Pomelo jointly celebrates International Women’s Day 2022 by featuring 4 amazing female Pomelo People who will be sharing their inspiring stories and how they break the bias in their career journey. We want to take part in encouraging and motivating every woman who may be under-recognized, underrepresented, or needs advocates.

To all the women out there – remember that you can achieve anything that you set your mind to. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. Together, we can all #BreaktheBias!

Today’s post is about Cathriona Nolan, our VP of Creative & Brand Marketing. Leading and inspiring a big team of creative individuals, Cathriona shows us that women can be successful leaders who approach the business with a commercial mindset and lead with empathy. Her story ultimately re-affirms the truth that leadership is gender neutral.

Can you tell us about the role and team that you’re taking care of?

My current role is VP of Creative and Brand Marketing, overseeing our creative, social media, PR, and branding teams, which basically translates into all of the written and visual communication and branding that you see for the Pomelo brand and platform.

What’s your biggest challenge in being a leader?

Recently in this kind of post-pandemic world, one of the biggest challenges has definitely been staying aligned and keeping the team motivated as we have not been able to spend time in person. Particularly for our creative teams, we often give feedback so the discussion and sharing objective points of view are really important. Not being able to tackle problems head-on has made it really tough. It’s much more different across Zoom calls than when we were in a room together and if one of us is having a bad day, we were able to give a hug or words of encouragement. For me, the human connection is really important and it’s so much more meaningful in person.

But that is obviously just specific to this situation. In general, one of the biggest challenges of being a leader is that essentially, the buck always stops at you and that’s a lot of responsibilities. In the end, we’re all human and mistakes happen, and you have to learn from those things. But on the flip side, it’s been really great because I have a relatively big team, so I get to work with so many amazing individuals that I get to learn from them all the time. Seeing them succeed, grow or get better at something is always worth the challenges.

Throughout your career, have you ever been underestimated just because you’re a woman?

As a woman, I do feel like females do have to go the extra mile to prove themselves, particularly at a leadership level. For me, it has very much been the fact that I’m a woman in a creative role, and quite often, people perceive me to be only about creating pretty pictures and not being very commercial or numbers-driven. But then people would realize that I’m definitely much more to that.

What’s your ultimate career goal?

For now, I’m really excited to bring the full Pomelo platform experience to the next level not only here in Thailand, but also to expand it across our international markets. That’s a huge challenge for us. I’m learning so much from working with the team and the different brands that we bring on board. Also, I really want Pomelo to win a prestigious award for creative or marketing campaigns to show that we’re not so little anymore. We’re this Southeast Asia’s fashion platform that can stand up against all of the big brands out there.

Why do you believe that women can be strong leaders?

I do believe that men and women have equal opportunities to be great leaders. I think women embody many important traits that define great leadership and one of them is empathy, a quality that is often hugely underestimated. But when you think about it, leading is really the art of dealing with people as it’s about mentoring, coaching, delegating, managing change, and crisis management. I do think that women are full of empathy and understanding and that is really important in order to be a successful coach or mentor.

What do you want to say to women out there who don’t feel confident or believe in themselves?

I would say confidence really has to come from within. If you don’t believe in yourself, how can you convince others to believe in you? Honestly, that’s something that I have always lived by. I learn to believe in myself and give myself that confidence.

It’s always about trying your best to take every opportunity that comes your way. There were times that I didn’t believe that I could do it but I always had that mentality like “Okay, let’s try. What’s the worst that could happen?” I really believe that quite often some of the best things you learn are from your failures. Once you apply that learning to the next thing you do and keep doing it, then you can succeed. 

One more important thing about confidence, particularly for females, is to surround yourself with great people. I am very lucky to have really great female colleagues both within my own team, cross-functionally and across all levels that I can discuss challenges, ask for feedback, and turn for advice. We all collectively help each other.

So don’t be afraid of failure and surround yourself with great people. I think that’s a good recipe for success.

How does Pomelo support and empower you as a woman leader?

I’ve been very lucky my time here. It’s been almost four years at Pomelo and I’ve been given multiple opportunities to prove myself and to build a bigger and bigger team. I’ve worked with different leaders at Pomelo who constantly pushed me with new challenges so that I never get bored. I’m learning new things all the time.

Whenever I interview a candidate or talk to anyone externally and they ask me about Pomelo, my answer would be that one of my favorite things about Pomelo compared to any workplace I’ve ever worked for is that It’s a very collaborative and open feedback culture. This is something that I really love because I can learn from it. This culture has really helped me accelerate my own leadership skills as well as accelerate my leadership position. Pomelo has certainly pushed me to be a better leader and a better person.

I do think that women are full of empathy and understanding and that is really important in order to be a successful coach or mentor.

Cathriona Nolan, VP of Creative & Brand Marketing

Share this article

Related posts.

Life at PomeloAll the Love & Acceptance: Boss, Licensing & Collaboration Design Director, Pomelo

From serving drinks at Fashion Week to becoming the co-founder of his own fashion brand, Boss Thamatat Liangthamarath has come a long way. Through his vast experiences, he has witnessed the dynamic nature of Pride as the world and fashion industry changes. Now the Licensing & Collaboration Design Director at Pomelo, Boss bares it all […]

Life at PomeloLight, Camera, Action! Charty Chonlakarn, Senior PR Associate, Pomelo, Trans Woman Behind the Glitz and Glamour

Almost 4 years ago, stepping out of college as a trans fresh grad, Charty Chonlakarn Meesub was unsure about what the future held for her. With a background in production but a strong passion for fashion, she took a leap of faith and joined Pomelo as an intern. Four years down the line, she is […]

Life at PomeloBe Loud and Be Proud in Pride Month 2022 #PomeloPride

Be loud and be proud in Pride Month 2022 with #PomeloPride ! Let’s kick off the month by hearing from Piyanuch Limapornvanitch, our Chief People Officer, and her passionate goals to build an organization that empowers diversity, equity, and inclusion as a foundation. At Pomelo,  we have created a culture that embraces unique ideas, perspectives, […]