woman in tech working on a laptop, online

Why martech needs more women in C Suite positions

woman in tech working on a laptop, online

By Hayley Strang, Senior Marketing Manager, Mapp Digital

As someone who has built a career in martech, I often look around when attending industry events and meetings and am struck by how few other women there are in the room.

I don’t imagine that it will come as a surprise to anyone that women are underrepresented in the tech industry. Deloitte Global predicted that large global technology firms, on average, will only reach close to 33% overall female representation in their workforces in 2022. This is up two percentage points from 2019 but is still obviously far from ideal. When it comes specifically to martech, women are more prevalent than in other areas of technology owing to higher percentages working in marketing as a discipline, although there are far lower percentages of women working in technology specific roles.

Why do we need more senior women?

The argument around the benefits of greater levels of diversity in business has been playing out for many years now. The argument has now shifted to encompass the benefits of diversity in corporate leadership which, evidence shows, can be game-changing. We now know that companies with above-average diversity on their leadership teams report a greater payoff from innovation and higher EBIT margins.

Numerous studies have linked greater representation of women in the C-suite to positive organisational outcomes, although the factors driving those changes have been unclear. Recent studies are now emerging, however, showing that women in the C-suite drive fundamental changes in the top management team’s risk tolerance, openness to change, and strategic focus.

The benefits to the bottom line are clear, but more women at the helm of martech companies will also have a wider impact.

In my opinion, there is huge potential for martech to be an even more inclusive profession, but key to getting more women in the door is having them occupy some of the most senior roles. It’s important to have strong female role models at senior levels in martech companies, so women and girls have something to aspire to so they believe they can build a successful career in the industry. The reason why martech has high potential for more female involvement is that it delivers a particularly cool crossover of technology and creativity. Not only do women from traditionally female-dominated industries end up in martech via careers in “traditional” marketing, but also women in tech are obviously also able to add value and get involved. All this creates an environment where women can flourish.

Smashing the stereotypes

Sadly, unhelpful stereotypes still exist which perpetuate the myth that careers in IT and tech are just for men. This does appear to be a generational issue and is, thankfully, changing. IT and tech have now become more inclusive, and our education system is rising to the challenge and promoting careers in STEM for both boys and girls. It’s also a massive step forwards to see that coding is now cool – as it should be! I think it will take time, but these stereotypes are slowly dying, and as they do, we will see more young women forging careers in martech and, hopefully, rising up to take senior positions. This is where we can also create a virtuous circle. When women visibly take up C-Suite roles in martech companies it encourages other women to forge their own career paths in this area.

Is the martech industry doing enough?

I am seeing some really encouraging proactive efforts by the tech industry to recruit more women and these initiatives are having a positive impact. Unsurprisingly, however, there are still barriers to achieving desired levels of recruitment and these are not going to change overnight. The issues preventing women from applying for these roles vary hugely, from cultural barriers (it can be intimidating to be the only woman in a team entirely comprised of men) to those associated with flexible work and remuneration packages, which are not always as appealing to women as they should be. I think that more women in leadership positions within martech, helping to formulate plans to attract and retain employees, will devise more family-friendly, inclusive policies which will positively impact the number of women it employs and the industry as a whole.

I believe we are now at a tipping point where women will start to not only shape the martech organisations in which they work but will also start to lead the way from the boardroom. I’m hugely excited to see what will come next.

Automation versus humans – why we should work side-by-side

Diana Rowatt, client services director at marketing automation platform Force24

artificial intelligenceThe evolution of martech means workforces are equipped with vast capabilities that can transform their company’s efficiency – and bottom line.

But, despite the popularity of such innovation, some sectors are still questioning exactly how smart machines can effectively fit it into their staffing – and what role they will take on. There has been the additional fear for some industries that advanced technology means replacing employees, but for these systems to work, humans must be involved.

Yes, automation provides enterprises with incredible qualities – from enhanced efficiency to saving humans time and commercial resources – and often proves to be a commercially-savvy investment, when utilised correctly.

However, people will always be at the heart of an organisation’s success, no matter the level of tech it can boast. After all, employees are the ones building the machines to make everyone’s lives easier – and it’s their creativity and innovation that enables this modernisation of their offering.

Understanding where automation and employees complement one another

It’s important to address how smart tools can fit into enterprises, and what role humans play in their success.

Ultimately, marketing automation can be a powerful force when it comes to gathering learnings. Revolutionary machines are able to glean critical information in seconds – that could take workers weeks to dissect – and present the information back at an equally rapid rate.

They’re capable of forecasting business landscapes, and understand ever-evolving online behaviours. They can also deliver crucial detail for marketing and sales departments, to help build relationships and convert leads.

But it’s the employee who applies this data and therefore determines how to harness the insight effectively. With intuitive information, savvy employees can learn how their customers prefer to be communicated with, and they can then tailor engaging online comms that fall in line with a prospect’s interests. Alongside all this comes brand loyalty and an all-important competitive edge.

Empowering employees to use insight and drive business growth

Martech is impressive because it delivers the commercial detail that can determine how a business reacts and performs, but there’s no question how important the human touch is. If an enterprise can utilise the data in a way which positively impacts a company’s bottom line, it can become vital for an enterprise’s long-term strategy.

With a great team, equipped with the training to understand how best to manage marketing automation, organisations put themselves in the best possible position to not only understand what their customers need, but how their interests evolve.

It’s crucial for companies to not only consider how machines can revolutionise their online comms and business strategy, but also to build the best team to deliver that killer content and understanding. This combination will deliver the goods and develop long-standing online relationships.

Diana RowattAbout the author

Diana Rowatt is a Client Services Director at Force24 – and provides advice and support to clients, marketing automation demos, and making sure targets are hit each month. She’s been part of Force24 since the very beginning and so has seen how it’s grown, and adapted – as well as provided – technological options to business to help them reach customers easier.