NYWICI Heritage Project: Kristine Welker

Education: BS, business, Fordham University

Career: At Heart Corp. for 17 years. Founding publisher of CosmoGirl magazine, launched Hearst magazines’ digital sales and marketing team as chief revenue officer, and most recently collaborated with Dr. Mehmet Oz to launch the magazine Dr. Oz The Good Life as founding publisher and chief revenue officer.

Current: Muscular Dystrophy Association board member

NYWICI Involvement: President 2007-2008.

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Kristine WelkerNYWICI: What attributes do you look for in a leader?
Kristine Welker: Strategic vision, passion and optimism.

What are your observations on the changing role of women in the workplace?
I was fortunate to work in media when the top 4 magazine companies were led by women, it was an unprecedented time for women in media. Today, accomplishing in one area of your life does not mean you forfeit in others

What is the best career advice you ever received?
A female CEO of a top ad agency once said, "You need to be comfortable with being uncomfortable." That is how I have approached my career. When I heard Hearst was launching a new magazine, CosmoGIRL!, I went for it. At 32, I was by far the youngest and was going up against seasoned publishers. Also, it is important to know when to pivot and move on. Once you have created something you can be proud of, it might be time to cross the next bridge. Live without regret.

Is the term feminism still relevant?
The focus is shifting from feminism to fairness and equality for women. There is a positive dialogue taking place by bringing men into the conversation. Within our own industry, efforts are being made to close the gender and pay gaps and men are being integrated into female industry events and around thought leadership.

What change in the communications business most impacted your career?
As the world was becoming more digital, it was a cue to pivot with technological developments and follow the consumer shifts in behavior. At Hearst Digital, I quickly recognized that there is no legacy in digital. It is about using technology to build the right bridge between existing models and new ones.

What would you like to share about your time as president?
I enjoyed spending time with the students in the organization, and watching them become the next generation of leaders and role models.