In celebration of International Women’s Day, we’ve caught up with the women at Loom about what it means to be a female working in the digital industry.
From the importance of female leadership to the inclusivity found in the digital marketing sector, join us as we celebrate International Women’s Day.
Nicola Ellison, Director & Founder:
We’re really lucky that digital marketing is a young and progressive industry where I believe there’s a lot of inclusivity between women and men in the workplace. Having said that, I think there’s more that can be done to encourage female leaders to progress in the world of business in general.
A recent article looked at how women took home close to just 1p of every £1 of all start-up funding last year – a statistic which I think is really shocking.
If more funding was accessible to more women, I’m confident this would have a transformational effect on the business world. An increase in female businesses owners would boost the economy, create new jobs, and in turn encourage the next generation of female business leaders/owners.
International women’s day is a great opportunity to celebrate how much women contribute to business, and the digital marketing industry itself. But it’s also important that we recognise more needs to be done to help more women lead businesses.
Karen Pearce, Director of Client Strategy:
I think the marketing world is very balanced when it comes to male/female split and digital marketing has naturally inherited a good ratio. It’s full of millennials and generation Z and the male/female bias has pretty much disappeared. I’m reminded of this when attending events like BrightonSEO, or when I get a glimpse into other professional fields that are less advanced.
However, the area that’s still male-dominated is the world of coding. There are very few women who read or write code, although again, I do think that’s changing. Karlie Kloss has been working hard to break stereotypes through with Kode With Klossy and there are also some great ‘women who code’ meetups.
I also think the barriers to enter digital marketing are low in general. Because it’s such a young industry, there are no exclusive universities you need to have attended or elite circles you need to have mixed in. You make of it what you can. The successful digital marketers are entrepreneurial, self-taught, ambitious and eager to learn. I don’t think gender really comes into it.
For example, SEO, in particular, is very based around big personalities. While there are probably still more male personalities in this area such as Joost (founder of Yoast) and Rand Fishkin (founder of Moz), there are some really inspirational female personalities in the world of SEO such as Lisa Myers.
Alice Fry, Social Media Executive:
This year the theme of International Women’s Day is #eachforequal, emphasising this each of us can actively choose to challenge stereotypes & celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively we can help to create gender-equal world. Loom, I feel, epitomises this ideal
With many industries still conforming to the societal constraints that limit women and remove them from the level playing field, it’s great to be part of a company made up of innovative marketers and progressive thinkers. The focus is on the work produced by the individual – not the gender.
Nonetheless, as a woman who has previously worked in male-dominated environments, it’s inspiring to see Loom spearheaded by two confident & ambitious women. My advice to any woman embarking on a career in digital marketing is to be fearless, be confident, work hard & let your work speak for itself – gender should not even come into it. If it does, speak up and know you can seek support.
Finally, as someone who has worked on many a #IWD social media campaign, I have seen the fantastic positive messages shared as well as many an angry post regarding men. IWD is not about tearing men down but readdressing the balance between men and women in the pursuit of equality. I’m honoured to be part of a company that shares that ethos.
Vicky Hockley, Senior Account Manager
I feel really lucky that both Loom and the wider digital marketing community is very evenly split in terms of gender. This is evident when you go to industry events – I think it’s just as common to hear women speakers as it is men at big digital events such as BrightonSEO. I think says a lot about how progressive the digital marketing sector is.
And, on a Loom level, I feel really grateful for being surrounded by such strong, talented and creative women. They really inspire me to reach further in the digital industry, as well as in my career in general.
Hannah Gardiner, Account Manager:
Loom is such a special example of how women have thrived not just in the digital industry, but in business in general. Working in a female-led digital marketing agency allows me to celebrate the strengths of women and what we bring to digital from such a privileged outlook, and for that, I’m really grateful.
However, I do believe if more women were exposed to female leadership in general, more would find it easier to pursue the high-level careers they want, whether that’s in digital or in business in general.
For example, watching Karen and Nikki strategically lead our agency through such a strong period of growth has allowed me to see first-hand how women can successfully navigate the notoriously male-dominated tech industry. This is so inspiring and is something more women in my industry should be able to witness.
For me, my experience shows how important representation and quotas are in business. When more women are in positions of leadership in business, it has a knock-on effect. Working under female leadership has helped me feel less limited and more supported to grow my career in digital.
On top of that, I think Loom nurtures a unique working culture which is rich in empathy, honesty, and compassion. Compared with other male-dominated working environments I’ve experienced, I personally believe this culture stems from traits more typical in women. When this type of culture is implemented at a leadership level, it’s easier to maintain, which makes working at Loom a really positive and special experience.
Claire Young, Account Manager:
My experience of working for a female-led company means that the world of digital feels incredibly inclusive and progressive. In fact, within the digital agency world and especially in Bristol, the industry feels evenly split in terms of genders.
At local meet-ups and industry events, there’s a real mix of both genders in all types of roles throughout digital marketing. There could be the perception that certain industries with a predominantly male audience base need male-dominated insight. However, working for a female-led agency proves that strategic insight, high emotional intelligence, and breadth of knowledge is more than enough to bring the results needed.
I’m really proud to work within a company that is full of such bright, passionate, clever digital marketers who are both men and women. I feel that the equal mix of genders brings a very open, inclusive culture as well as a multitude of skills, attitudes, and ideas.
Nuala McBride, PPC & Biddable Media Manager
I feel really privileged to work in an industry where I feel that both genders are so well represented, as I’m all too aware that this is not the case across all industries.
In all the agencies that I have worked at, they have been lead by females. Sadly, this is an anomaly in the working world, but it gives me hope that our world is shifting towards equality in the workplace. It is has been inspirational to me to work in these female lead workplaces and given me the courage to push myself in my career.
International Women’s Day is the perfect opportunity to mark how far we’ve come in both men and women’s strive for equality in the workplace. It is also a day where we should appreciate and applaud all the working women across the industry for the hard work they individuality put in.
Victoria Doherty, PPC & Biddable Media Manager
Inequality in the workplace has long been an issue, but only in recent years has the scale and breadth of the situation come to light. There are many countries and industries that still have some way to go to come close to creating workplaces that honour and upload both masculine and feminine values alike. With this in mind, I feel very privileged to work in an industry that in many respects champions equality, and where women have a strong presence at every level, from graduates fresh out of university to c-suite level boardrooms.
Loom is led by two strong, inspiring women that have created a culture of mutual support and respect where everyone feels welcome. It’s difficult to emphasise just how important a role this plays both for me, my female colleagues, and other women in the industry in feeling confident in their roles in a way which, in other industries, is often approached with caution.
On this International Women’s Day I’d like to celebrate not only women working in the spheres of digital in tech, but all of us; I hope for a future where we all feel empowered and confident in the workplace, no matter the industry.