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Ascending the Ladder While Reaching Back: Bumble Inc.’s Louisa Kinoshi’s Approach to Success and Leadership

louise bumble woman in tech

ARTICLE SUMMARY

Explore the captivating journey of Louisa Kinoshi, Director of Growth Product Marketing at Bumble Inc. Her empowering leadership style, dedication to work-life balance, and commitment to mentorship shine through as she shares insights on her career milestones, the importance of continuous learning, and advice for aspiring leaders of color in the tech industry.

In the dynamic world of growth product marketing, Louisa Kinoshi thrives on her passion for the transformative potential of her field. 

After kick-starting her career in startups, Louisa is now spearheading growth initiatives at Bumble Inc. as Director of Growth Product Marketing. With an empowering leadership style, Louisa is committed to fostering continuous learning and prioritizing work-life balance and mentorship. Let’s take a look at her story!

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What sparked your interest in product growth, and why did you decide to pursue it as a career in marketing?

About 10 years ago, during the emergence of growth marketing, I was inspired by early investors and founders of companies like Dropbox and Netflix. Growth marketing, essentially using marketing concepts and the product itself to drive business growth, fascinated me. I began my career in digital marketing, focusing on social media and email marketing.

As the concept of growth marketing evolved, I leveraged my expertise in those channels to contribute towards driving user acquisition, retention, and monetization. I led growth teams in the influencer marketing and live-streaming industries before joining Bumble Inc..

Can you share any key milestones in your career that significantly impacted your development?

A: Working predominantly for startups shaped my marketing approach. The experience taught me to operate efficiently with limited resources, be flexible, and emphasize the importance of agility, testing, and learning.

What skills or aspects did you realize you needed to learn upon joining Bumble Inc.?

A: A pivotal realization when I joined  Bumble Inc. was the importance of empowering and building teams, especially because my team works on Bumble, Badoo, and Bumble For Friends across the globe, from APAC to LATAM, EMEA, and NORAM. Investing time in training, support, and emotional guidance for the team became a priority. Understanding that a team’s happiness and effectiveness directly correlate with the success of a project has been a key lesson.

How has mentorship played a role in your professional growth?

A: Mentorship, both from direct managers and peers, has been crucial in my professional growth. I emphasize not only having mentors for specific functions but also for career progression, financial decisions, and work-life balance. Internal mentorship, coupled with advocates and sponsors across different levels, has provided valuable guidance and direction throughout my career.

Can you tell us about your educational background and how you stay up to date in an ever-changing industry?

A: While I have advanced certifications in Digital Marketing from Columbia University, in addition to certifications from META on ads and measurement, the rapidly evolving nature of this industry makes continuous learning essential.

Podcasts, webinars, industry conferences like the App Growth Summit, and connecting with professionals on platforms like LinkedIn are my preferred ways of staying updated. Learning from colleagues, managers, and leaders within the industry has proven more valuable than a traditional advanced degree for me.

How important is a work-life balance for your professional effectiveness?

A: Maintaining a work-life balance is paramount for professional effectiveness. My routine includes activities like morning runs, mentoring other women, and building my personal brand, all of which help to provide both mental and physical breaks from work. Balancing work and life not only contributes to my personal well-being but also enhances my effectiveness as a well-rounded marketer.

What has inspired you to take on leadership roles?

A: My passion for leadership stems from the impact great leaders had on my career. Being able to give back, provide guidance to more junior people, and advocate for underrepresented groups drives my enthusiasm for leadership roles. Having a seat at the table allows me to represent diverse perspectives and advocate for women, people of color, and other underestimated populations in the decision-making process.

What is some advice you would give to others?

As a Black woman in tech, here’s some advice for up-and-coming leaders of color: Build your network by attending industry events, conferences, and meetups. Some of my favorites are Black Product Managers, Black Women Talk Tech, and Culture Con. I also recommend staying on top of the latest trends and technologies by reading industry newsletters like AdWeek, Tech Crunch, and Business of Apps. I would suggest building your online presence, not just on platforms like LinkedIn but Instagram, Threads and TikTok are great places to meet and connect with other people of color in the industry. Share your accomplishments internally and externally, and communicate your goals and aspirations clearly to your managers. 

In the face of challenges or setbacks, maintain a positive attitude and focus on finding solutions. The # 1 key to success for me has been resilience and the learnings I’ve taken from difficult experiences. To whom much is given, much is expected. Please continue to be an advocate for equal opportunities and representation, both within your company and in the industry.

Interested in a career at Bumble Inc.? Check out our open roles.

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