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BY Fairygodboss

Fairygodboss of the Week: Karen Cahn

Karen Cahn

Photo credit: Karen Cahn

TAGS: Fairygodboss of the Week, Google, YouTube, Women in the workplace, Entrepreneurs

Karen Cahn is a dynamic, razor-sharp, generous and fun lady who has build an amazing community in vProud.tv. This early Google employee turned entrepreneur has great advice for young women about how to establish themselves and build their brand.

Fairygodboss of the Week: Karen Cahn
CEO and Founder, vProud.tv
New York, NY

FGB: Tell us about your career. How did you get to where you are now?

KC: I was an early Google employee where I spent 10 years leading various monetization teams in search, display and video. From 2011-2014, I served as General Manager of AOL Original Video, and was responsible for business strategy and strategic partnerships. In this role, I built AOL’s female creative economy in video and as a result, launched Emmy and Webby-nominated series with Nicole Richie, Sarah Jessica Parker, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tiffany Shlain, iJustine, and other female creators. Prior to AOL, I spent ten years at Google and YouTube, where I held various leadership roles in video, search and display advertising. Most notably, I co-founded the Branded Entertainment business at YouTube, where I brokered deals with big brands and creators. I am on the board of advisors of Girl Rising, an organization dedicated to girl’s education in developing countries. I am also on the Springboard Media Council, a highly respected group of experts across the world of digital media, TV, advertising and other media verticals who invest their “human capital” in driving an investment pipeline of high growth, women-led companies.

FGB: What is an accomplishment that you are proud of?

KC: I recognized that there was something missing in the world of digital video -  safe video-based communities - so I created it myself with VProud.tv and VCommunity.  VProud is a video-based conversation platform built by women for women to enable safe, open and honest conversations.

VCommunity is a video blogging platform that lives on your brand's website, enabling your customers to have an immersive and fun video content experience.  VCommunity allows brands to license our platform to create online communities that live on their own website.

Lightning Round:

FGB: What do you do when you’re not working?

KC: When not working, I can be found in my kitchen in Montclair, NJ baking Toll House cookies with my kids (because there is no substitute for Toll House), or outside doing something sporty like coaching my daughter’s softball team, playing golf, yoga, tennis, tetherball, or any sport involving a ball and maybe a bat.

FGB: Who is your Fairygodboss?

KC: Suzie Reider from YouTube.  She was a total GSD who was also raising two kids.  She is totally innovative, creative and scrappy.  She believed wholeheartedly in making her customers happy and instilled that in her staff. Suzie set a great example by working hard and being extremely open and honest about the challenges of being a successful working parent.  

FGB: What is the #1 career tip you'd like to share?

KC: Be respectful to your boss and don't act entitled.  Early in your career, commit to being a hard worker.  Work long hours and stay late.  Become completely invested in a project.  If you are passionate about your work, it will be clear to everyone around you.   Make mistakes and own up to the mistakes then fix them. Don't blame others. Commit to making your boss and colleagues look great. Care about your reputation and what your colleagues think of you.

Fairygodboss

Fairygodboss is all about women helping other women - so each week, we celebrate a woman who made a difference in another woman’s career. Is there a woman who has made a difference in your career? 
Celebrate her and thank her by nominating her here.

Related Community Discussions

  • Hello everyone. I'm trying to attend more tech conferences in 2017 but my budget just doesn't allow for a lot of it. Every event seems to cost a lot and I'd love to attend more. Does anyone have any suggestions or ideas for what conferences to attend that are more cost-effective as well as how to get discounted tickets anywhere?

  • I believe that the common day to day issues of sexism (too small to call people out on) wear women down more than the big problems. I've also seen men (who were previously oblivious) become great advocates for women when these situations were pointed out to them.

    I am working on a virtual reality program, which share some of the common problems women run across, training the mind to recognize the problem. I'm looking for some of the common issues people run across. Personal experiences, research you've read, anything would be greatly appreciated! Either reply, or email: info@socialQVR.com

    VR has a huge potential for remapping neural training, and I want to make sure I'm drawing from the wealth of communal knowledge, not just my own experience.

  • How do I get a job at Apple? Every time I apply to a position I feel like my resume disappears in the "cloud".

  • I work in a small company with 43 employees. I supervise a team of 3, our section is responsible for conducting testing on components used in consumer products. A few months ago it came to my attention that one of them was falsifying test reports. I notified my boss and a meeting was scheduled with the employee, rep of her choice, my boss, HR person and myself.

    At the meeting the employee opted to bring a friend from another department. I attempted to provide a summary of the matter when asked by my boss. I say attempt because I was continuously interrupted by the "friend" and the employee with comments that I was jealous of the employee, stupid and that they were tired/bored listening to my attempts to present the summary. My boss and HR stayed silent during all of this.

    After the meeting my boss and HR person said they would deliberate. A week later I was informed that no action would be taken against the employee. I have multiple issues now.

    I feel like the work I am doing has no meaning if someone can get away with falsifying reports (I know it is not rocket science but I don't consider ensuring consumers get quality products to be nothing). The employee and her friend giggle in my presence and make reference to her "getting away with it", I really want nothing to do with her anymore but am still her supervisor. My boss tells me that he does not have confidence in the employee's capabilities and would like me to "get her up to scratch", this is the same employee that stated how stupid I was. So while I had to train her for the position and evaluate her performance I am too stupid at some points (disciplinary role) but am suddenly competent when it comes to getting her up to scratch. I feel used by my boss and get really upset when this employee asks me for help (if I am so stupid, she should not need my help).

    Finally I feel very disillusioned by my boss and the HR rep who at no time attempted to bring order to the proceedings. When I voiced this disappointment to my boss he advised me that he was "sorry" but that these sort of things get nasty. He said if such an incident arose in the future he would do better but in the mean time I need to get over it.

    I now supervise an employee I don't trust and a boss for whom I no longer have any respect. My boss says he wants more comraderie in my section (but I just don't see how I can have a positive relationship with this employee).

    Any advice.? Am I overacting like my boss says? Do I just need to buck up and get over this? How do I deal with these issues with the employee and my boss?

  • Hi, I am starting a new job shortly as Head of Marketing for a tech company. The logical part of my brain knows that they believe I can do the job or they wouldn't have made the offer but another part of me is gripped by imposter syndrome and feel out of my depth. Do any of you have some advice on how to overcome imposter syndrome?

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Fairygodboss of the Week: Karen Cahn

Fairygodboss of the Week: Karen Cahn

Karen Cahn is a dynamic, razor-sharp, generous and fun lady who has build an amazing community in vProud.tv . This early Google employee turned ...

Karen Cahn is a dynamic, razor-sharp, generous and fun lady who has build an amazing community in vProud.tv. This early Google employee turned entrepreneur has great advice for young women about how to establish themselves and build their brand.

Fairygodboss of the Week: Karen Cahn
CEO and Founder, vProud.tv
New York, NY

FGB: Tell us about your career. How did you get to where you are now?

KC: I was an early Google employee where I spent 10 years leading various monetization teams in search, display and video. From 2011-2014, I served as General Manager of AOL Original Video, and was responsible for business strategy and strategic partnerships. In this role, I built AOL’s female creative economy in video and as a result, launched Emmy and Webby-nominated series with Nicole Richie, Sarah Jessica Parker, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tiffany Shlain, iJustine, and other female creators. Prior to AOL, I spent ten years at Google and YouTube, where I held various leadership roles in video, search and display advertising. Most notably, I co-founded the Branded Entertainment business at YouTube, where I brokered deals with big brands and creators. I am on the board of advisors of Girl Rising, an organization dedicated to girl’s education in developing countries. I am also on the Springboard Media Council, a highly respected group of experts across the world of digital media, TV, advertising and other media verticals who invest their “human capital” in driving an investment pipeline of high growth, women-led companies.

FGB: What is an accomplishment that you are proud of?

KC: I recognized that there was something missing in the world of digital video -  safe video-based communities - so I created it myself with VProud.tv and VCommunity.  VProud is a video-based conversation platform built by women for women to enable safe, open and honest conversations.

VCommunity is a video blogging platform that lives on your brand's website, enabling your customers to have an immersive and fun video content experience.  VCommunity allows brands to license our platform to create online communities that live on their own website.

Lightning Round:

FGB: What do you do when you’re not working?

KC: When not working, I can be found in my kitchen in Montclair, NJ baking Toll House cookies with my kids (because there is no substitute for Toll House), or outside doing something sporty like coaching my daughter’s softball team, playing golf, yoga, tennis, tetherball, or any sport involving a ball and maybe a bat.

FGB: Who is your Fairygodboss?

KC: Suzie Reider from YouTube.  She was a total GSD who was also raising two kids.  She is totally innovative, creative and scrappy.  She believed wholeheartedly in making her customers happy and instilled that in her staff. Suzie set a great example by working hard and being extremely open and honest about the challenges of being a successful working parent.  

FGB: What is the #1 career tip you'd like to share?

KC: Be respectful to your boss and don't act entitled.  Early in your career, commit to being a hard worker.  Work long hours and stay late.  Become completely invested in a project.  If you are passionate about your work, it will be clear to everyone around you.   Make mistakes and own up to the mistakes then fix them. Don't blame others. Commit to making your boss and colleagues look great. Care about your reputation and what your colleagues think of you.

Fairygodboss

Fairygodboss is all about women helping other women - so each week, we celebrate a woman who made a difference in another woman’s career. Is there a woman who has made a difference in your career? 
Celebrate her and thank her by nominating her here.

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