Q&A with Tara O'Sullivan, CMO at SKILLSOFT

Q&A with Tara O'Sullivan, CMO at SKILLSOFT
Tara O’Sullivan, the CMO of Skillsoft shares her insights on the impact of digital transformation on marketers and the need to focus on slashing the wide gender pay gap. With over 25 years of experience including B2B marketing in Ireland, EMEA and the US, Tara has extensive expertise in using marketing to effect change.

Here are her thoughts on women in marketing and the changing dynamics of the profession.

MEDIA 7: Tara, how old were you when you had your first paying job?
TARA O'SULLIVAN:
14 – I worked for my Dad photocopying manuals for software training. I loved the work, I loved being in amongst the team of people who were there. There was a lot of fun with the other people who worked there, and I learnt a lot of lessons on dealing with people, working on end user manuals which were like 500 pages thick, making sure they were all collated properly, the cover looked good – all to provide a real sense of the importance of the training.

"Marketing teams are not aligned to what technology can do for them and how it can transform the business."



M7: What do you consider the biggest challenges for a CMO these days?
TS: Digital transformation. I believe the impact of digital transformation is impacting the CMO even more than other areas of the business. There are so many tools that can help the CMO get the data s/he needs, but it is figuring out which ones are the most relevant, timely and useful. I think a lot of marketing teams are not aligned to what technology can do for them and how it can transform the business.
The other major challenge is around proving to the business the benefit of marketing. As well as the funnel, and marketing sourced OI, we also need to better measure the branding impact on the business and how it supports revenue.


"Agile marketing is becoming more and more the standard, and in order to be agile, you need to be able to pivot."



M7: How important is learning and unlearning in today’s digital age of data and automation?
TS: Learning is the most important thing in my view. From figuring out what the new version of Excel can do for you (LOADS) to determining the best tech stack your marketing organization needs – we need to be learning. Agile marketing is becoming more and more the standard, and in order to be agile, you need to be able to pivot. This means that you need to be continually changing your approach in order to make the company more successful. Agile marketing is a brand new mindset for marketing people – there isn’t an annual budget, the team decides what to spend it on a quarterly basis, so sometimes you will be investing in SEO, or investing in demand generation depending on the needs of the business.


"The gender pay gap is wide and people think about it as being 80 cents on the dollar."



M7: Is Skillsoft closing the gap between the number of men and women in marketing? What are your views on gender equality in the present corporate world?
TS: Well I always thought marketing is different – I assumed that the majority of people entering marketing are women, but that’s not strictly true. Research from Axonn shows that women are only slightly more likely than men to enter the marketing world (21% vs 16%).
Marketing Week (a UK-based publication) carried out a survey and found that  female marketers earn less than male marketers in every sector and in every role, except that of marketing assistant.
Let’s remember though that the gender pay gap is wide and people think about it as being 80 cents on the dollar.  This is awful – but think about it over the lifetime of the female worker. Recent research analyzed a longitudinal dataset which shows total earnings across the most recent 15 years for all workers who worked in at least one year. The study found that women workers faced a wage gap of 51% in the 2001-2015 period. The research also found that the cost of taking time out of the labor force is exorbitant for women. For those who took just one year off from work, their annual earnings were 39% lower than women who worked all 15 years between 2001 and 2015.

ABOUT SKILLSOFT

SKILLSOFT is a global leader in corporate learning, delivering beautiful technology and engaging content that drives business impact for modern enterprises. Skillsoft comprises three award-winning systems that support learning, performance and success: Skillsoft learning content, the Percipio intelligent learning experience platform and the SumTotal suite for Human Capital Management.

Skillsoft provides a comprehensive selection of cloud-based corporate learning content, including courses, videos, books and other resources on Business and Management Skills, Leadership Development, Digital Transformation, Technology and Developer, Productivity and Collaboration Tools and Compliance. Percipio’s intuitive design engages modern learners and its consumer-led experience assists in accelerating learning. The SumTotal suite features four key components built on a unified platform: Learning Management, Talent Management, Talent Acquisition and Workforce Management.

Skillsoft is trusted by thousands of the world’s leading organizations, including 65 percent of the Fortune 500. Learn more at www.skillsoft.com.

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Capricor Therapeutics Announces Collaboration with the National Institutes of Health for Clinical Trial of Novel Exosome-Based Multivalent Vaccine

Capricor Therapeutics | January 24, 2024

Capricor Therapeutics a biotechnology company developing transformative cell and exosome-based therapeutics for the treatment and prevention of rare diseases, today announced that Capricor’s proprietary StealthX™ exosome-based multivalent vaccine (StealthX™ vaccine) for the prevention of SARS-CoV-2 has been selected to be part of Project NextGen, an initiative by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to advance a pipeline of new, innovative vaccines providing broader and more durable protection for COVID-19. As part of Project NextGen, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, will conduct a Phase 1 clinical study with Capricor’s StealthX™ vaccine, subject to regulatory approval. NIAID's Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (DMID) would oversee the study. “We are extremely pleased with the external support from the NIH, which highlights the clinical potential of our StealthX™ exosome platform technology and provides non-dilutive support for the advancement of our vaccine candidate,” said Linda Marbán, Ph.D., Capricor’s chief executive officer. “Our proprietary vaccine is multivalent, delivering both the highly mutagenic S protein (Spike) and the more stable N protein (Nucleocapsid) which potentially may offer broader and longer lasting immunity against SARS-CoV-2. We view the NIH SARS-CoV-2 project as the first clinical step towards development of a next generation vaccine platform that may be extended to other infectious diseases. Our platform is designed to combine the speed of response of an mRNA vaccine with the potential efficacy of a protein vaccine. Further, our StealthX™ vaccine is free of both adjuvant and lipid nanoparticles and in preclinical studies has generated a strong immune response at low doses. We believe our StealthX™ vaccine may offer a clinically meaningful alternative for highly mutating or novel infectious agents.” Dr. Marbán continued, “This is the opportunity we have been waiting for as it allows the exosome technology to be brought into the clinic as we continue to focus our resources on CAP-1002 for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Beyond SARS-CoV-2, we look forward to exploring the potential therapeutic utility of this platform, and more broadly, expanding our pipeline into therapeutics and future partnership opportunities.” About Capricor’s StealthX™ Vaccine The StealthX™ vaccine is a proprietary vaccine developed internally by Capricor utilizing exosomes that were engineered to express either spike or nucleocapsid proteins on the surface. Preclinical results from murine and rabbit models published in Microbiology Spectrum, showed the StealthX™ vaccine, resulted in robust antibody production, potent neutralizing antibodies, a strong T-cell response and a favorable safety profile. These effects were obtained with administration of only nanogram amounts of protein and without adjuvant or synthetic lipid nanoparticles (LNPs). Exosomes offer a new antigen delivery system that potentially could be utilized to rapidly generate multivalent protein-based vaccines. Exosomes, first identified as extracellular vesicles, are small vesicles enriched in specific subsets of proteins, RNAs and lipids and responsible for cell-to-cell communication. About Capricor Therapeutics Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. is a biotechnology company focused on the development of transformative cell and exosome-based therapeutics for the treatment and prevention of rare diseases. Capricor’s lead candidate, CAP-1002, is an allogeneic cardiac-derived cell therapy currently in Phase 3 clinical development for treating Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Further, Capricor has entered into a partnership for the exclusive commercialization and distribution of CAP-1002 for DMD in the United States and Japan with Nippon Shinyaku Co., Ltd. (U.S. subsidiary: NS Pharma, Inc.), subject to regulatory approval. Capricor is also developing its exosome technology as a potential next-generation therapeutic platform. Our proprietary StealthX™ exosome platform has potential for a broad range of new therapeutic applications in the field of vaccinology as well as targeted oligonucleotide, protein and small molecule therapeutics to treat or prevent a variety of diseases.

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