Here at GA Agency, we are proud that over 80% of our team are women, spread across both junior and senior roles. We strive for equality in the workplace and an environment where everyone is treated equally and with respect. As the team has grown we have been able to offer our employees benefits such as hybrid and remote working, learning and training programmes, and our employee well-being scheme. We aim to be flexible and ensure women within the agency who are professionals and mums don’t have to compromise between having a career and being able to have a family. We’re currently working on more policies including more flexibility in the workplace and encouraging parental leave.
We asked members of our team a few questions about digital marketing, what change would they like to see in the industry to strive towards better equality, and what International Women’s Day means to them. We wanted to get different perspectives from the team, regardless of gender, as this is a day that everyone can celebrate together, and is something we should focus on not just today, but throughout the year. This is what Francesco our Senior SEO Specialist, Hanna our Digital Marketing Specialist, Jade our Digital Marketing Specialist and Justine our Paid Media Specialist had to say.
Hanna says: “The digital realm is the future. We can either be afraid of it or embrace it all with its unlimited potential. Working in a digital marketing agency enables me to look forward. No matter if it is a new start-up or an established brand, it is so inspiring to see or even, be a part of a broader vision that aims to serve its customers in the best way possible.”
Francesco says: “When you’re in-house there is a limit to how much you can learn, what can you experiment, how deep you can understand a subject. In an agency, you are encouraged to be the best expert you can be, you learn about several industries, and exchange knowledge with other really smart people. I regret making the jump later than I should have!”
Justine says: “I wanted to work for a digital marketing agency for a few different reasons. Firstly, I studied marketing at university & loved it. But my reason for specifically choosing to work at an agency was for the variety of different projects and clients, to feel like every day is different. I didn’t plan on specifically working in digital marketing, but with the world going online it makes sense, and I love the flexibility of being able to work remotely.”
Jade says: “GA Agency has provided me with everything and more. As a team, and working with clients, I have learned that no day is the same. Of course, as an agency, we strive to achieve the best results for our clients, but an important thing I have learnt is that GA also ensures that the progression of the agency and all employees involved is measured too – creating a faultless working environment.”
Francesco says: “I would like to see speaking panels in conferences where everyone is represented. I think the SEO industry (especially in the UK) is making big strides in terms of equality, and I would like to go as far as saying a great part of the most influential SEO people are female (if you think about Twitter). I would love to see some more female Head of SEOs as well.”
Jade says: “Despite the strong fight to abolish gender norms and stigmatisation in advertising, I desire the inclusion of those who aren’t recognised outside of PR stunts and campaigns. Whom I am referring to is both men and women who live with a disability, or who have lived with autoimmune conditions such as alopecia and so on. The spectrum of beauty stretches far beyond what we as a society deem normal and I believe even if it’s for a smaller minority, everybody should be able to relate to a model, actor or actress featured in visual media.”
Hanna says: “I am a copywriter, which means that I love words. Language shapes our reality. So for me, it all starts with shifting the conversation. I would want to see other brands being more open to gender-fluid vocabulary.”
Justine says: Aside from the widening gender pay gap & the often lesser-valued female voice, for me, a huge problem is that the foundations of the workday were built according to the masculine biochemical 24-hour schedule. Whereas a man’s energy, motivation & cognitive levels reset each 24 hour period, a woman is taught early on to go against her natural hormonal cycle to fit the male schedule, despite there being 4 distinct phases that can significantly alter these abilities (both positively & negatively) during the month (Forbes, 2018). By being allowed to work with, rather than against, their natural 30-day cycle, women could greatly increase their workplace productivity & happiness, reducing burnout and stress.”
Justine says: “All the women in my life are inspirational to me, from family & close friends to colleagues. I notice a common theme of a combination of proactivity, determination & empathy, which are conducive to achieving great things, whilst also leaving the world and the people around you better than when you found them.”
Jade says: “Narrowing it down to just one inspirational female in my life would most certainly be challenging to say the least, but one woman who continues to fight a battle every day is Imogen. Specifically, my partner’s cousin, Imogen lives with a chronic illness that continues to challenge her every day of her life. Despite the pain, fatigue, nausea and much more, she will never be overpowered by her body. Her normality is our worst day, but any time I see Imogen, she never fails to reveal her gorgeous smile and is a strong activist herself, using her illness to raise awareness and challenge social norms.”
Hanna says: “Actually, not one but (at least) three women. Audrey Hepburn. Franca Sozzani. My mother. Audrey, for her intelligence, poise and humanitarian work. She had always been an epitome of perfection. Franca, because she transformed Vogue Italia into a masterpiece. Her work reflects all my aspirations – an intersection of fashion, art and a socio-political commentary. And my mum, for her indescribable strength and resilience. She was the one who taught me to how to never take “no” for an answer and how to be unapologetically myself.”
Francesco says: “I would like to give a shoutout to all the Women in tech SEO. It’s such an awesome community that counts on some of the most talented SEO specialists in the industry, and they’re all female. They have a great setup with a newsletter, Slack group, in-person and virtual events and mentorship. If you’re a woman starting out in SEO, imposter syndrome and lack of connections can be hard. Follow @techseowomen and @areej_abuali and everything will be easier. Another Twitter person which is contributing massively to industry progress and knowledge sharing is Aleyda Solis (@aleyda) – she has an awesome newsletter and created learningseo.io, the best repository for people getting into SEO. And I could list more and more!”
Jade says: “International Women’s Day may only be deemed an occasion for just 24 hours, but it is something that is celebrated throughout the year, a time where we can relay the achievements and milestones of all females. It is a day of many when we can appreciate and recognise those around us, a celebration of our community no matter what your age, race, ethnicity, sexuality, mobility or religion.”
Francesco says: “It reminds me that everyone should be treated equally. That no one should be discriminated against because of power, social status, skin colour, beliefs, or anything really, let alone gender. And that all of us as men should do our best to fight stereotypes and unfairness, both in society and in the work environment.”
Hanna says: “I think the best word to describe it is “awareness.” I am aware of the progress that has been made over the years and simultaneously conscious of the obstacles that are yet to be conquered. Celebration is empowering, but I want to see more inclusivity. We can do better so let’s do better.”
Justine says: “International women’s day is not something that I have previously celebrated, but I am pleased to find a day where we can reflect on our progress in terms of female equality & recollect our ideas to see what more must be done. Happy International Women’s Day!”
Today we want to celebrate the achievements of our female colleagues and recognise the change that we as an agency can make. It’s important to have conversations today about how we can strive for equality, and work towards them throughout the year.