Women in Digital Hannah Swift

Name: Hannah Swift
Position: Founder
Organisation: Bright Digital Minds
Twitter Handle: @BrightDM

Your career journey:
Degree qualified. Media journey began originally in sales in the mobile telecoms sector. Graduated to affiliate and white label marketing before entering the digital arena, working within the affiliate sector. After 3 years of hard work, decided to set up my own agency and today have a healthy portfolio of clients and 3 employees in house and a pool of regular freelancers.

Do you think that being female has impacted upon your career progression?
No, definitely not. This is not to say that I haven’t encountered certain media sectors where females are used to reel in and help close new business and this practice is still common in certain areas. However, the digital environment is extremely competitive and demanding so if you want to succeed, it’s down to hard work and earning respect, regardless of gender.

In general, do you think there is a male bias in the digital media industry?
No, although I do think that the perception is that it is male dominated.. But I don’t think this is just the digital sector. If you look at generalisations then you could say that you have to be female to be in PR, fashion or beauty, a guy to be in SEO and .NET developing and a geek to be a PHP programmer. I think these are all are self-generated preconceptions.
There was a stereotype way back when about boys in their bedrooms being affiliates, but now the industry is far more corporate. There is an equal mix of pioneering successful women in the industry who have worked hard to build and sustain an enviable reputation.

From your time working in the industry have you seen any changes in the numbers of women working in the industry or the perception of women who work in digital media?
The digital media sector is a huge industry and it is growing at a phenomenal rate and due to its ‘trendy’ reputation is attracting both men and women, both of whom bring their own characteristics to the table. So yes, there are more women but equally, there are also more men.

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