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.
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.
In 2019 it was widely publicised how women took home close to just 1p of every £1 of all start-up funding – 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.
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.
This year the theme of International Women’s Day is #choosingtochallenge, emphasising that 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.
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.
Female leadership is more critical than ever right now. The last year has shown us just how important empathy and compassion are in working environments. So, instead of celebrating the “strong and productive women” narrative, we should instead celebrate and embrace the type of female leadership that allows everyone space to feel nurtured and looked after – whether they’re feeling strong and productive or not – something the world has needed more than ever over the last 12 months.
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.
Our industry is ahead of its time with a much fairer representation of gender. I can say with conviction that the women I have worked with have always shown strength and confidence in everything they do. Having never worked in a female-led company, it’s inspiring to see two strong innovative women lead us through such a strange and unknown time.
But even this industry has changed over the years. Starting out, I had small issues with clients who had outdated thoughts of women – one of which thought it appropriate to call me “girl” when discussing their advertising account (an owner of women’s focussed products no less).
Over time these instances became rarer and rarer, but they still arose. I also became more and more confident when calling it out, till it came to a point I didn’t have to worry about it. But I am one of the lucky few.
This year’s theme #ChooseToChallenge raises the importance of challenging bias or inequality when it happens. Working together to make a more inclusive and understanding world.
One of the things we need to change is the idea of what a challenge is – it is not an attack. In this instance, it is our path to reforming the way we think about the treatment of individuals – and that goes both ways. We all have to correct ideals that have become engrained due to the way we were educated or the way we were raised. And to do this, it is our responsibility as people to change together. So, raise your hand.
After working in predominantly male dominated businesses for the majority of my career, it’s a real privilege to work at Loom; a female lead agency. This is a privilege that I hope will become more common over the next decade as the digital industry grows and develops, and the next generation breaks down gender norms even further.
I feel lucky to work in the marketing sector of digital, as it is an area that appears to have an even split of genders across the board, with both men and women thriving relatively equally. There aren’t as many societal constraints as you find in other fields, which is really refreshing! This can’t be said for the rest of the digital landscape.
One of my first roles in digital was within a development house, a technology sector that is in real need of diversifying. I was the first female employee of the company, and I was fortunate enough to progress quickly through the support and guidance of my male colleagues. Working in this environment gave me the confidence to always push for more in my career, but want to see more females in businesses such as these. Luckily, change is on the horizon here, with non-profit organisations such as ‘Code First Girls’ working to close the gender gap in technology. I can’t wait to see the effect that organisations like these will make in years to come, ensuring that education is more widely available to girls at a younger age.
On IWD, I feel very fortunate to be a part of such an inclusive agency, and be able to work alongside my colleagues with no gender bias. Change is already happening across the board for digital, with agencies such as Loom leading the way.