Gergana (Geri) Kirovska is CCO and Co-Founder of Rayn, a technology that creates predictive and curated audiences at scale through frequent moments of consumer confirmation and validation. She started her digital industry journey in 2014 at GroupM, where she held several product marketing and innovation roles. In 2018 Geri joined Faktor (later acquired by LiveRamp). She also launched an initiative for women in tech (H.E.R).
What is the biggest opportunity for women in your sector of the digital industry today?
In today’s digital industry, we’re in the best position ever to break down barriers and achieve an equal playing field. There is a growing emphasis on diversity and inclusion, with more initiatives, mentorship programs and support networks available to help women thrive in various digital roles, from software development, data science, digital marketing and design.
The opportunity for women is to take advantage of all the industry has to offer because it has not always been this way. More and more women contribute to innovative solutions and drive positive change in the digital sector. As a result, women are finally trusting in themselves and being more authentic. They can embrace their unique strengths and follow their instincts without the pressure to conform, as being distinctive is now more openly celebrated.
What is the biggest challenge to you as a woman in the digital industry, and how are you overcoming it?
I’ve always ventured into uncharted territories as a woman in adtech and embraced roles that never existed before with no predefined measures of success. In these ambiguous situations, women often end up taking care of tasks that no one else cares to handle. It’s an issue many of us can relate to, picking up what needs doing without pushing back.
It was a challenge because there were no benchmarks of how I should be successful in these roles. But, this resulted in a profound personal transformation, helping me to overcome a large part of my insecurities rooted in my Bulgarian culture. In Bulgaria, you need to know you are good at something before you attempt to do it. During my career, I learned to forge my path and make things happen, eradicating the fear of the unknown. This shift in mindset has been a remarkable catalyst for personal growth and adaptability.
What three things could employer companies do to make the digital industry better for women?
I can list more than three things employers could do. But, if I had to choose, I would start with the education of middle management and investment in training and skill development programs that help women acquire and enhance professional growth. Research conducted by the World Economic Forum highlighted an issue with many women not getting the opportunity to progress from the first level of management or even be considered for leadership roles.
Second, I’d like to see more appreciation for women in leadership roles as they are driving change forward. You can’t be what you can’t see, so these women play an essential role in encouraging other women to pursue leadership opportunities.
Thirdly, actively create a diverse and inclusive work environment where women feel valued and empowered – a place that understands them. It’s so important to be flexible to the needs of mothers who may need to pick up their children from school or understand that they may be unable to attend every work event due to child care. I’d love to see more inclusive policies created that foster equal opportunities for career growth while understanding what women need.
What support structures and organisations are most important and effective to you as a woman in the digital industry?
Women in the digital industry require allies. While it can be demanding for them to continually champion workplace diversity independently, men can play a pivotal role in actively promoting positive change and supporting their female counterparts in the industry. Platforms like Blook UK offer opportunities for men to actively engage in conversation and gain a deeper understanding of the challenges women encounter. This involvement can be as simple as championing female colleagues.
What is the biggest misconception about women and by women in the digital industry?
A big misconception is that women can’t achieve success in the industry, sometimes perpetuated by women themselves. However, this is not the case. Women bring valuable traits like empathy, endurance, and a fear of failure that make them ideal for leadership roles.
Today, numerous inspirational women are leading the way, proving that we can succeed. It’s essential for women who have reached the top to make sure they send the elevator back down to help the next round of women taking the world by storm.
*Rayn is a client of Bluestripe Communications, owned by Bluestripe Group, the publisher of NDA