Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Digital Women: It’s time to put your money where your mouth is

By Ellie Edwards Scott, Co-Founder, The Advisory Collective and our partner with for the launch of Digital Women.

The theme for this year’s IWD is ‘Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress’

This calls out for us to be measurable and demonstrable – something that we’re used to in this industry, yet there seems to be some fatigue around IWD this year, and even around DE&I in general.

The initial enthusiasm around DE&I, as it was pushed top of every company’s list in 2020 seems to have waned, many people (wrongly) think that box has been ticked but the truth is that we still have a long way to go as an industry and an even longer way to go as a society.

Only by investing in women will we close the gender pay gap, as an industry this currently stands at 15.3%, higher than the UK average of 12.1% showing that we’re stalling when it comes to equality.

Results from the All In Census (the largest survey of our industry with nearly 19,000 respondents) show that almost a third of women believe that their company doesn’t treat everyone equally based on their gender, this number is even higher amongst women from ethnic minorities. Also, 15% of women are likely to leave the industry due to lack of inclusion or discrimination that they’ve faced.

So on 8th March and indeed this month, let’s ditch the pink, go beyond the unofficial #inspireinclusion hashtag, resist that heart selfie and instead try and make at least one significant change that will make a difference to the women in your workplace.

What can companies do:

Have clear career advancement plans in place, we know that we over-index for women at entry level but struggle with retention at mid-level and progression into senior roles.

Examine the current pay structures, and put some tangible steps and a timeline in place to address the issues that exist.

Examine your flexible working policies.

Examine your company policies, are they shaped to provide an inclusive and supportive environment for women? Are the policies easily accessible?

What can male allies do:

Speak up for and celebrate the women around you, and acknowledge their achievements and hard work….you can do this as a colleague as well as if you are in a more senior role.

When you’re asked to speak on a panel ask the organiser if they would also like recommendations of female speakers, and check that they have a gender-balanced lineup taking part in the event.

Attend an IWD event, we still have a few tickets left for the lunch on 8th! Put your (or your company’s) money where your mouth is and come to a predominantly female event to support, learn and listen!