Exceptional Women of the World is a podcast that highlights and celebrates the great achievements, lives and POV of amazing women throughout the world of advertising, marketing, digital, tech and creativity.
To Samantha Scharff, chief executive officer of Giphy Studios, accomplishment is not about one’s own resume, but rather those of the people inspired. As a founder and leader of Giphy Studio’s creative content practice, Scharff is proud of building something unique and different — an exciting, nurturing environment where talent can thrive.
“I’ve tried to build something different, that has empathy and compassion — where people really feel heard,” she says.
Additionally, in Scharff’s mind, the industry — and especially women’s interactions with each other — can and should be more uplifting, a view that came from being in the entertainment ‘Boy’s Club’ for most of her career.
“I once had a female boss that wouldn't let any women have a seat at the table, and it was terrible, and I've seen other women not supporting [each other],” she says. “Women are being competitive, and it just makes no sense. We need to be helping each other, lifting each other up, especially if we want to make more change in the workplace.”
A producer at Saturday Night Live from 1997 to 2008, Scharff knows about pressure and how to stay calm through it all. But in her mind, she believes that her intuition and instinct are her greatest strengths — the ability to sense the next “big thing.”
Another piece of success for Scharff, who was head of development at Maker Studios in the mid-2010s, is being outside of one’s comfort zone. In her own experience, and especially with Giphy Studios, this discomfort creates a challenge which she feels is the best opportunity to grow. Additionally, as a “recovering perfectionist,” she feels it’s important to learn and deal with mistakes made along the way.
One of Scharff’s ‘musts’ in life and career is knowing when to take time for one’s self, with an eye to doing something that helps one feel grounded.
More big ‘musts’ on Scharff’s list include saying yes to things — even if they’re scary. Another great one is to work on a live show — and not because of the adrenaline rush but rather because: “it helps you to think on your feet. It helps you to remain calm under pressure [and] you have to make decisions quickly.”
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