MediaLad’s Week in Digital Media: The Differences Between Men and Women in Media

Who’s MediaLad? In digital media, everyone pretends they know who he, or she, is.

We do. Or do we? What we do know is that MediaLad is NDA’s regular columnist, providing his/her unique, irreverent view of the latest gossip and goings-on in the digital media industry.

In all my years in media, I’ve encountered many things and people.

It’s well known that I know a fair number of people from all walks of digital, and with that I meet a lot of different types of personalities that vary in success with their approaches.

What I’ve come to learn is that when hiring there is a distinct difference between males and females in the media workplace; differences that are clear all the way from interview to leaving. Without wanting to sound too reductive, the most important of these differences can be simply summarised. Men get bored and women care.

Men get bored. Easily.

In recent months, I’ve come across many instances where men (including myself) won’t do an easy task for reasons that simply suit them or have a lack of application to make a task better that “they’re already really good at”.

Simply put, sheer laziness is the root of many problems within the male contingent in many places I’ve worked in.

Be it forwarding email chains and expecting you to read them or more complex campaign setups being thrown together fairly lackadaisically. Attention to detail is really important and when you get bored it removes the enthusiasm you once had for the tasks that were once interesting and a challenge for you to overcome.

Men’s failings times sometimes seem to stem from a belief they need to conquer and then move on to the next objective in life.

This gives me a deep fear that despite a lot of talented men in the industry, we have to put up with a lot who are just looking to conquer the next task and are not thinking clearly about the strategy or long-term gains for everyone involved.

Women care. A lot.

Personally speaking and forgive me as this column is essentially based purely on my experiences – women care a lot more about the impact of every action taken within their responsibilities.

Each decision is deliberated and cared for in a way that means the best for most will be met.

Where this falls down is often when it comes to maternity. Seriously, it is so hard for women in our industry to balance the life of their work and the life they bring into the world.

According to Skillset, 35% of men in the industry have dependent children living with them but only 23% of women, suggesting that many women leave the industry as a consequence of starting a family.

Why is it so hard for us to build a platform for women to come back to work in a much more flexible way and deliver the excellent results we know they can? Where it is within your remit you should promote flexible working for the mothers and fathers in your company to deliver what you know they can with the flexibility that is required when growing a family.

It’s really not that easy and yet it is “expected” for women returning to work to deal with the often-punishing conditions of the media industry without the necessary support.

It’s madness we’re not doing more to stop the outpouring of female talent from our industry and we all need to do better.

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