Culture

Squarespace CMO Kinjil Mathur On Supporting the Future's Female Leaders

“I’m deeply committed to supporting female leadership within my community, with a focus on South Asian and BIPOC representation.”

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Squarespace CMO Kinjil Mathur On Supporting the Future's Female Leaders

“I’m deeply committed to supporting female leadership within my community, with a focus on South Asian and BIPOC representation.”

Kinjil Mathur is Squarespace‘s Chief Marketing Officer. Every day, she finds motivation in the idea of pushing the brand’s mission and vision forward, while building and supporting a team of innovative and creative individuals. Joining the company back in 2017, Mathur’s witnessed a lot of change over the years, something that she’s excited to adapt to and learn from.

As a woman of color in a leadership role, she recognizes the importance of supporting the next generation, hoping to inspire a new cohort of women leaders. “Through seed investing, I advise female founders with missions focused on advancing their communities’ success,” she tells us, adding that “I now keep the door open for the next-gen and help whenever and however I can. I’m deeply committed to supporting female leadership within my community, with a focus on South Asian and BIPOC representation.”

Similarly, Mathur recognizes that creating accessibility and proximity to opportunities is key for those who come next, something she makes a conscious effort to do within her career. “I find purpose in using my knowledge to support those around me. We need more people to feel that and open themselves up to being in the service of others,” Mathur explains.

We caught up with Mathur to find out more about her role as CMO at Squarespace, making connections in the creative industry and the power of mentorship.

Read on for the full interview.

squarespace employee person kinjil woman top dress skirt

Tell us a bit about your role at Squarespace, what does being a CMO involve?
I joined Squarespace as its first CMO in 2017 with a clear remit: build a best-in-class marketing team that pushes our mission and vision forward, globally and responsibly. As CMO, I’m focused on amplifying the voices and experiences of our customers. I always say that the job of the marketing team is to build a soul for the brand. We build ours through culture, community and a dedication to our customers. Finding ways to help solve the problems our customers are facing and giving them a pathway to make their dreams a reality is something I find incredibly rewarding. And of course, the direct impact marketing has on business growth is a constant motivator for my team and me.

In your seven years at the company, how have you seen the working landscape evolve? How have things changed since you first started out?
Marketing has changed so much over the course of my career. When I first started my career, marketing was a function often brought in as a ‘band-aid’ to fix growth problems. It’s now a key strategic function at the table and a company’s brand is now recognized as a business differentiator that can help grow an idea into a sustainable business.

One of the challenges we face as marketers is adapting to the changing world around us — conscious consumerism, new business models, new channels, world events, the role of a brand in a consumer’s life. At Squarespace, my team has built and continues to strengthen our muscles around empathy. We have to be empathetic to our customers’ journeys and continue to innovate to support them. For instance, one of the biggest marketing shifts during my time at Squarespace was Covid-19.

With Covid, we saw there was a major impact to businesses, entrepreneurs and individuals globally. Our customers were having to pivot, adapt and make changes to their business almost instantly. We noticed that many of them were looking to do things like diversify revenue streams or start new side hustles to supplement lost income. Our marketing at that time aimed to inspire the growing number of entrepreneurs to launch online with Squarespace. The spirit of entrepreneurialism has continued to flourish in the years post-Covid, and as a company, we’re dedicated to building tools that meet entrepreneurs at every stage of their journey.

squarespace employee person kinjil woman top dress skirt

For many of us, the creative industry is a lot about who you know, which is why things like mentoring can be so instrumental to the success of young creatives — particularly for women of color. What’s been your experience with mentorship?
I am a big believer in mentorship — both receiving and giving. For my entire career, I have leaned on my mentors to help reveal my blind spots. I have invested in my network and mentors through prioritization of the time I gave each of them. I am specific in what I am asking and I always end a convo with, what can I do for you? That’s the thing, networking and mentorship is like any other relationship, it’s a give and take. As a woman of color, I have sought a diverse mentorship base — I need allies, but I also need people that don’t think like me to show me what I’m missing in my calculation of what’s next in my career.

I now keep the door open for the next gen and help whenever and however I can. I’m deeply committed to supporting female leadership within my community, with a focus on South Asian and BIPOC representation. Through seed investing, I advise female founders with missions focused on advancing their communities’ success.

What do you think still needs to be done in terms of making the industry more accessible to those without existing connections?
More people making themselves accessible to those outside of their immediate network. Something I’ve found success doing is making myself available for cold reach out networking meetings, speaking opportunities, and via social media to speak with anyone seeking advice. I find purpose in using my knowledge to support those around me. We need more people to feel that and open themselves up to being in the service of others.

squarespace employee person kinjil woman top dress skirt

As someone who has seemingly been there and done it all, what are some of your top tips or pieces of advice?
I have not done it all, I have much to see and do. My piece of advice: time is your most valuable asset. Approach a job with that in mind — is this interesting enough, challenging enough, purposeful enough to spend your time on? The best jobs I’ve had came from being completely open to new opportunities. I am industry agnostic, and just want to go where I think the challenge is super interesting and the problem I would be working to solve is big, bold and beautiful. If you don’t like a job you’re in, don’t waste time complaining — channel Gandhi and “Be the change you want to see.” Change your situation or change your job.

Looking back, what do you wish you could tell your younger self?
As a mama of two, I would say to bébé K — raising a conscious, kind, intelligent human unbound by constructs is hard. Very hard. Cut your parents some slack.

Finally, what are your plans or goals for the next year ahead? How do you hope to continue progressing and sparking change?
I am acutely focused on helping Squarespace continue to grow its international (non-US) presence and connect with more entrepreneurs across the globe. I’m excited because for the first time in history, we saw 50% of new website trials coming from outside the US (Q1 ‘24). Our marketing investments currently span across 43 countries, and we’ve launched localized brand campaigns across 12 markets. Our international expansion strategy is primarily focused on culture and community building by supporting the local creative class and amplifying their voices. Especially the marginalized ones.

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