Fairygodboss of the Week: Hannah Yang

Damon Winter for The New York Times.

Photo: Damon Winter for The New York Times.

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April 20, 2024 at 10:15PM UTC
When Hannah Yang quit practicing law to pursue journalism — and was later advised to enter "the business side" — she had no idea what "the business side" meant. Now with an established career at The New York Times Company, Yang says she has several people to thank for finding the space she truly excels in. Those people were the mentors who encouraged her to pursue motherhood and her career, who believed in her when she couldn't believe in herself and who still inspire her everyday. 
Recently, Yang discussed her career path and the importance of mentorship in finding success. Then, she shared who and what has made her career so unique. 
Fairygodboss of the Week: Hannah Yang
Head of Subscription Growth, The New York Times
New York, NY
Tell us a little about your career. How did you get to where you are now?
I went to law school, was a corporate lawyer for a bit, then decided to pursue journalism and took an entry-level position at CBS News. Someone very wise suggested that I may be more useful on the business side of journalism. So, I joined a management consulting firm in lieu of going back to school to get an MBA, then when a position opened up in Strategic Planning at the Boston Globe (which was a part of The New York Times Company at the time), I jumped at it. Aside from a few years I took off to raise my two boys, I've been with The NYT Company ever since.
Who is YOUR Fairygodboss? and Why?
Lynda Sachs, SVP of Finance at The Times. I've worked with Lynda almost my whole career here and she is single-handedly the most hard working, professional, authentic and good human being I've encountered. She is also a mom to two amazing people and worked full time while raising them. I've watched her in awe for the past ten years and I am still inspired by her every day.
What is the No. 1 career tip you'd like to share with other women who want to have successful careers like you? 
To seek mentors. I've been very lucky to have been guided by women and men who knew more than I did and who believed in me more than I did. I had no idea what "business side of journalism" meant and whether I'd be good at it. I had no idea that I could lead a complex, cross-functional team to accelerate The Times' subscription growth. I had no idea that I could work full time and still be there for my young boys. These were decisions that I would not have had the courage to make on my own.

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