Women in Business: Gloria Pitagorsky, Managing Director/Executive Producer, Heard City

Gloria Pitagorsky on if she maintains a work/life balance: "I don't, and I'm okay with that. We shouldn't kill ourselves striving for that perfect work/life balance."
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Gloria is an 18-year industry vet who founded Heard City in 2012 with two other partners and has since turned it into one of the top performing audio post companies in the industry. Heard City has grown 50 percent since then and just opened its second outpost in Brooklyn's DUMBO neighborhood. They do the sound design and mixing for ads for major brands like AT&T, ESPN, IBM and Bud Light, and also work on a variety of films and TV shows.

Aside from her day job, Gloria is committed to mentoring and supporting women in technology, film and advertising roles, and is a member of New York Women in Film & TV, AD Club, The One Club, New York Women in Advertising and is a new wave patron of the Film Society of Lincoln Center. She's sits on the board of directors of AICE, The Tank and Food Bank for New York City. The Food Bank of New York City is a personal passion point, and she regularly brings her son, Jayson, to the food pantries to volunteer.

How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?

I was raised by my grandmother and mother who were both very strong, loving and caring. They stressed the importance of community, pursuing your passions and having a strong work ethic. From them I learned the importance of creating and nurturing meaningful relationships both personally and professionally. That it does take a village. I strongly value and try to foster an environment of communication and collaboration at Heard City and within our industry.

How has your previous employment experience aided your tenure at Heard City?

I worked at several studios in New York City before we launched Heard City in 2012. I've seen successes, pitfalls and everything in between. My partners and I combined our collective experiences and best practices and put together a specific workflow philosophy and profit-sharing business model that benefits the team at Heard City.

What have the highlights and challenges been during your tenure at Heard City?

The company has grown 50 percent since its inception and we continue to collaborate on great work with our clients. It's important for us to balance working on short-term goals and always keeping a long term strategic vision. Hiring has also been a highlight -- we have a caring, committed and hard working team. Together we push Heard City's mission forward.

What advice can you offer to women who want a career in your industry?

If you are just starting out make sure to do your research and set up an internship with an established company. This can be invaluable when it comes to breaking into the industry. Also look for role models and mentors early on. A mentor can help you navigate critical periods in your career, whether you are at square one or established in your career.

What is the most important lesson you've learned in your career to date?

At any decision-making time it's important to not let fear, fear of failure or change, be the driving force. Fear is something worth working through and facing.

How do you maintain a work/life balance?

I don't, and I'm okay with that. We shouldn't kill ourselves striving for that perfect work/life balance. There are days that I leave work early to make my son's basketball game or attend a board meeting, and there are days that require early mornings and/or long days at the office. At times, work takes priority and at times, life takes priority. Life won't be perfect. As Senator Kirsten Gillibrand wrote in her recent book, Off the Sidelines, "Please, let's stop talking about 'having it all' and start talking about the real challenges of 'doing it all." We need to give ourselves a break and be in the moment for whatever it may bring.

What do you think is the biggest issue for women in the workplace?

Research shows that companies and people do better when women share the reins of power, yet female CEOs make up only about five percent of Fortune 500 companies and statistically make less then their male counterparts. We need to continue to push to change those numbers.

How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal life?

Mentors have played a big role both professionally and personally. I've been very fortunate to have amazing mentors in my life and I strongly urge others to play the role of mentor to others.

Which other female leaders do you admire and why?

This list is pretty lengthy. So many dear friends that sit on boards, advocate for others, raise families, run for office and give back to their community. All of these women inspire me each and every single day. These women are my friends, my neighbors, my colleagues, my mother, my sisters and my mentors.

What do you want Heard City to accomplish in the next year?

It's an exciting time at Heard City. We just opened a second office at 20 Jay Street in Brooklyn, which is nicely located and neighboring all of the hottest digital agencies, start-ups and tech companies. Our goal is to establish Heard City as the go to partner and collaborator for cutting edge work and an exemplary client experience.

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