Closing The Gender Gap In Digital Marketing
Despite the strides that women have made in the business world there’s still quite a large gender gap especially in the digital marketing field. Moz conducted an online marketing salary survey which reports males to earn on average $68,785 while women earned $57,438. Males with 5-10 years experience earned on average $15,000 more than women with the same amount of work experience. Women are also less likely to hold positions of leadership and partake as speakers at digital conferences. Here are a few tips for women in digital marketing to help narrow the gender gap.
Know Your Worth
Research the average salary for your position and locality via sites like Glassdoor. If your salary falls below the average don’t be afraid to ask for a promotion or jump ship. Part of the reason why men get more promotions is because they are more likely to ask for them.
Gather evidence and reports to showcase your accomplishments. This can include reports documenting an increase in organic traffic, higher ROI’s or increased conversions. Demonstrate that you’ve added value and increased the company’s bottom line. Some women may be apprehensive about sounding too boastful but the fact is that your boss may not be aware of all your accomplishments unless you let him or her know.
Establish Yourself As An Authority
Establish yourself as an authority in your field by participating at prominent digital marketing conferences and events. The benefits of speaking at a digital conference include landing new clients, building your personal brand and recognition as a thought leader. Curation Wall reports that nearly 77% of digital marketing conferences had a speaking gender gap while 90% had more male than female speakers.
Digital agencies need to be more conscious of including female speakers when pitching to conferences. However, as women we are often our own worst enemies. Women are more likely to have “impostor syndrome” and question their own expertise even when they are leaders in their field. Reach out to digital conferences and volunteer to speak if you have industry experience and feel that you can deliver a good speech.
Get Sponsored At The CEO Or Executive Level
Having a mentor can make all the difference when it comes to climbing up the corporate ladder. Harvard Business Review reports that men are more likely to receive sponsorship which is one step beyond mentorship. During a sponsorship, the mentor uses their own influence in order to advocate for their mentee. High profile women are more likely to be overmentored and undersponsored. Men are also more likely to have a mentor at the senior executive or CEO level whereas women’s mentors tend to have less power. Studies show that individuals with senior mentors are more likely to be promoted.
The key takeaway here is to find a mentor in a high level position who will advocate for you and use their own personal connections in order to help you land a new job or contract. Try to find out the goals of various mentorship programs as some are intended to provide guidance while others are targeted towards promotions.
The Bottom Line
As a woman I’m very hesitant to attribute these gaps to pure discrimination. Without a doubt gender biases clearly exist. For example, studies have shown outspoken business men to be more likely to be perceived as “leaders” while women with the same characteristics are more likely to be deemed as “bossy”.
However, it’s important to not play the victim and personal responsibility accounts for a lot. If you don’t negotiate for that pay increase or choose not to grab the opportunity to speak when invited you can’t really complain when you’re making less than someone who is willing to do whatever it takes. Anyone who takes a significant amount of personal leave from work regardless of gender cannot logically expect to make the same career strides as someone who puts more hours in. Some women may have also purposely chosen positions with a lower salary in return for a more favorable work-life balance.
The gap in digital marketing can’t be attributed to a sole reason as it’s undoubtedly influenced by numerous societal factors , biases as well as personal choices. Recognizing the fact that it exists and taking actionable steps can help you achieve the maximum potential in your career.