Inspirational Women: Joanna Mollo & Lucero Tagle | Founders, PitchNinjas

Joanna Mollo & Lucero Tagle

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

Our names are Lucero Tagle and Joanna Mollo, we are the founders of the communications coaching platform, PitchNinjas. PitchNinjas is an on-demand coaching platform designed to supercharge communication skills.

The digital platform uses 1:1 coaching, AI technology and video recording software to create effective, confident and persuasive communicators. Whether a complete novice or seasoned professional, PitchNinjas equips individuals at all levels with the skills and words they need to deliver with conviction and clarity, whatever the context.

We come from quite different sectors. I (Lucero) was previously a People Advisor at Google and Google for Startups, and Joanna has been a communications coach, journalist and business owner.

We have known each other for some time and our mutual recognition of the lack of training for employees and leaders alike to be powerful, persuasive and confident communicators in their day-to-day lives as well as their careers. We recognised this is especially true in the corporate sector, which led us to create our own startup where we train and develop employees to be stronger speakers and more confident individuals in their roles. So far, we have helped some of the world’s largest companies like Google, Ericsson, HSBC, Natwest, Netflix, Amex and more.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

I knew from a young age that I wanted to understand people’s behaviour and help them achieve their full potential. This is why I studied Psychology and did a Master’s in Organisational Psychology to apply this knowledge to employees and organisations. I was fortunate enough to work for a big global tech company, Google, when they were in their infancy here in Europe. I was able to put my focus on people development initiatives and implement a lot of processes and programs that are still in use today. My career progression came organically in the sense that I was able to spot opportunities and propose and implement impactful solutions. By doing so, I progressed in my career and got more laser-focused on what I wanted to do in coaching and developing leaders and teams.

Have you faced any challenges along the way?

Yes, working in a big corporate environment came with its limitations, such as more bureaucracy to get things done as the company became larger. Things became harder and slower which was frustrating, especially when servicing clients internally. As more people were hired, there was more competition, things became disjointed and visibility became more difficult. Covid brought its own set of challenges in terms of roles and responsibilities. It made me evaluate my strengths and I came to question what’s next in my career. This is when PitchNinjas was born!

What has been your biggest achievement to date?

Founding PitchNinjas and signing clients right after our launch, not to mention the feedback we’ve been receiving which has been phenomenal.

What’s one thing you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

Grit, determination and perseverance.

How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?

I’m a big fan of mentoring. I have designed mentor programs, and I have mentored and been mentored. In the last year, I’ve been working with a client where I designed and facilitated a global mentoring program for women in tech and I’m currently teaching others how to facilitate mentoring sessions to scale the program and get more women (& men) to mentor others.

If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Parity, what would it be?

To actively involve men in the conversation and efforts to achieve gender equality. Gender parity is not just a women’s issue, it is a societal issue that affects everyone. By engaging men as allies and advocates for gender equality, we can create a more inclusive and supportive environment where women can thrive. When both men and women work together towards gender parity, we can create a more equitable and just society where everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed.

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?

Don’t be afraid to speak up. Enjoy the feeling of discomfort. It will give you confidence. Practice your communication skills and get a coach early on in your career.

Be brave and go for it. Ask yourself, what’s the worst that could happen?

Learn to fail and grow from it.

Find someone who’s been there and done that. Get them to mentor/advise you.

What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?

Have PitchNinjas achieve recognition as THE global communications coaching provider.

Help as many people as possible to become more effective communicators.

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