Head of Marketing, Nextdoor & Former Global CMO Hyatt, Gannett, NBC Universal & Univision
A purpose-driven CMO who led four major businesses through sweeping transformation and topline growth, Maryam Banikarim captured national attention with her viral New York Times essay on taking a "pause" at the height of her highly successful career. Now back leading marketing at Nextdoor, she is an in-demand motivational and business speaker and acknowledged thought leader on making purpose the heart of a company’s brand. Maryam earns standing ovations for her keynotes on leadership, embracing diversity and inclusion, creating brand loyalty, building future forward teams and driving change, innovation, growth and results. As a seasoned builder of businesses, teams and brands, she brings both an incredible range of experience and an inspiring career and life journey to the speaking stage. Read More >
Interview with Forbes
Columbia Business School Graduation 2021 Distinguished Speaker Remarks
Chaos & Curiosity
Make a Difference Day With Maryam Banikarim
You Have to Care About the Customer Experience
Communities Built on Connections
As Michele Obama famously said, "It’s not always enough to lean in, because that sh*t doesn’t work." When Maryam Banikarim echoed that sentiment in her viral New York Times opinion piece, she validated the powerful sense of disillusionment felt by many women (and men) who bought into the myth of "having it all." In this endearing, funny, inspiring and uplifting keynote, Maryam shares her decision to walk away from the C-Suite at the height of her groundbreaking career. "Leaning in to a linear, pre-fabricated career trajectory isn’t working," she says. "It never really has. Encouraging women to lean in to their professional lives relentlessly, while also aspiring to have rich personal and family lives, is a setup. Balance is an illusion. It’s a setup that serves only to make you feel badly when you realize you can’t 'have it all.' In my mind, life is about choices and chapters. In some chapters, you double down on work; in others, you step away. This ends up being something you negotiate with other parts of your life." Maryam shares her journey of "leaning out" of her professional comfort zone to reset, refresh and become a stronger leader, innovator and businesswoman in the process.
It’s not about what you make. It’s what your organization stands for and how leadership infuses that belief into everything you do. Purpose-driven organizations define the deeper reasons for their organization’s existence to inspire stronger commitment from their employees and higher levels of loyalty and engagement from their customers. They also achieve extraordinary business results, outperforming the general market by 15:1. In this transformational presentation, Maryam Banikarim shows you how to lead with purpose and turn everyone in your organization into a champion. Sharing case studies from Southwest Airlines, Hyatt, Gannett and others, she provides actionable steps for building an organization through the lens of purpose, leading it to outperform your competition. This energizing and inspiring presentation provides audiences with an invaluable purpose-driven playbook that can be applied to any brand in any industry.
Time and time again, research shows that companies with more diverse teams, offices and boards are more productive, more innovative, attract top talent and drive higher revenues and earnings. And it’s not just about race, gender, gender identification or generation. It’s also about cultural diversity and diversity of experience — at both a national and international level. Maryam takes a broad spectrum look at diversity through the lens of everyday culture, brand, employee satisfaction, connecting with customers, and most of all, the bottom line. Equal parts stats, infographics, humorous social media posts and inspiring reflections from business leaders, this dynamic presentation engages, informs and provides actionable ways to champion diversity and inclusion in any organization.
Apple. Mini Cooper. Starbucks. Harley Davidson. Dove. These are the brands that consumers covet. They have reached the pinnacle of branding by achieving the "irrational loyalty”" of their customers, which Maryam describes as "consumer behavior that is decidedly crazy." How did they foster a love, passion and preference for their brands that defies mere logic? Which strategies and practices can any organization put in place? Marketing maven Maryam Banikarim explains how truly great brands create experiences that foster strong relationships — and drive results.
Back in ‘90s New York, when Mark Zuckerberg was still in middle school and having an email address meant that you were a dork, a group of pioneering tech entrepreneurs in "Silicon Alley" were busy changing the world. Maryam Banikarim was part of this group, launching the first generation of web-based media companies. It was there she learned what it takes to chart a course to the future — and build the team and culture to take you there. In this inspiring presentation, she shares the seven secrets to success in an ever-changing business world — from embracing risk to never leaving the learning curve. Filled with wisdom from the entrepreneurs and thought leaders she admires, Banikarim provides a blueprint for innovation and transformation that will have you seizing the day, your potential, and the future.
Maryam Banikarim’s unorthodox career path includes roles as an investment banker, production assistant, British Parliament intern, book publisher, handbag designer, advertising executive and internet pioneer. In this fascinating keynote, she takes women’s groups, college students — and anyone interested in pursuing their passions — on a whirlwind tour of her unusually adventurous career. Then, she outlines an instruction manual on how to create one for yourself! Maryam Banikarim throws herself headfirst into everything that she does and lets the rest take care of itself. Here’s what she’s learned: life rarely works out exactly as planned — but when each unexpected turn is met with an unyielding "all-in" commitment — you’ll be amazed how often it works out for the best!
“Thank you for speaking at this year’s virtual CBS graduation for the Class of 2021. Your thoughtful and inspiring remarks resonated with those watching, and I know they enjoyed hearing your personal stories and key takeaways after graduation.”
"You were amazing. Truly. You really customized your presentation to make it perfect for our audience. Thank you so much..."
"You were the highlight of the day. So many compliments on your behalf came flooding in - you left a big fan base here. Thank you for the awesome inspiration and guidance. People are obsessed with you (in a good way)."
"Maryam's knowledge and energy combined with her sense of humor and creativity truly delights an audience and makes them excited to listen and learn. It's always a treat to hear her speak. I always learn something new."
"Maryam was a huge hit! Her candor, passion and honesty shines through and several participants told me she was one of the highlights of their experience."
"With wit and humor, Maryam's speaking style connects with audiences in a conversational manner. Her experience in disruption and reinvention allows her to speak on topics that both guide and inspire."
"Maryam has the experience and style that engages her audience. Her authenticity, combined with her deep content, and empathy for our work brought out some great discussion. My team cannot wait to have Maryam back."
"Maryam Banikarim is an engaging and vibrant speaker who was able to immediately establish a connection with the audience during her remarks. Her energy, sense of humor, and remarkable background made for a fascinating presentation on the work-life equation that kept the audience absorbed and led to a lively Q&A afterwards from many who wanted to hear more. Maryam’s candor and genuine desire to foster dialogue and support around women facing career transitions set her apart as a speaker and allowed for a truly valuable and high-impact event."
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