By Suzy Strutner, managing editor at Grow Wire
- Romina Rosado is the senior vice president of global content at E! News. She took an awesomely winding path to her current role.
- Romina’s lifestyle is one of balance, especially when it comes to physical and mental health.
- She chooses to ignore obstacles -- including any that may stem from being a woman -- and let her work speak for itself.
You’d think a senior vice president at one of the country’s biggest entertainment networks would’ve been training for this her whole life.
But Romina Rosado wasn’t exactly planning on this career.
“I had never worked in entertainment, nor was I particularly interested in the field,” Rosado told Grow Wire of switching industries in 2009. “But after six difficult months in my new role, I realized I could indeed do it.”
Raised in Germany, Rosado studied in Spain and visited the U.S. frequently thanks to parents who were set on her learning English. She took her first job in London at a video PR company and eventually transferred to the States. After years of advising governments and NGOs on video comms, a former colleague hired Rosado for an open role at Us Weekly.
Rosado took the job, which changed her trajectory and led to her current role as SVP Global Content of E! News.
Grow Wire ran her through a Q&A, then edited and condensed her answers for clarity. Her answers -- especially to our question about womanhood and work -- are pure gold.
GW: What do you do at E! News?
RR: I oversee content for all our platforms, from the TV show to digital. Around 30 percent of my day is meetings, and 30 - 40 percent is people management. I try to leave the rest open to think about how to drive the business forward.
The good thing about being at my level and having a strong team is that I can focus on the 30,000-foot view. I think about where the industry is going and what we can do to stay ahead of the game.
My E! colleagues and I won an Emmy in 2007.
What time do you get to work? When do you leave?
I am an early bird. These days, I get to my desk around 6:45 a.m. and try to leave by 5:20 p.m.
Do you have a morning routine that gets you in the zone for wild days in the office?
I give myself plenty of time: I drink my coffee whilst perusing news on my phone for 20 minutes or so. Then I meditate for 10 minutes. If the rest of the day gets crazy, I try to mentally go back to that sense of peace I had when meditating.
I love to visit Hawaii. It's incredibly peaceful.
What advice do you have for budgeting time?
Be very organized, and learn to differentiate between what is “urgent and important,” what is “important but not urgent” and what you should not even be spending time on. Also, learn how to delegate and be okay with others doing things differently than you. (I’m still learning that one!)
You run a massive team. What’s your management strategy?
Hire really good people, and then let them get on with it (but do check in once in a while to see how they are doing). You want to be the swim coach, not the flotation device.
Here's some of my E! News team out to dinner.
Let’s talk favorites. What are three apps you swear by?
I use Habit List to track habits, Samsara Timer for meditation and The New York Times app (but really, I get my news from Twitter).
Which books have guided your growth, either personally or in your career?
I do not read business books because I find they are oftentimes too simplistic. My three favorite books are “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” “A Fine Balance” and “No Ordinary Time.” In general, I find history books often serve as the best advice books, in business and life.
Do you have a favorite podcast?
"The Assassination" by BBC World. It’s about the events that led to the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.
Now for some realtalk. In your varied career, how have you seen men and women approach business differently?
Confidence. Men are a lot more confident and usually overestimate their contributions and potential, whilst women do the opposite. I am still trying to figure out how much of this is nurture versus nature – it’s a complex problem.
Do you feel that being a woman has held you back in your career or propelled you forward?
Neither. Let me start by recognizing that I have been very lucky to never experience overt discrimination or harassment and have always worked in very female-friendly environments. These are real issues in the workplace, and my response is purely about my personal experiences and not meant to diminish others’ experiences or reactions.
I have never really spent time worrying about whether I am being treated differently as a woman or as a foreigner or as an immigrant or as anything else. I’ve just gotten on with the job and tried to navigate pitfalls by letting my work speak for itself.
What aspects of your personality have helped you succeed in your career?
Because I have moved around so much, I’ve had to learn to adapt and fit into different situations. I try to understand people: their motivations, strengths and what they like to do. This helps me establish mutually beneficial relationships and manage people better.
When making a big decision at work, do you give equal value to both data and intuition?
Usually it’s a mix of both. I’m a big believer in data-driven decision-making. But one can also overanalyze a situation, which is where gut comes in.
Whether it’s deciding whether to hire a candidate or take a job, I always look at the pros and cons with available data and then make a call. But if my gut is telling me to do something different, I’ll usually take a beat to think things through – overnight, if possible.
How has your career influenced your personal life?
It really hasn’t, but I recognize that I am not typical in that regard.
I am a bit of a nomadic soul and have never desired to “settle down.” I have established a good group of friends – over many years and continents – and am very close to my parents. Even though we don’t see other as often as I’d like, we spend quality time together, and that’s what matters in the end.
I believe we all have a limited amount of energy and that as we go through life, we spend different amounts on different “buckets.” For example, you may go through a busy period at work where life is 70 percent work, 20 percent boyfriend/friends and 10 percent family. Or maybe you just started a new relationship and your life is 40 percent work, 50 percent relationship and 10 percent family. You need to recognize what stage you are in and not try to give energy to everything at once.
Friends are a necessary part of life.
What advice do you have for 25-year-old Romina?
Not everything that feels important now will actually be important in 10 years. So whenever you can, gain some perspective and think of everything -- career, friendships, love -- as a marathon, not a sprint.
What would you tell aspiring businesswomen who look up to you?
Work hard but efficiently. Find and develop your own leadership style. Strive to be financially independent. Learn how to speak confidently in public. And to paraphrase a famous reality TV quote, “you are not here to make friends or look cute.”