketing. She also founded a publisher called Wilder Quarterly, and worked at Deutsch, StrawberryFrog, GlobalHue, and MediaBistro.

As a woman of color, Maddy has clear goals supporting diversity across Pinterest.

In the past few months, company executives have been talking a lot about inclusion and diversity of the platform and culture. Employees are taking part in unconscious bias training that will be available to them by the end of July.

“I haven’t worked at any other company interested in learning more about how Black women search on the platform, and the churn,” she said. “It’s been a real eye-opener, and we can only hope everyone else gets it, too.”

Before Maddy discovered a love for technology, she wanted to go into publishing and make magazines, as she did for a while.

But it was during a time when tech was growing in popularity. “Tech took hold of me and never let go,” she said. “I will likely stay in tech for the rest of my life, but I’ll probably make another magazine before it’s all said and done. I’m a junkie for printed publications.”

When asked the type of magazine she wants to create, Maddy said, adding that she collects magazines, “I have a secret little mood board that I use for all my ideas that I will create at some point.”

Long-form magazines gets into a conversation, but the culture these days want quick bits. Then there's slow culture -- the slower societal changes. Pinterest is part of that change, the way products works for everyone.

“Maybe Pinterest would be up for making a magazine,” she said. After all, Pinterest is at the forefront of cultural trends.

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