Celebrating women in digital – part three

jill

This is the third instalment of my celebrating women in digital from The Drums Top 30 Women Under 30. This month’s article focusses  on Fiona Robertson from Lbi and Laura Grant from Tag Digital. I may catch up with the other top 30 women later in the year but for now this is the last interview. I’ve had some great feedback from the ‘celebrating women in digital’ piece and would love to extend this out to other women working in digital, no age limits. As I’ve said all along, I think we need to start celebrating and not moaning that there are no women in digital, it simply isn’t true! Enjoy reading Fiona and Laura’s stories I’d also like to say thank you to everyone who has taken part in the series…

 

 

 

Name:Fiona Robertson
Position:Head of Performance Marketing
Organisation:LBi
Twitter Handle:@fi_robertson

Your career journey:

During my studies at Glasgow Caledonian University, I took part in a work placement module within the University’s Career Service, following which I was offered a part-time position within the department. My role included updating the website content and developing a new set of service materials and branding during my two and a half year tenure.

After graduating with a first class honours degree in Marketing, I was offered a position at Glasgow-based digital agency, Equator. After joining as Online Marketing Executive, I quickly built up my knowledge in both affiliate marketing and display advertising. Two promotions and three years later, I left my Senior Affiliate Manager role where I had built up the team to four strong members, my experience span across online strategies for clients including Crucial Technology, Bhs, Wickes, Office Shoes, Ramada Jarvis, AXA insurance and Scottish & Southern Energy.

After leaving Equator in May 2009, I worked with the team at MediaCom Edinburgh working across both brand and direct response led clients. I extended my digital account and project management experience working over several key business clients including RBS, SportingBet, Standard Life and Scottish Enterprise.

In May 2010, I left my position at MediaCom to join bigmouthmedia (now LBi) to head up the Performance Marketing team our offices in Edinburgh. I am responsible for the profitability, management, growth and development of the Affiliate Marketing department within the business, on a global scale, working to set targets. I have grown the team from a single account manager to nine members of staff in under three years, due to a requirement to service a higher number of clients and hugely increased revenues from the department. I look after the strategic development of clients including RakutenPlay.com, Urban Outfitters, Radisson Blu, Etihad Airways and Best Western.

Do you think that being female has impacted upon your career progression?

I think being a woman has given me increased motivation throughout my life and thanks to my Mum’s positive influence and encouragement I’ve never doubted my capabilities. This has helped me rather than hindered me in my career progression, although there have certainly been some rare occasions when I’ve felt I’ve had to prove myself more than my male counterparts in a working environment.

In general, do you think there is a male bias in the digital media industry?

Generally, I think digital is a great example where women are very well represented from junior level through to senior management roles. In saying that, for the majority of digital organisations that exist, or within digital departments the most senior contacts are for the most part male. Right now though there is a huge pool of female talent in the industry and in time we’ll see these very talented women continue to progress and hopefully be well represented at all levels.

Do you do anything to attract more female talent to your organisation?

I wouldn’t say so, no. We look for talent within LBi and if you can show enthusiasm, commitment and a passion for digital then we will hire people regardless of their gender.

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?

I’d say the numbers have probably increased, and as a result perceptions have gotten more positive over time.

 

Name: Laura Grant
Position: Account Director
Organisation: Tag Digital
Twitter Handle: @misslauragrant

Your career journey:

I graduated with Law & English degree from Strathclyde University and then worked in publishing in New York for a year. I then came back to Glasgow and did various media production jobs in TV and print and I followed this by working in a video technology start up, for three years.

I founded my own digital agency with my partner Craig, 18 months ago and, so far, so good!

Do you think that being female has impacted upon your career progression?

Aside from a few mid-meeting, mildly sexist, comments, not so far. I’ve been lucky enough to work in companies where gender isn’t an issue and there have been strong female characters to learn from. After starting my own company I now know that any successes that I create are down to the work I have done, rather than what gender I am.

In general, do you think there is a male bias in the digital media industry?

There will always be roles that attract male or female; personally I’ve always worked with male coders (I don’t know any female ones, I am sure they do exist) and often on the PR/Marketing side I’ve worked with more women than men.

Where I have noticed a male bias has been in more board level positions, “media person of the year” type awards and founders of companies, especially start ups. My experience has been these areas are more male-dominated.

I hope that this is something that my generation will change and we will see more females leading organisations, winning accolades that matter and founding amazing companies.

Do you do anything to attract more female talent to your organisation?

When bringing in new talent I would always look more so at the individual, their skills, experience and most importantly how we would all work together.

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?

I think having leading figures in technology like Sheryl Sandberg, Randi Zuckerberg and Marissa Mayer has been massively influential. It opens up a new field of work to the next generation who perhaps hadn’t considered digital media as a career choice.

Dr Jill Ney is a regular contributor to the3rdimagazine. http://www.jillianney.com

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