MTC: Women in Marketing: International Women’s Day 2021 Edition

Women in Marketing have grown with the industry, but have we achieved the ultimate goal of women empowerment? Checkout Martech Cube’s Exclusive Women’s Day 2021 Edition

As we all know, marketing is an ever-changing and evolving industry. Marketing that we see today is largely different from what we witnessed when we had just entered our teenage, around a couple of decades back.

Like we humans and the world has evolved over the years, from the Stone Age to the present Meghalayan Age, even marketing has evolved with us. Though marketing has its roots deep in the past, it has been consistently evolving since the industrial revolution. From the production-centered industrial era; where businesses believed in the availability and affordability of goods to do the job, to the present relationship-centered era, where businesses and marketers believe a good relationship with customers does the job.

The evolution of marketing has welcomed a large number of people and also opened the door for creative individuals over the years. Largely or should I say all the people who were working, not only in marketing but in all the sectors of the market were men, as we know the world was majorly dominated by men. Thanks to women empowerment efforts, in today’s digital world we have a lot of women taking over important roles in every type of industry and jobs.

Today we have so many marketers and marketing leaders who are women, but do you think we have achieved the goal of women empowerment and gender equality? I don’t think so and most of you will also agree with me that we haven’t achieved the goal of gender equality. Women need to be encouraged and empowered more in the right manner. 

VP of Marketing at Chorus.ai, Natalie Severino supporting the stance gives a perfect explanation of the situation “In today’s remote environment when teams are more siloed than ever before, women leaders can be a unifying force between sales and marketing. Only 25% of salespeople in the tech industry are women, and only 12% of that number are female sales leaders. Together, we can help lay the foundation for the next generation of women in sales and marketing by providing opportunities for mentorship, sharing the tools that helped us get to where we are, and inspiring more women to join the industry.”

To understand further, let’s dissect marketing through a women’s glasses and why it stands and provides a unique professional affinity to women to the point of career liberation. 

Dissecting Marketing Liberation – Through a Women’s Glasses

All of us will agree that women are born multitaskers, and way ahead in handling multiple things when compared to men and marketing empowers them more in the right direction. Marketing is the combination of art, science, and now even technology, which brings all the three worlds together. Over the last 200 years, the economic and intellectual progress of humans has helped to bring about both dramatically better standards of living and the extension of individual dignity to women in the world, and marketing has an important contribution to it. Even today, marketing-driven women empowerment is liberating women in the world of technology.

I have a perfect quote from Angie Fenske, Sr. Director of Corporate Marketing, Comscore about what she feels about marketing and how it has liberated her, “Just as was the case throughout the entire media ecosystem this past year, marketing, specifically, saw a rapid evolution in 2020 in terms of tactics and approach. In order to keep pace with everything from changing consumer habits, to how people communicate and get information, to the way we all gather, MarCom teams across every industry were required to move quickly and with intention. It’s exciting to be part of such fast-paced, innovative progression within a field that touches so many aspects of people’s daily lives.”

Womanhood in Marketing Businesses – The Challenges

You might be thinking women are liberated by marketing, they are multi-taskers, in short, they are superstars then why are we talking about the challenges? Do they really have or all the difficulties we read only about are for stories and attention? Yes, I know women are superheroes… Ohhh… Sorry… “superheroines”… Now you get it, what is the problem, and such problems give rise to difficulties in the life of women. We are trying to make this world a place equal for all genders, but there are still some creatures in our society and some things in our subconscious mind that still think that it is a men dominated world. Such people and thoughts, double the struggle of women. Moreover, women take much more responsibilities for family and kids than men do, which multiplies their challenges to survive in a corporate world.

Anastasia Zaichko, Head of Marketing Communications and PR at Affise covers these struggle into a perfect statement, she states and I quote “Earning respect in a male-dominated industry such as digital marketing can be a struggle for a female marketer. Earning respect from other women is usually twice as challenging. Low self-esteem among girls and women goes hand in hand with lower aspirations of engaging in digital marketing jobs. Thus, being female marketers, we should promote integrity and togetherness. We should support each other, empower leadership development, show gender-equal attitude and respect inside and outside the company. True women empowerment is using your voice to help other women speak up and be heard.”

Dissecting the Essence of Women Leadership

The whole world is talking about women empowerment today, but even you might have read many articles that even after so many empowered statements made by all the top leaders we hardly see any women leaders. Even though the percentage of women in the talent pipeline is steadily increasing over the past 3 decades, there are still large gender gaps from entry-level right through to top-executive positions. In technology companies, women hold only 30% of the entry-level roles, and approximately only 7% of private tech company’s boards are made up of women.

Sitecore’s CMO, Paige O’Neill in her statement regarding the scarcity of women leaders in the business world puts light on this issue, she states “I’ve seen the corporate landscape change quite a bit since I first started my career, and now everyone is more accepting of different leadership styles, but, we’re not done yet. Believe it or not, only 15% of women hold executive positions in U.S. tech companies. That’s why it’s so important that women continue to encourage each other, push for a change in mindset and demand an equal future where we are listened to and respected at the same rate as our male colleagues.”

The qualities of a great leader have never been dependent on gender. The strength and personality traits of an individual make up a person’s leadership attributes, be it a male or female.

However, having female leadership in any organization leads to a more positive environment. Women might not always realize how composed for achievement they are in leadership roles, but their potential and capabilities are irrefutable.

Empathy, mindfulness, pressure handling, open-mindedness, multitasking, and open communication are some of the inborn traits of female leaders which make them more in sync with their team. Women are known for their undisputed affinity towards a higher emotional intelligence and let’s just outright accept it that “Emotional Intelligence” in leadership is the need of the hour and the massive employee burnout of 2020 is proof enough of what the current leadership is lacking. 

As women in marketing leader in the martech world, Paige O’Neill, CMO of Sitecore shares her experience, she says I’ve been a CMO for 15 years, and for most of that time I’ve been one of only a few women in the C-suite. I learned a lot earlier in my career by navigating corporate environments that weren’t the most conducive to a woman’s success, and in the early days, I found myself emulating male leadership styles without even realizing it because I didn’t see many other roles models. However, over time, I realized the importance of finding an authentic voice and owning a more feminine leadership style. It’s something I think a lot of women struggle with, and something I try and encourage other women to think about as they examine their own styles.”

Companies need to encourage women in their organizations and also enhance their hiring process so that we have more women leaders in the industry.

What More the World Has to Offer

After a complete analysis of the state of women in today’s business world there is a question that has stuck in my mind, are we offering enough? What more can the world offer???

Jennifer Jones-Mitchell, Director of Global Branding & Communications, True Influence has a perfect answer, quotes “Beyond the obvious measures of equal pay, mother-friendly benefits, and representation in both senior positions and across all departments, I would say company culture matters. Creating a culture that emphasizes inclusion and a zero-tolerance approach to sexism – from blatant violations to micro-aggressions – is paramount. I would also recommend creating opportunities for internal collaboration, including female-led committees and mentorships designed to bring your female workforce together where they can openly discuss issues or suggest new ideas. 

This is especially important for younger employees. When I began my career, I benefited from the advice and guidance of several female mentors who helped me navigate common hurdles and find my own voice. That said, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to this. So, you may want to begin by asking your female employees what they would like to see and how the company can help them. The simple act of letting your female employees know this is an important initiative, and they have a voice in shaping the company, will go far in demonstrating your dedication to them. Plus, you may be surprised to learn how you can improve their daily experiences.”

The issue is that, yes there is a lot more than the world needs to and should offer, and most importantly a good company culture. Ultimately, the problems that the corporate world is facing are not technological, but human, the human system is broken. A lot more needs to be done to give all women the best possible chance of rising to the top.

 Natalie Severino, VP of Marketing, Chorus.ai has also shared a bit of great advice for the women out there, she states “Don’t be afraid of advocating for yourself and asking for what you need. There are a lot of badass women in sales and marketing, yet many still struggle with challenges such as inadequate support networks, fear of failure, lack of upward mobility, and an unwillingness to ask for what they’re worth. Owning your success as a woman will allow you to work harder, inspire others and achieve more in your business.”

On International Women’s Day 2021, let all of us come together and pledge to offer more comfort and encouragement to all the women out there who are struggling to achieve their dreams even after all the challenges and hurdles.

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