International Women's Day: Women of the Future
Every year, the digital marketing industry comes together to celebrate International Women's Day, putting a spotlight on our amazing female leaders in SEO, content marketing, and paid search who show are achieving phenomenal things day in, day out.
But what about the women just starting to make their mark on the industry?
Well that’s exactly what we've set out to do this year! Showcase the amazing, young and new talent entering the industry, the women who are set to achieve amazing things in their career.
Each woman on this list has been in the digital marketing world three-years or less, working in either SEO, content marketing, digital PR, paid advertising or social media.
They’re here to talk all things starting their career, dealing with imposter syndrome and challenging inclusivity in the industry…
Role: Junior SEO at Arnold Clark
Inspiration: Areej AbuAli, Aleyda Solis, Lily Ray, Sharon Gwati-Mudzudzu, Jasmita D'Souza and Orit Mutznik
For Simone, no two days are the same. She is part of a small SEO team, which means everything is super hands-on, spending a lot of her time performing audits, resolving issues and identifying areas for growth.
Despite having already achieved amazing things, Simone struggles with imposter syndrome, adding: “My age plays a big part in my imposter syndrome. I feel like people can overlook valid suggestions and considerations, despite you having all the data in the world to justify it. The Women in Tech SEO community have tremendously helped me with this. Forever grateful for that!”
Simone’s tips for women in the industry:
“In the SEO world, things change everyday so I think in terms of being an expert, it's not about knowing everything - that’s impossible. It’s important to test new things, be a good project manager and be reactive to change.”
Role: SEO Executive, Impression Digital
Inspiration: Kirsty Hulse
After gaining her Masters degree in Marketing, Sophie got her first role as an in-house Marketing Manager. But after just 6-months, realised that she had so much more to learn, which is when she applied for a role at Impression.
Sophie said: “At Impression, I manage a handful of my own accounts, as well as supporting on larger accounts. I’ve been so proud of gaining the confidence to lead on these accounts - I never saw myself in a position like this when I started out in my career. Despite this, imposter syndrome has been a huge thing, especially when joining an industry full of experts."
Sophie’s tip for women in the industry:
“There are so many men who only have negative things to say about women. It's a very 'white male' space and a lot of the industry experts fit this demographic, so don't make yourself small to accommodate others. You have the knowledge, and everyone is on their own path - don't compare someone else's journey to your own.”
Job Role: SEO Lead at Ad Practitioners
Inspiration: Aleyda Solís
Nathalia started her career in SEO just under three-years-ago and is now managing a team of two SEO Strategists, focusing on both on-page and technical SEO.
Nathalia said: “As well as working on on-page and technical SEO, I also give internal training to other teams in order to implement SEO best practices in their everyday work. For those looking to get into the industry - just do it! Try over and over again until you can make it. Reach out to other women in the industry, they will always support you.”
Nathalia’s thoughts on diversity in the workplace:
“I think it’s always hard to be in a position that historically has been dominated by men. I feel my challenges have been with my peers and not my managers. There is still a lot to overcome and change the mentality that women cannot work in tech.”
Job Role: SEO Executive at Impression
Inspiration: All the women at Impression
After working as an in-house Marketing Manager, Rhianne decided to move agency-side to specialise in SEO. Now her daily tasks involve copywriting, site audits, conducting competitor analysis, keyword research and keyword mapping.
Of her time in SEO, Rhianne said: “Having imposter syndrome and not believing in my own abilities all the time can make me question myself and my work. But my goal is to eventually become an SEO Consultant - I want to learn more about technical SEO so that my skills are more well rounded.”
Rhianne’s tips for entering the industry:
“Have a personal portfolio; write, take pictures, make videos - do whatever you can to showcase your work, ability to market things and think critically about topics. Always use LinkedIn - it is full of opportunities for those looking to get into the industry.”
Job Role: SEO Associate at PaperStreet Web Design
Victoria began as a freelancer whilst studying Information Technology college. She always had a knack for surfing the web and social media, so once she started out in SEO, she picked it up quickly.
Victoria said: “I am empowered by the fact that I am joined by many women in the digital marketing field and there is always more knowledge to be learned. I am proud to work alongside strong, intelligent women and aspire to be in a leadership role in the future.”
Victoria’s tips for getting into the industry:
“Go for it! Overall, there is a welcoming, supportive community of women in the digital marketing industry and anyone can be an influencer if you put in the time and effort to learn and create new practices for others to adopt.”
Job Role: Global SEO Account Manager at Neo Media World
Inspiration: Miracle Inameti-Archibong
Rejoice started out as a Junior SEO Executive and now oversees global accounts. This involves conducting technical audits, reviewing briefs and working with external agencies to ensure client’s sites are kept healthy and follow best practices
Rejoice said: “My biggest accomplishment would have to be starting B-DigitalUK with my friend. It was created to inspire and educate the black demographic about all things advertising and marketing, as well as showcasing current black talent. I am super proud of our efforts and where we are going, being involved in conversations to do with diversity and Inclusion and really speaking about how companies can properly tackle that topic."
Rejoice’s thoughts on diversity in the industry:
“I have faced self doubt and the imposter syndrome. It has stopped me from going after things that I wanted to do but I am slowly learning how to overcome that. I have also struggled with racism and microaggressions, it's hard seeing black trauma being displayed all over social media and having to work the next day, that is a major struggle that gets to you.”
Job Role: SEO Strategist at Flywheel Digital
Inspiration: The whole Women in Tech SEO community
Digital marketing wasn’t originally Natasha’s career path. Initially she wanted to be a social worker or teacher, but discovered she had a knack for marketing and decided to make the move and get experience.
Now she leads on SEO for her clients, she said: “Nothing beats gaining the trust of clients, especially when they were skeptical about the benefits of SEO or were burned by a bad agency in the past. It especially doesn't hurt when they take that trust and decide to expand their work with you as a result!”
Natasha’s tips for getting into SEO:
“Get comfortable working on a website! You don't need to develop a huge technical skillset or be able to build a website from scratch, but if you can even do basic technical implementations and content work on a site then you'll be in a great place to start out.”
Job Role: Senior SEO Executive at SALT.agency
Inspiration: Aleyda Solís
Whilst travelling as an athlete, Keira started teaching herself different aspects of digital marketing by taking beginner courses. She was lucky enough to have the opportunity of a Google Squared scholarship before getting a junior position at a full-service agency.
Keira said: “The biggest struggle I found was trying to get into the industry without a degree, no previous experience and very little knowledge. Another struggle would be working with a client to achieve results when they're not open to the suggested strategy making it almost a battle to get them the results they want.”
Keira’s top tips for entering the industry:
“Where possible try and teach yourself the basics of SEO. To help demonstrate your skill set I would suggest building yourself a website so that you can produce and publish content based on what you've learnt. Then continue to add and update your website as your knowledge develops.”
Job Role: Account Manager at The SEO Works
Inspiration: Areej AbuAli
Billie got into SEO by writing bereavement notices for a large newspaper group. When getting complaints that the bereaved were struggling to find notices online, Billie was sure SEO would be the answer to this. Her boss wasn’t interested. So she bit the bullet applied for her first SEO role.
Billie said: “I am very lucky because technical SEO is my bread and butter but I get to dabble in content and digital PR, too. There are so many different tasks I could be looking at on a daily basis. It's no secret that SEO is a male dominated industry and I've many clients surprised to see that I'm not a male. But since joining the Women in Tech SEO Community, it's bothered me a lot less. It's inspiring to see all these fantastic women leading in what they do."
Billie’s tips for joining the industry:
“Don't try to learn everything at once. Start with one area and get comfortable with that first. There is too much to SEO and taking too much on will burn you out.”
Job Role: Owner at CF Marketing Solutions
Inspiration: Rinks Lawal
Chikumo started out writing her own blog, before going on to form her own business which delivers a range of digital marketing services to her clients.
Chikumo said: “With my business, CF Marketing Solutions, I create and manage client campaigns, formulate strategy and monitor progress. I set up the business in October and it’s been my proudest achievement to date. Finding the right clients who are the right fit has been a struggle. Age, gender and race have had me ignored by people who then wanted to listen to me when they heard I’d worked with big brands or people they knew.”
Chikumo’s tips for joining the industry:
“Get a mentor and as much experience as you can across the whole industry.”
Role: Content and PR Lead at Blueclaw
Inspiration: Hayley Stansfield and Larissa Green
Emily had two English Literature degrees before moving into content and now is building a career in digital PR, responsible for developing campaigns and leading a range of clients at Blueclaw.
Emily said: “One of my biggest achievements has been one of the campaigns that I ideated, researched and outreached being nominated for an award. This also coincided with my promotion from Content Specialist to Content and PR Lead. My advice for ladies entering the industry that you should know that you have the same experience and level of expertise as your male colleagues - don't be afraid to emphasise that if you need to."
Emily’s thoughts on making the industry more diverse:
“Celebrate female CEOs and stop the stigma that if an agency owner is shouting about their success, that it's related to attention-seeking or 'bragging' just because it's a woman. That goes for all roles within an agency.”
Role: Content Executive at The Hut Group
Inspiration: Grace Beverley
After studying for a degree in Fashion Marketing and Branding, Jenessa went on to secure her dream role with The Hut Group, which allows her to deliver social media, blogs and email marketing across brands like Myprotein, Myvegan and Myvitamins.
Jenessa said: “I think we could be looking at our own teams and spotting the gaps in diversity… Are women underrepresented? Those from BAME backgrounds? Those who identify as LGBT? If so, we need to think about our team cultures and consider how we can make small steps to attract and recruit a truly diverse bunch of people.”
Jenessa’s tips for getting into the industry:
“My advice is to be yourself and never apologise for it. This industry changes all the time and you need to be confident in your abilities. Do your research, step up and speak out when necessary. There’s nothing wrong with taking the position of an authoritative business woman.”
Role: Content Marketing Coordinator at Walnut Creative
Inspiration: All the female creatives Victoria has worked with
With a background in Journalism, Victoria currently manages all aspects of content for her clients - from blogs to organic social media, website and email marketing, as well as PR, utilising her expertise to deliver fresh content ideas daily.
Victoria said: “In my career, one of my biggest successes has been moving from one industry to another, adapting my content to suit the style of that sector. Making these changes, however, has also been one of my biggest challenges. As an introverted and anxious person, I’ve struggled to adapt to new environments and roles. But I’ve found that throwing myself into the deep end has been the best way to gain confidence and grow as a person.”
Victoria’s tips for women in the industry:
“Make yourself heard, stand up for yourself, show what you can do and don’t take any shit.”
Job Role: Digital Marketing Executive at Tao Digital Marketing
Inspiration: Carrie Rose
Straight after college, Lydia started an apprenticeship which saw her supporting on social media and events, before moving into an SEO role. Now she’s busy looking after Tao Digital’s social media accounts, creating content and link building.
Lydia said: “In my time in this role, I am most proud of landing a guest blog on Moz. The links brought huge value to our site and we had numerous prospects come through to us as a direct result. But there have been hurdles too, such as learning what does and doesn’t work, especially when it comes to pitching to journalists."
Lydia’s tip for women in the industry:
“Don't be afraid of a male-dominated industry! There are some brilliant inspirational women out there who are breaking the glass ceiling and setting the example for many young women now entering the industry. Get as much experience as you can, you never realise how connected people in the industry are.”
Job Role: Content Account Manager at Absolute Digital Media
Inspiration: Women In Tech SEO and Female Connective communities
Laura studied English Literature at university, which allowed her to develop her writing style, but attributes her career to starting out in journalism before discovering digital marketing. Today, she is part of Absolute’s Creative Team, which encompasses branding and digital PR.
Laura said: “I’m proud to be contributing to industry discussions and networking opportunities more. I ended 2020 by speaking on a BrightNetwork panel on how to get into marketing which was a huge achievement for me personally. To be speaking to hundreds of marketing hopefuls and imparting useful tips and experiences felt so rewarding and highlighted to me that I have carved some expertise of my own within the industry.”
Laura’s tips for getting into the industry:
“Know your worth and find your expertise. Foster your talent and hone your skills to become a real expert in your field and then don’t ever let go of this. If you’ve developed the skill set and experience, you have every right to exert it and make your presence at the workplace known.”
Job Role: Digital Marketing and Social Media Executive at Natracare
Inspiration: Hanya Yanigihara, Dolly Alderton, and Charlie Cox
Sophie leads on all aspects of content for the plastic-free feminine care brand, Natracare. In her role she manages social media accounts, influencers and community management, develops content strategies for the blog and works collaboratively with the team on upcoming campaigns.
Sophie said: “I recently worked on the Natracare X Jessica Megan Instagram collaboration, which has been my most successful partnership to date. But by far my proudest work moment has been working with people with periods who are not women to create content together.”
Sophie’s tip for getting started in the industry:
“Keep your skill base as broad as possible. I try to spread my activities at work across a lot of areas, even ones I’m not sure on yet, to just keep on learning! Also don’t take unpaid internships — if they need you, they can afford you. And if they can’t, somebody else better can and will.”
Job Role: SEO Copywriter and Content Strategist at Zenith Copy
Inspiration: Areej AbuAli
Chima spends her days working on long-form SEO content projects for her clients, as well as leading The Freelance Coalition for Developing Countries, a community she launched for freelancers in these countries to get support to up-skill and charge their worth.
Chima said: "In the early days, living and working out of Nigeria was a massive problem. Some prospects assumed I couldn't speak or write English, others expected to pay cheap wages and the rest judged me based on the colour of my skin. I’d love to see more BIPOC guest posting on industry blogs, speaking at events and on podcasts, being included in panels and lists, and being hired more, not just as the token black person.”
Chima’s plans for the future are:
“My goal for the future is to help shape a world where people are less obsessed over keywords and more in love with building helpful and authoritative content. I'm scared of tech SEO, so that's an area I'd definitely love to learn more of.”
Job Role: Senior Content Strategist at Bigfoot Digital
Inspiration: Jen Penaluna
After realising her love for writing and marketing, Holly started applying for digital marketing roles. As soon as she arrived at the Bigfoot office, she knew it was where she wanted to work and quickly learnt her craft in the internal marketing and SEO departments.
Holly said: "When I started at Bigfoot, the team was 90% women and all three of our directors are incredible women so I honestly don’t think I have felt prejudice in the office. I’ve only ever felt empowered and inspired by the women around me, everyone has their own interests, specialisms and skill sets and we all appreciate that.”
Holly’s tips for women joining the industry:
“Make the most of the tons of great and free training resources out there and if you don’t have much knowledge yet focus on what you want to learn and develop in. Don’t let yourself get in your head either - imposter syndrome is something most of us have to deal with as women but it’s a complete waste of time and energy. I get it on the daily and have to make a conscious effort to ignore it.”
Michelle Jaylene Peterson
Job Role: Senior Content Strategist at Br8kthru Consulting
Inspiration: Cari Twitchell
Michelle started out in traditional PR, but knew she was missing the bigger picture. She started spreading her wings and working on social media and email marketing, before moving full-time into a content marketing strategy role.
Michelle said: “I’ve had so many proud moments in this industry, starting with the strategic evolution of my skill set expanding from PR to content marketing. The time I got my client on the cover of Footwear News in an issue focusing on work boots for women, was also a great moment.”
Michelle’s tip for starting in the industry:
“Don't give up - keep applying to jobs even if it takes a while. You just need one company to trust your drive and welcome you to the team.”
Job Role: Digital Marketing Business Owner
Inspiration: Kim Garst
Trona was a blogger for years, but fell in love with the data and analytics since then, she has trained herself and taken a number of courses to enhance her skills in digital marketing.
Trona said: “I was unable to work for years due to ill health so being able to run a business is incredible. I work with amazing small businesses and seeing them grow is always great. I was also a table leader for Mark Schaefer's online marketing conference recently. That's been a career highlight so far. Many of my clients have been featured by Pinterest too.”
Trona’s advice for women getting into the industry:
“Don't be put off with how some of the concepts are written. Once you look beneath the surface it's a highly rewarding, fascinating and incredible career.”
Job Role: Content and Digital PR Executive at Bednar Communications
Inspiration: Sarah Eyre and Michelle Eagleton
After studying Broadcast Journalism, Niamh, took her transferable skills to PR. She is now responsible for the majority of the content that the agency produces. From copy to press releases, as well as blog posts for both the agency and clients, Niamh also supports on ideation, research and outreach.
Niamh said: “The job has made me so much more confident in myself, despite suffering with imposter and anxiety. Bypassing this and focusing on my achievements instead of doubting myself has been really tough. I convinced myself I was going to be fired and was actually signed off probation instead. That’s when I realised I was actually good at my job, and it’s helped me to try and shrug off those negative thoughts.”
Niamh’s tip for women in the industry:
“Don’t let any negative thoughts permeate your strive for success, whether that’s coming from your own anxieties or people around you. You’ll get to where you want to be!”
Job Role: Senior PR Executive at The Source
Inspiration: Carrie Rose
Jessica started her career interning at an SEO agency where she learned the ins-and-outs of digital PR - and she hasn’t looked back since. Now her time is divided between digital PR and social media, responsible for managing client accounts, creating campaigns, and producing social media strategies.
Jessica was named as one of the Top 10 PR Bloggers by Veulio for two consecutive years. She said: “That is so massive for me as I always used to take those lists as gospel when I was a student. My blog has been a great assistant to my career and I'd really advise starting one to any young person in digital marketing who's looking for a way to share their voice.
Jessica’s tip for entering the industry:
“Make sure your voice gets heard and believe in what you have to say.”
Job Title: Digital Marketing Executive
Inspiration: Surena Chande
Saffron started her digital marketing career on placement in the Netherlands, learning content, SEO, link building and social media. Now manages clients at Impression and is involved in all aspects of client communication and execution for digital PR campaigns.
An advocate for diversity, Saffron said: “There is a long way to go in the industry in terms of diversity and inclusion, which can make it a challenging environment for both women and people of colour. When I first started in the industry, I was told it would be hard to progress as a brown female and that was very difficult to hear. Becoming more familiar with the community within digital marketing, Women in Tech SEO and other allies has really helped me to find my place in the industry.
Saffron’s tip for women joining the industry:
“Find a mentor, someone who you look up to and someone who can introduce you to other like minded people in the industry. I would urge you to join Women in Tech SEO and really work on building your network. There is nothing wrong with surrounding yourself with allies and taking a step back from any negativity which is going to impact your wellbeing.”
Job Role: Digital Marketing Manager at Glass Digital
Inspiration: Areej AbuAli
Jennifer began her marketing career in traditional PR, but after quickly realising the future of marketing was digital. She looked to move to a digital marketing role, which is when she joined the Glass Digital outreach team, before being promoted to her current role two years later.
Jennifer said: “I focus on building digital PR campaigns for my clients and during the pandemic, this has been a real challenge. While PR's have to constantly be reactive to news cycles, this became more challenging as most of the work we were doing for clients had to be reangled. On top of this, many journalists were furloughed, which resulted in a much lower response rate. It was mentally challenging as the news continuously changing meant we had to stay proactive.”
Jennifer’s take on inclusivity in the industry:
“I think to make the industry more inclusive we need to try and abolish stereotypes, especially in technical SEO. I think every company should offer training to encourage inclusivity and educate employees on what it means to be inclusive and how important this is when considering potential job candidates, whether this be in-house or in an agency setting.”
Job Role: Digital PR Executive at Aira
Inspiration: Shannon McGuirk & Aoife O'Connor
Charlotte initially intended to study Geography, but after learning about SEO during her gap year, she decided to switch course to Marketing and Media Communications. While at university, she was introduced to Aira’s Shannon McGuirk and the rest is history!
Charlotte said: “In the future I just want to keep pushing myself to be the best I can be. There is so much to learn in our industry, and we're great at sharing knowledge, so I want to keep an open mind and absorb as much as I can. As this is now my second year in Digital PR, I'm really keen to strengthen my SEO knowledge. I'd like to keep getting lots of lovely coverage for clients too, of course!”
Charlotte’s advice for joining the industry:
“My advice would be to go for it, and be yourself! We all have our own skills and talents, so be confident in your abilities and don't be afraid to put yourself forwards for opportunities. There are so many great women in digital marketing too, get in touch with other people in the industry and build yourself a strong network of people that you can chat to and learn from.”
Gigi Rice and Elle Bellwood
Job Roles: Freelance Creatives
Inspiration: Still looking! But would love to be mentored by a digital PR badass
These two come as a package deal! Both Gigi and Elle went to Ad School together, but found themselves doing a 180 after finding their calling in digital PR. Gigi writes copy and Elle delivers the creative direction - spending their time ideating, pitching and generally making sure cool shit happens.
Gigi and Elle said: “Our biggest success has been winning Cream 2020 and working with incredible agencies, having chased and found each opportunity ourselves. We have a network of about 20 of the best and boldest so we're super proud to be where we are six months into it all. We’re in it for a Nobel prize. Go hard or go home. We want to change lives with a cracking idea and some banging PR.”
Gigi and Elle’s tip for getting into the industry:
“Go out there backing yourself and fight for it. If you don't stand for something, no one will stand with you. Hard work beats talent, but talent working hard beats them all. Apologies, that was three haha!”
Job Role: Digital PR Executive at Kaizen
Inspiration: Louise Parker
Charlotte started her PR career at Motive, where she took her first steps into link-building, before deciding to move down to London and take the next step in her career at Kaizen.
Charlotte said: “I work with a great team and always say my role is to do the ‘nitty gritty’ part of campaigns. I can be involved in every aspect, from ideation and research, to writing and outreach. I love the variety this brings to my day-to-day responsibilities. I've only been in my role at Kaizen for 3 months - all of which I have been remote working - so I try to join as many meetings as I can to learn from the team."
Charlotte’s tips for getting into the industry:
“I always say that no idea is a bad idea. Whether this comes to brainstorms, trying to build a creative CV or thinking about whether to reach out to someone on Twitter. The worst you can be told is ‘no’ and then you have an answer, you're not constantly thinking ‘what if’.”
Job Role: Digital PR Manager at Digitaloft
Inspiration: All the females on her team, as well as Olivia Smith, Marina Plummer, Aliyah Loughlan and Shannon McGuirk
Abi studied a number of Digital Marketing courses alongside her Psychology degree at university, as well as spending time as the Social Media Manager for Student Minds Nottingham. After deciding Psychology wasn’t for her, she landed her first role in digital PR and was hooked!
Abi said: “The thing I'm most proud of has been developing my confidence and speaking at popular industry events, including this year's upcoming brightonSEO - a huge goal of mine. When I started out in my first digital PR role I used to get super anxious even talking or presenting to a couple of my colleagues - let alone a room of strangers! Since then I've worked on my confidence and presenting style and speaking at industry events is now one of my favourite things to do.”
Abi’s thoughts industry inclusivity:
“I think the industry as a whole - myself included - need to be better at calling out less inclusive or diverse environments whether that be on a panel or within a workplace. I think we need to be starting more uncomfortable, challenging conversations and then acting on these, ensuring that those entering the industry of all genders, race and ability have equal opportunities as they embark on their career in digital.”
Job Role: Digital PR Executive at Rise At Seven
Inspiration: Abi Bennetts, Louise Parker, Amy Jones and Carrie Rose
With zero experience in digital PR, Olivia landed her first role in the industry at Reboot Online. She’s recently moved to Rise At Seven, where she spends her time coming up with ideas for campaigns, outreaching and newsjacking, as well as spreading her infectious positivity across the industry.
Olivia said: "I’ve only worked in PR since June, but I’ve hit a lot of goals I set for myself. Such as hitting 180+ placements for one campaign, securing links in the Financial Times and Architectural Digest, getting noticed and ‘pitched’ by Rise at Seven.
Olivia’s thoughts on how we can make the industry more inclusive:
Introduce fair and transparent recruitment practices. According to PRCA ‘2% of PR and communications practitioners disclose that they have a disability. But around twenty per cent of the UK population have a disability, which shows that disabled people are particularly under-represented in PR and Communications.’ Also back in 2016 their census also stated that the industry is 91% white.
Job Role: Senior Digital PR Strategist at ProPrivacy
Inspiration: Natalie Arney
Jo trained a journalist in London before moving up North when she started working as a Digital Marketing Manager at a tech company and started teaching herself all there is to know about the industry.
Jo said: “The first thing I do is wake up and check the big breaking tech stories, what has happened overnight in the US and what is happening or likely to happen first thing in the UK. If there is an opportunity for us to be a part of the story I get to work locating the best person to comment and coordinating the commentary or analysis and then sending it out to the relevant journalists."
Jo’s advice to those joining the industry:
“Don't be afraid to speak up and stand out, make space for yourself and show what you can do.”
Job Role: Outreach Specialist at Manaferra LLC
Inspiration: Joy Hawkins and Lily Ray
Anila found her love for the industry when she spotted an ad for an internship on social media. She applied for the role and it all started from there. Now she’s busy creating exciting campaigns for her clients.
Anila said: “In my country, it is necessary for people to be more informed about digital marketing, to be aware that it includes more than just social media. It is necessary to increase people's awareness of the businesses' need for digital marketing and its demand in the market. This way, women can understand that digital marketing is something they can do too and be very successful.”
Anila’s tip for women in the industry:
“If it's something you like, love it. Everything is achievable and can be learned.”
Job Role: Junior Digital PR Executive
Inspiration: Jessica Pardoe
Robyn studies Multimedia Journalism at university, graduating with a first class honours. Now her role involves collecting data, creating content, outreaching campaigns and monitoring links.
Robyn said: “When I graduated, I found not enough agencies wanted to hire grads. It is a real confidence knock when you apply for a role and they want more experience but nowhere would give me experience, but I was lucky enough to get a job at JBH! My goal now is to be happy working in an agency and not doubt myself every day, I’m a Junior now so my goal is to be a senior and manage my own accounts. I’d like to learn more about everything but particularly SEO.”
Robyn’s tip for getting into the industry:
“Be persistent and don’t give up!”
Social and Paid Media
Job Role: Client Marketing Manager, Patch Marketing
Inspiration: Olivia Hanlon
After completing a BTEC in Creative Media Studies, Melissa was hired for her first marketing role based on her personality, attitude and goals. Now, she delivers on planning and implementing social media strategies, content creating and paid advertising.
Melissa said: “My biggest success to date has been starting our in-house marketing strategy, as a marketing company we've never had one - not even in 10 years. I started the ball rolling on our first strategy - launching soon! It was also great to achieve the top answer on a blog I wrote about how to save time on social media, when I'd never written a blog before.
Melissa’s tips for women entering the industry:
“Take care of yourself, marketing is a tough role (in the top 5 most stressful jobs I believe) and if you want to be in it for the long haul you need to avoid burnout and harmful work environments - teamwork really does make the dream work!”
Job Role: Freelance Community Manager
Inspiration: Alison Battisby
During her time working in the hospitality industry, Palmyre was given free-reign by her employer at the time to create content for their Instagram account and support their community management. From there, she made the move to go into social media full time!
Palmyre said: “Having a career in social media was my goal and I worked really hard to get there. One of my proudest moments was the influencer campaign I did for the drag brunch at Proud Brighton. It was such a nice day and the event worked because the crowd reacted to the performances so well, they took part in them and even got on stage when invited. I really created a long lasting relationship with them which would have been great if I had stayed at Proud.”
Palmyre’s advice for industry newbies:
“Speak up. Don't hesitate to be loud & to make yourselves heard.”
Job Role: Social Media Account Executive at 10 Yetis
Inspiration: Jayde I. Powell
After completing a Masters in PR and Communications, Lauren took her first step into the industry by handing an agency her CV on a bottle of Prosecco - she was later offered a full time position - and is and advocate for being bold when it comes to getting into the industry.
Lauren said: “My day-to-day responsibilities include community management for client accounts, organic content planning and posting, social media paid advertising planning and implementing, as well as influencer management.”
Lauren feels we can make the industry more inclusive by:
“Zero tolerance for any casual sexism and more female CEOs.”
Job Role: Digital Content Executive at Walnut Creative
Inspiration: The women she works with at Walnut
Alisha started out work in the press office for her local council during university and decided that this was the right career for her. In her first role out of university, she fell in love with social media - she now leads on both organic and paid social media accounts for a range of clients.
Alisha said: “As social media is quite varied, each day can be so different - from creating content calendars to planning ad strategies! I would say my biggest career success so far has probably been making around £55k in sales via Facebook Ads, from an ad spend of around £3k, in Q3 and Q4 of last year for one of my clients. It's really exciting to see your strategy bringing in great results.”
Alisha’s tips for entering the industry:
“Experience is key! It's going to give you the edge over other people in your position. Whether you do some work experience, find yourself an internship, or even start your own blog in your spare time, being able to prove you are dedicated and passionate about what you do is super important. It's also not a bad thing if going into your first role you already have that experience under your belt.”
Job Role: PPC Manager at Peak Ace AG
Inspiration: The female colleagues I used work with at Impression
Combining internship experience and enthusiasm, Charlie was able to land her first role in digital marketing. Now she spends her day-to-days communicating with clients about campaign performance and consistently developing digital strategies in-line with business goals.
Charlie said: “I'm so proud of how much I've grown in confidence over the last few years - and how much more positive my outlook is. I can remember the feeling I had during the first few weeks of my first job so clearly - and that was 'I will NEVER be able to do this'! But within a matter of months I was doing all those things and then some! Now, if I'm in a situation where I have no clue what to do, then I trust that I'll be able to figure something out and make the best of it."
Charlie thinks we can make the industry more inclusive by:
“Promoting transparency and accountability within businesses, i.e. releasing diversity data publicly, making salary data and job progression requirements available internally.”
Job Role: Freelance Social Media Manager
Inspiration: Katy Leeson, Claudia Cardinali, Carrie Rose, Charlotte Williams and Laura Rowley
Jonida fell into marketing accidentally. She didn’t know what marketing was until a couple of years ago. There was a little café that she visited almost every day and became really good friends with the owner. Off the back of a conversation, the owner asked Jonida if she’d be willing to help her with her social media strategy and it all started there.
Jonida said: “When I first started, I didn’t know what ROI or CTA meant. I used Canva for everything (still do this!) and Googled the most obscure questions. So my advice would be to just start! I've made so many mistakes, but they were all sources of valuable lessons. So don't be afraid and don't put too much pressure on yourself.”
Jonida’s thoughts on inclusivity in the industry:
“Digital marketing is a creative industry and at the core of a successful campaign, is the ability to make people feel something. You would quite frankly miss out on so much success if you had only one demographic i.e., white men with an average age of 45 working at the company. You need to actively hear different perspectives, different dreams and learn about different backgrounds to be successful."
Job Role: Junior Account Manager at Yours Sincerely
Inspiration: The incredible women in my team
Whilst studying History at university, Bethany never had a clear idea of what she wanted to do with her career. She discovered PR and started cold calling multiple agencies to look for experience opportunities. That’s when she found Yours Sincerely.
Bethany said: “I am fortunate to work for an agency that works really hard to create an inclusive culture. For this reason, I can't say I have ever faced any challenges being a female, but I do notice young women often play down their abilities or lack confidence. I am really trying to work on this myself and build my confidence so I don't fall in this trap too!”
Bethany’s tip for those looking to join the industry:
“To be proactive. There are so many opportunities out there but often the best ones aren't even advertised. I would advise anyone interested in a career in marketing to get in contact with agencies and put yourself on their radar.”
We hope this special roundup places a spotlight on amazing ladies on this list, and across the digital marketing industry who are just starting to make their mark, not just on International Women's Day, but everyday. And that we can all support and empower those overcoming obstacles, battling imposter syndrome and challenging diversity, in order to gain experience and further their careers.