- Jamie Cohen, 32, named CFO of ANGI Homeservices Inc. a few months ago, attributes her rise at the $7 billion-company to her embrace of mentorship opportunities.
- "I think that willingness to put yourself out there and ask for input creates relationships, and ultimately advocates across the business," Cohen said in an interview with Business Insider released August 1. “If somebody's contemplating promoting me, I have people around saying, 'Yes, I know her and I totally support that,' or 'I've worked with her and I believe in what she's contributed.'"
- Cohen joined IAC HomeAdvisor, an online company that links homeowners to plumbers and other service providers, as a part of its corporate strategy team in 2011. She worked her way up to executive vice president of finance and accounting by 2017.
Cohen is credited with playing a key role in the company’s acquisition of Angie’s List and its merger with HomeAdvisor to create ANGI Homeservices in 2017. She’s also credited with building and overseeing all of the company's finance operations while leading acquisitions of two additional home-services matching companies, Handy and Fixd Repair.
“The past year was a transformational one for the company that saw us deliver strong performance across the board while expanding into new growth areas with multiple acquisitions, and Jamie has been critical to this success,” said Brandon Ridenour, CEO of ANGI Homeservices.
Cohen says mentors are especially important for female executives who are faced with navigating male-dominated business cultures. She credited Chris Terrill, CEO of HomeAdvisor before it was brought under the ANGI Homeservices umbrella, and others at the company for giving her the opportunities to find her strengths.
"I had just an ongoing dialogue with Chris and other people that were in my mentorship circle," she said, adding that the dialogues helped her stay in the company and advance rather than return to school to get an MBA, as she was thinking of doing. "I think that there's more for me to learn here on the job and just a better path if I stick to it," she said, describing her thinking at the time. “That has played out well for me."
A salary survey conducted by PayScale shows that having a mentor or sponsor who is willing to advocate for them can be a factor in female workers' advancement. According to the report, 59.2% of managers, 63.1% of directors, and 65.5% of executives benefited from a workplace sponsor.
In her interview, Cohen says she paired her openness to working with a mentor with an ambition to challenge herself. "I have a constant appetite for learning and just continually asking questions," she said. "Throwing myself into the unknown, and being willing to take risks, and take on things that I might not check every single box for. But I have the confidence in myself that I can figure it out, or I can ask people to give insight and input so that we can figure it out together."