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WIA Profile: Maureen Shaw

WIA Profile: Maureen Shaw

December 7, 2006
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" My experience is different from many other women in this industry. "

Each month, industry news media organization XBIZ spotlights the career accomplishments and outstanding contributions of Women in Adult. WIA profiles offer an intimate look at the professional lives of the industry's most influential female executives.

What is your role at your company?

I'm a director, similar to company president. Most people know that John [Shaw] and I met through a personal ad on the net through a newsgroup feed in 1994 (before the web was in Orlando). We share everything, and everything is equal. I'm lucky in that respect. Previously, John owned a software company, and my history was running businesses in the U.S., so we had complementary talents. I'm responsible for everything but the programming and technical issues. It sounds like a big job, but we have great people on staff.

Give us a typical Monday at your desk.

Just like everyone else, I check the stats before I get in the shower. Once in my office, I log onto SexyAds and make my presence known to the members by posting something on one of the forums, and then I quickly answer my mail. Even if I'm taking the day off, I try to do this bit every day. It lets our members know that we're on the site as much as they are. I go through the daily support queries to keep track of the sorts of problems or questions our members have. It only takes 30- 45 minutes, and then I'm off to check the bank balance, check with the accountant, affiliate manager, traffic manager, designers and support staff to ensure everything is working smoothly and there are no dramas. I take a break at about 6:30 p.m. to cook dinner for myself and John, and then it's back to work. I write a daily blurb for the members as the last thing of the day, and that's about 8-8:30 p.m.

What do you think is your greatest challenge or asset being a woman in the adult industry?

My experience is different from many other women in this industry. I was over 45 when I got into this business, and it's always been "a business" to me. I started SexyAds with company and time management experience, and that's much easier than trying to learn it on the job. As a personals/networking site, we cater to women as well as men. Because it's in the adult arena, I think being a woman helps me keep the site attractive and comfortable for women to join.

What strategies do you use to maintain balance in your life?

In Australia, it's just coming into summer here, and we're in the middle of the worst drought in recorded history. I'm up at 6 a.m. to water the veggie garden before the daily watering restrictions come in at 8 a.m. Gardening keeps me sane and in touch with the real world. Often I see people who live their lives on the net, and it makes me feel sad. I also take a break from my desk four times a day and get on the treadmill. At my age it's use it or lose it. I wish I could say I didn't work really long hours nearly every day of the week, but I'm working on that!

What advice would you give other women who want to enter your field?

Believe in yourself. You don't need someone else to tell you that you're smart, intelligent, confident and capable if you already know this in your gut. Too many women are raised thinking they need someone else (usually a man) to tell them these things before it's true.


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