On this International Women’s Day, diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) are at the heart of the concerns.
Why? Well women are supposed to wear makeup 47.2% of the workforce by 2024.
Yet even still, the gender pay gap still has a long way to go. Women’s wages were only 82.6% of the average man in the first quarter of 2021, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
International Women’s Day focuses on a specific message each year, and this time it’s #BreakTheBias.
Employers cannot rely on their teams to naturally promote diversity, equity and inclusion on their own.
It is up to each of us, from the front lines to leaders, to actively speak out against gender bias, discrimination and stereotyping where and when we see it.
What else can you do to foster an inclusive culture in your organization, especially if it hasn’t been an area of focus before?
And how can you, as a woman in the industry, challenge bias in their relationships and work situations?
These women in SEO and marketing have some tips to share with you.
Some are from the recent ‘Showstopping SEO: women making waves‘ which I attended, while others were shared with SEJ via email.
I hope each inspires you to find creative ways to break down bias when you see it – and to recognize it more often as it happens.
Know the value of your skills
Julie Adams, Affiliate SEO
“Sometimes women are used as buffers in industry or in meetings.
Sometimes women are seen as note takers or a look-alike without bringing any value to a conversation.
I broke my ass for 5 to 6 years learning SEO in an agency, managing 80 to 90 clients. Affiliate marketing was my way of making money without having to deal with customers.
I am able to make money based on my skills, not my skills in keeping clients.
You have to show trust. »
You don’t want the customers you’ll lose by getting paid fairly
Bibi Crow, Bibibuzz
Are you nervous about asking for a raise or a rate that might scare off a potential client?
“When presenting your work to potential clients, try to be as transparent as possible. Show them, “This is how I work, this is what you get, and manage expectations from there.”
I keep everything on my website so potential customers know what to expect. From there, I send them a questionnaire to see if they would be a good candidate.
You figure out what you think you’re worth, then double it.
People sometimes see rising rates as a life or death situation. Surprisingly, if you increase your rate, you get better customers.
Know your non-negotiables
Cassandra Le, the eccentric pineapple studio
“Removing gender is a great start for inclusivity when you write. Refer to people as people.
With the way the world is changing right now, it pays to be inclusive. There are a lot of people who identify with different genders, are more in tune with their identity.
The more inclusive you are, the larger the audience you can reach.
If you’re independent, sometimes your values don’t match the ideology or language of your clients. So think about what your non-negotiables are.
Sometimes certain values can be negotiated or flexible depending on the situation.
Sometimes it’s best to end a relationship with a client if they violate your non-negotiables.
Get used to women in SEO taking up space
Marie Ysais, rule your rankings
“To be successful in SEO, being consistent is key.
Stubbornness is another quality to have. You can’t give up and you have to want to keep going no matter what.
Having a support system is so beneficial in this industry because you have a confident group of people to talk to that you know will support you.
Sometimes clients feel like they know more than you, but they hire you. If I can’t direct the show because they get in each other’s way, I immediately part ways with them.
We must speak and be ourselves. Let’s get used to women occupying these positions and taking up space.
Express yourself and share your expertise
Kayle Larkin, Marketing Analytics Consultant
“I used a male pseudonym earlier in my career. I was a young woman in space and it was tough.
I also hid behind the name of my agency. When I started my own business, I didn’t want to be the face of the business.
The people I work with now want to work with me because of my skills. My alter ego at the start of my own business was not respected as much as I am today.
Sometimes what you think you’re getting backfires.
Don’t be the note taker. Be the speaker.
You will shake, your heart will race, but the more you speak up and show your expertise, the more people start to trust you and stop questioning everything you have to say.
Challenge your own biases – we all have them
Chiara D’Ambra, Clearpier
“Having a gender balance and a diverse workforce is important because the more diverse the group, the more wisdom it contains.
Everyone has assumptions and biases, it’s human nature. Unfortunately, they are not healthy and useful.
This is why awareness is so important.
Whenever I get caught in a bias, I try to change my perspective and take a rational view of things.
Whenever someone has a bias about me, I try not to take it personally.
Own your mistakes and actively advance your career
Alina Dobrzinsky, Spyke Media GmbH
“If you support your work with passion and creativity, you can accomplish anything. Always follow your goals.
When we are aware of our strengths and weaknesses, we can adapt better to different circumstances and positions.
We can only fully exploit our potential if we dare and are not afraid to take responsibility.
Every woman should actively influence her career instead of waiting for others to do so. We don’t have to be perfect as long as we do our best.
Don’t let setbacks or bad decisions lower your self-esteem. Everyone makes mistakes, including men.
Respect your decisions and show your passion for the job.
Be confident and open to learning new things, because to continue to be successful in marketing, you must consider that technical understanding is increasingly necessary.
Always create an overview and stay “on top of things”, and don’t be afraid of confrontation.
Find your mentors
Iuliana Popa, commercials and more
“If you want a career in the tech industry, start as soon as possible. Be flexible and do your best.
Pursue your idea no matter what and seek advice from people who have started something similar or those who have achieved what you wanted to achieve.
And always remember that nothing is perfect and you shouldn’t be either: problems happen, good things do too.
Having someone who knows the technology on your side is always a smart idea: it could be a technician you hire, a good technical solution or a technical advisor.
It’s the industry of the present and because of that, it’s very volatile.
Go where your talents are appreciated
Oleksandra Gipsh, Apptrust
I think the best advice I could have given my young self is to not be afraid to speak up.
Very often, our fears of being judged or misunderstood prevent us from contributing our opinion. I think this advice also comes with “don’t doubt yourself”.
All ideas are valuable and all ideas are worth hearing – and if your work environment doesn’t appreciate your input – you’ve probably come to the wrong place.
I am happy and proud to work in an environment where ideas are welcome – processes are there to be modified and developed.
My source of energy at work is people.
Seeing our team succeed, seeing our trainees grow professionally, that’s what gives me joy at work.
I believe the main priority for me was to build a real team and I love seeing how people connect and create real bonds at work.
Break your own glass ceiling
Yogeeta Chainani, Swaarm
“Confidence and self-confidence are key qualities that I would attribute to success in any industry.
Women can be held back for a variety of reasons, including lack of recognition and trust from colleagues and peers, but also lack of self-confidence.
My most important advice for them would be to break through the glass ceiling of social norms and mindsets and show your confidence.
Nobody else will believe in them if they don’t believe in themselves.
Thank you to each of the women above for their participation in this campaign and their advocacy for DCI in the workplace!
We still have a lot of work to do together.
IWD 2022 organizers are asking women to do the following this year:
“Strike the IWD 2022 pose and share your #BreakTheBias image, video, resources, presentation or articles on social media using #IWD2022 #BreakTheBias to encourage others to get involved in helping to forge an inclusive world.
You can learn more about JIF-approved charities, fundraising activities and cause-related marketing at official site.
Featured Image: Shutterstock/Southworks