Women on Laptop, Digital Marketing

4 tips for women seeking senior level roles in the digital marketing industry

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.


Women in Fintech

Go where it's hot: Advice to women looking to advance their career in Fintech

fintech
Image via Shutterstock

By Mandy Killam, Group President, ACI On Premise at ACI Worldwide

One of the most valuable pieces of career advice I ever received was from one of my former bosses who once told me: Go where its hot! 

And by that he didn’t mean relocating to sunny Florida but taking on roles in demanding areas that require change. And he was right: Those environments offer women fabulous opportunities to accelerate their professional and personal growth.

I followed that advice and arrived in payments 23 years ago, by way of engineering. When I joined the industry, “payments” weren’t nearly as cool a topic as today, and the technology environment was reactive and cumbersome. But I could see the great potential for change.

Today I sit on the executive board of ACI Worldwide, a global Nasdaq listed payments software company which operates in 80 countries. I manage over USD 600 million in annual revenue, and look after more than 700 talented employees based around the world.  Together we support over 450 customers in the banking and merchant retail sector with our range of Universal Payment solutions.

The payments and fintech industry is in the middle of a major disruption. Global payments revenues are growing rapidly and the payments ecosystem is going through tremendous changes. New players are challenging old ones, old ways of doing business are being replaced by new ones. We at ACI Worldwide are part of this disruptive movement. The industry is inclusive, diverse and global, and I see opportunities for women to advance all around me!

My advice to someone just starting their career in payments and fintech? Keep moving!  It can be a tough industry, especially if you are working in an environment at the start of a transformational journey.  But in an industry in the middle of a disruptive change women have opportunities to reinvent themselves.  As I moved to business roles, I’ve relied on my technical background to help address challenges facing leaders in the industry.

Education is crucial in breaking down barriers for women looking to enter fintech and payments.  We have a responsibility to teach girls about about the opportunities in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) related professions. It is also important for those already in the industry to share their experiences and help those looking to get a foot in the door.  At ACI we are passionate about nurturing and mentoring and have set up WIN, a global networking community which aims to inspire, educate, connect and recognize women at ACI and in the payments industry.

My three top tips for those with ambitions for a C-level position? Top of my list: Learn the business, from all angles; this greatly enhances your ability to add value! Secondly, spend time thinking about what needs to change today to remain relevant and prosperous three to five years on. And finally, hire the best team possible - the team that can make those changes happen!

About the author

Mandy Killam leads the On Premise P&L for ACI Worldwide, the global payments software powerhouse. In her role, she is accountable for ACI’s on-premise business, which includes delivery and support for all customers that choose to operate ACI’s solutions within their own premises (vs. hosted at ACI).  As part of this role she manages over 700 employees based around the world, supporting over 450 customers from the banking, financial intermediaries and merchant retailer segments.


Women traders taking on the city

 

It is no secret that trading is a male dominated industry in the city of London. According to statistics, the percentage of women in trading jobs is as low as 30 per cent.
Women traders taking on the city
Image via Shutterstock

This could be as a result of a number of factors which are inherent in the workplace. There could be a certain stigma that it is difficult to fit into a male dominated environment.

In this article, we will go over some of the misconceptions there are about trading and the ways in which these misconceptions can be overcome. We will also run through some hints and tips that could help women as they prepare for trading interviews.

The misconceptions

One of the most common misconceptions of trading is that the workplace is filled with testosterone, screaming and numerous sexist comments. When most people think of trading floors they picture large open pits where the loudest prevails.

Many of the movies on the subject have not helped to dispel those misconceptions. Movies like the Wolf of Wall Street and the big short have fed this feeling of machoism.

This is far removed from reality. Today, most modern trading floors at large financial institutions have very strict workplace guidelines when it comes to interaction among colleagues and language.

They also have detailed sexual harassment policies that make sure that female traders can feel welcome in the workplace even though it is mostly male dominated.

Women can and should comfortable working on a trading floor without the fear of any sort of untoward comments or the possibility of feeling left out from general office conversations.

Another common misconception that women have when it comes to trading is that there are only certain types of university degrees which apply to trading jobs. They think that only mathematicians or finance majors are able to succeed in the trading world.

This is not true. Although some types of trading and quantitative analysis do require a background in a technical STEM major, the vast number of trading jobs require an understanding of basic math as well as a willingness to learn.

In fact, a number of trading jobs are more about practicality than theory. Many trading floors require some retraining and they find that people who have not got a background in trading can be more malleable. This is where some women can indeed stand out.

How to get a trading interview

Although trading is now a career path that is more open for women, they still have to prepare themselves for the industry by making numerous applications as well as making the most of trading education.

There are a number of online portals that have the latest information on financial service jobs in the industry. These also have up to date resources that can be used in interview preparation.

Of course, having an up to date CV with your latest qualifications is essential, but one of the most important things to have before you start applying for trading jobs is a motivational letter.

This is where you can take the opportunity to let the recruiters or HR know why you, as a strong and motivated woman, are interested in working on a trading floor. Perhaps you can include a section in the letter of how you would like to break the misconceptions of women in trading that we talked about above.

How to succeed in the interview

If you are lucky enough to get an interview, then your time has really come to shine. You need to make sure that you have all of the finer details of your CV and motivational letter ironed out. You are most likely to get questions on these so you will need to have your answers stacked up. These are, after all, answers that you can prepare for.

There are also a range of other stock questions that you can prepare for and most of these fall under the guise of "motivational" questions. When it comes to the more technical trading related questions, then you need to take the time to study the online portals and understand the basics of the job.

These could take a number of different forms and could be brain teasers, judgement questions or more general in nature. The most important thing to do in this case is to know when to admit that you don’t know something. Equally important however, is attempting to answer the question by clearly stating your assumptions.

For example, you may get a question on equity pairs trading of two companies. You may not know what the companies do but you have a fair idea of what a pairs trade involves from the research that you did. You could then admit to the researcher that you have never heard of the particular companies. You could ask them for more of an overview so that you could most easily answer the question.

This is where most new interviewees get tripped up. They think that admitting that they don't know the answer to a question entirely is a sign of weakness. It is quite the opposite in fact. New traders are encouraged to speak out if they do not know something. This is because being cavalier about not knowing something is a sure way to lose a lot of money on the trading floor.

Trading also requires someone to be calm under pressure. Hence, it is important to make sure that you appear calm and collected and don't get flustered when you are asked the questions. Perhaps practicing the interview beforehand can help calm your nerves prior.

Conclusion

It can always be daunting to make strides in an industry that is usually dominated by the opposite sex. Hence, trading has often been a challenging career path to embark for women new to the industry.

However, as we have shown, this is merely a fallacy and is indeed driven by a range of societal misconceptions. Not only are there successful female traders but they are often some of the best in the industry.

As with any other field in life, where male dominance once prevailed, it required strong and independent women to challenge the norm and break through certain stereotypes. Trading floors have become so much more female friendly that they are now a place for women to make massive strides.