Women at Laptop, Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is playing an increasingly significant part in many businesses’ marketing strategies, heightening the demand for agencies and opening up more job opportunities.

But, as it’s a male-dominated industry, women need to know how they can compete. Here, Bridie Gallagher, Managing Director at Glass Digital, shares her top tips for women looking to reach senior level positions in the digital marketing industry.

We live in a world where it’s possible to do almost anything online and, for businesses who want to make the most of their marketing budgets, this also means taking to online platforms to promote their brands, set targets, and get results.

While this raises the demand for agencies that can help brands with their marketing campaigns, digital marketing is still a male-dominated industry, with women accounting for less than a third of the digital marketing workforce (Thrive Global). And, with females securing just 37.2% of UK managerial positions in total (Catalyst) it’s worth knowing how you can break into more senior roles in this sector. Here, I’ll be sharing my top tips for women who are looking for top level opportunities in digital marketing.

Create your vision

As women, we can be a little too critical of ourselves but, when you want to reach your goals, you need to believe you can do what you’re trying to achieve. And, one good way of doing this is to create a vision in your mind about where you want to be.

While you mightn’t know how you’ll get there, it can pay to observe other women in senior level digital marketing roles, and take note of the skills they have and what makes them successful. For example, perhaps they are in charge of one department but have a good understanding of the work that all the other teams do, and are able to come up with well-rounded plans as a result.

If you’re unsure of your own strengths and weaknesses, try asking colleagues and managers about what kind of leader they think you are. This will help you to identify the gaps between where you are now and where you want to be, so you can begin planning how you’ll reach the top.

Take more risks

Women typically like to play it on the safe side, but doing this can actually restrict your career progress and stop you from going for fantastic promotions or new roles. In fact, it’s suggested that only 43% of women are willing to take big risks that would boost their career (KPMG). So, it’s important that more women start breaking down the boundaries that we set for ourselves and taking on more opportunities to give us the best chances of success.

For me, this meant moving on from my career in client relations within the financial services sector and welcoming the new opportunity to set up a digital marketing company in Newcastle. The success of the company was never guaranteed, so taking the plunge was nerve-wracking, but I’d never have gotten to where I am now without taking on the new challenge. Trusting your instincts and believing in yourself is incredibly important in business, and more women need to have the confidence to do both of these.

Increase your visibility

To get noticed, you need to be noticeable. And, that means doing everything you can to highlight your accomplishments to your current or future employers. I personally think the best way to do this is by having a portfolio of your work, as it’ll clearly show employers how you’ve been able to affect client campaigns.

You’ll also benefit from taking advantage of networking opportunities, especially if you can establish contact with other women in roles you aspire to be in. This way they may see your potential and be able to recommend you for senior positions, or give you tips to get into these roles.

I’ve met a lot of talented people throughout my years in business and each has taught me something invaluable about my career and myself as a businesswoman, so don’t be afraid to seek advice from others in the industry and make as many connections as you can.

Accept the help you need

Trying to find the right work/life balance is never easy, especially if you’re a working mother. But, what both roles at work and home have taught me is that you’ll never be able to have it all. However, you can still look for other ways to make your career goals a reality, even if you have other obligations.

I’m lucky to have a great family support system who can help me with school pick-ups and drop-offs for my daughter when I’m tied up at work. However, sometimes I have to make both my job and home life work together. For example, if I need to be in the office early, I’ll bring my daughter here before school, and vice versa if I need to stay a bit later. That way we get to spend time together and I can still get the stuff done that I need to do.

Although it’s natural for mothers to feel guilty if they can’t be everywhere for their child, it’s important that if an extra pair of hands are there to help us juggle our commitments, we use them when things start to pile up.

Confidence can go a long way for women looking to secure senior roles in digital marketing, so make sure you’re following my top four tips to get you on track for a great future in the industry.

Bridie Gallagher headshotAbout the author

Bridie Gallagher is Managing Director of digital marketing agency, Glass Digital, and mother to a 10-year-old: two roles she has had to learn how to juggle as the company has grown. Bridie believes women can achieve anything they put their minds to, and her story is testament to that.