International Women's Day
Personally, I’ve been extremely lucky to have worked in digital marketing teams that have been dominated by women, as well as working with very talented female designers and developers; although design and development teams have generally remained male-dominant, whilst roles such as customer service are typically all or majority female teams.
We live in a time where women are making much more noise these days and we have come a long way over the years, but unfortunately we still have such a long way to go. We still see issues with gender pay gaps, and skill gaps. There are still a lot of very male-dominant industries and predominantly male-led businesses. We - as a society - still see men as being more competent than women in a lot of ways and there are a lot of women who are not taken as seriously as men; which I have definitely experienced myself. This is such an archaic way of thinking, and things need to change.
At Ina4, we are still a male-dominant workforce however, our number of female members of the team are now starting to catch up, which is definitely a step in the right direction. As it was International Women’s Day, I spoke to a couple of our female members of the team to discuss their experience of being a woman in the workplace.
Cath - Project Manager
“When I left school it is true to say that I was steered towards traditional female roles, office and admin jobs, care or work in the retail sector, but my first job was in the IT industry with a small local firm. Since leaving school I've always worked in male dominated industries IT and Sport, it's never been an issue for me as a female and I don't think it ever will be, for me the issues come the other way with men sometimes struggling when a woman asserts her authority not sure why this is and probably a question for the male species to answer.
Negative experiences have been few and mainly centre around the expectation that a woman should carry out traditional female roles within the office, like making the tea for visitors, clearing up afterwards and purchasing office supplies. After I raised this it was addressed although I do found that male bosses have sometimes struggled to deal with conversations that center on emotional or female health issues, but I think this is something that everyone needs to improve on. I guess I've been lucky enough to work for people who have employed me based on skills rather than gender for a while I was the only woman in the Ina4 office but not anymore and that for me is a very positive step forward.
Outside of work I am also Chairperson of a local amateur Rugby League club on a voluntary basis and it is fair to say that the perception out there was that a woman could not carry out such an important role effectively! After all what do women know about sport? After 5 years in the role I know I've proved a few people wrong.”
Mia - Apprentice Digital Marketing Executive
“While I was at school, there wasn’t much focus on the digital sector, so I never considered it as an option which explains why I chose unrelated subjects at college. ICT was never engaging and didn’t explore the career opportunities which were available in the digital industry, so it wasn’t an area I was encouraged to be interested in.
I’m lucky to say that outright sexism isn’t an issue I have experienced in the workplace but I’ve witnessed other women be treated slightly differently compared to men. This ranges from the expectation of organising the office to being spoken over in meetings. Fortunately, this is from the absolute minority of individuals and the vast majority of the time everyone is treated equally.
Working in a male dominated industry isn’t something that should discourage women, it is only by being present in these environments can perspectives be changed. Gender shouldn’t be an issue in the workplace, it should be about an individual’s experience and thankfully, this has been the case everywhere I have worked so far.”