Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Digital Women: Charlotte Powers, Head of Digital, Bountiful Cow

Charlotte Powers is Head of Digital, Bountiful Cow and the latest to be featured in NDA’s Digital Women series

With over ten years’ experience in digital media, Charlotte overseas all the digital output for Bountiful Cow, from digital strategy through to campaign management. She is also an advocate for the agency’s ‘Relative Advantage’ proposition, which seeks to find exciting and distinctive digital spaces and platforms that competitor brands have overlooked.

What is the biggest opportunity for women in your sector of the digital industry today?

One of the biggest opportunities for women lies in leadership roles and entrepreneurship. Despite progress, there’s still a significant gender pay gap across tech leadership positions. Yet, women bring unique perspectives and skills to the table, which drive innovation and business success.

I also believe that women in our industry can contribute significantly to tech education and mentorship initiatives. Mentorship and coaching are something I have personally found incredibly useful over the past few years to help guide my career and understand how to leverage a position of digital leadership within a media agency.

Knowing how important the right guidance at the right time has been for me, encouraged me to become a mentor for other women interested in making it in the digital world. Helping to inspire and nurture the future generation of female leaders and innovators in the digital industry is incredibly exciting.

What are some of the challenges that you see for women in the industry? Any advice as to how to overcome it?

There is still a lack of female representation in senior digital and tech roles, which can make it difficult for those starting out in the industry to identify relevant role models they can aspire to. This is certainly evolving, but again there’s still plenty of room for change.

My advice would be to build a strong support network, both within your workplace but also within the wider industry. Attend talks, seminars, become a mentee, sign up to training. There are endless opportunities within this industry to become an expert in a field that excites and engages you.

I also think there is a fear in thinking you’re asking the wrong questions. When has anyone ever said, ‘I’m not answering that because you haven’t asked the right thing’. Ask the questions that are important to you and will help you develop. It’s remarkable how frequently individuals enjoy responding to questions, regardless of the specific content of what is being asked.

What support structures and organisations are most important and effective to you as a woman in the digital industry?

From personal experience, I was terrified of being completely overlooked upon my return to work following maternity leave. The industry changes so much I was fearful that everything I had been working towards before taking a year off to raise a baby would be forgotten. Thankfully, I could not have been more wrong.

One of the many benefits of working at Bountiful Cow is that alongside an enhanced shared parental leave and pay policy, and flexible work schedules, new mums are paired up with a parent buddy and offered return to work coaching to keep communication channels open and confidence high.

The incredible coaching I received from Hayley Mascall, provided some invaluable insight on my return to work and helped me to look at the bigger picture and the value of my background, knowledge and expertise which made my transition back to work a positive and productive experience.

I have also found support in my peers within the industry who offer a reassuring presence. It’s important to surround yourself with other women who have navigated their own challenges within the industry to help give you perspective outside of the immediate space you and your role occupy.

What is the biggest misconception about women and by women in the digital industry

As outdated as it seems, there is a misconception that women may not be as technically savvy as their male counterparts. I couldn’t disagree more. Some of the brightest women I know in the industry are leading teams within the biggest tech partners in the UK. I’ve had first-hand experience of working with some incredible women who have taught me so much about digital and tech.

I do believe this misconception is more prevalent in the wider global tech space, as opposed to the UK media industry, which is making progress. But we can all work towards dispelling these views by supporting girls and women working their way through the ranks and giving them the opportunities to excel in more traditionally male dominated spaces.