Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Digital Women: Lexi Clarke of ActionRocket on what International Women’s Day means to her

To mark International Women’s Day and our Digital Women Lunch 2024, we’ve been chatting with some of the industry’s leading female voices to get their thoughts on how digital can truly achieve equity. Here, we chat with Lexi Clarke, Agency Director, ActionRocket

Why is it still important to mark IWD?

Over a century since the first International Women’s Day, we’ve spotlighted women’s global achievements annually, yet the journey to total gender equality is far from over. 

Annually honouring this day isn’t just tradition—it’s us standing tall for unity in the battle for fairness. There’s no place for complacency; while the path to achieving full gender equality may be long, our commitment to elevating awareness now is more critical than ever. It’s a powerful call to action to address what’s urgent with united resolve.

How can men be better allies and supporters of their female colleagues?

At ActionRocket, we collectively identified meaningful actions men can take to truly support and uplift their female colleagues. Here are our top 5 to embrace: 

  • Equality at the core: Treat everyone with equal respect and promote an inclusive culture that values diversity, and all perspectives and voices.
  • Listen actively: Prioritise understanding female colleagues by listening to their experiences, especially those unique to them, and supporting them against inappropriate, sexist, or discriminatory behaviour.
  • Champion equal opportunities: Ensure females have the same career opportunities as their male colleagues and include them in all team activities.
  • Cultivate compassion: Build a supportive and compassionate workplace where everyone’s value is recognised.
  • Proactively Learn: Dive into issues like menstruation and menopause that impact women more. Be ready to engage in open discussions.

What changes can be made at an organisational or industry level to better support women?

To truly support women in the workplace, organisations and industries must make decisive changes and commit to them – creating an environment where women can excel, contribute significantly, and remain engaged long-term. These are our top commitments:

  • Equal pay: Guarantee women are paid the same as men for equivalent roles.
  • Flex work options: Available upfront and subject to ongoing review to support work-life balance; flexible hours, remote work, and part-time roles.
  • Parental leave for all: Provide comprehensive parental leave for both parents.
  • Boost diversity: Increase women’s representation at every level, especially in leadership, and cultivate an inclusive culture that fosters diverse views.
  • Zero tolerance policy: Create a workplace where discrimination and harassment are not tolerated, without question.
  • Networking and growth: Support and facilitate networking events, conferences, and industry-specific forums to encourage women to build professional connections.

How can older women better support their younger female colleagues?

All generations can learn from each other but, in particular, older women can play a pivotal role in supporting their younger female colleagues by embracing these actions:

  • Empower and mentor: Encourage younger females to find their voice and provide mentorship to navigate their career paths effectively.
  • Share wisdom: Pass on valuable life lessons and advice to navigate both personal and professional challenges, offering the insights they wish they had at their stage.
  • Foster collaboration: Create an open environment for sharing experiences and insights. Mindfully celebrating younger colleagues’ contributions. Practice micro-appreciation to build a positive and supportive atmosphere.
  • Show empathy: Understand and empathise with the life and work challenges younger colleagues face, offering friendship alongside professional support.
  • Celebrate skills: Recognise and leverage the unique skills of each generation, showcasing how they can complement each other in the workplace.

By adopting these foundational strategies, older women can help create a nurturing and empowering environment for the next generation of female professionals.

What are your business priorities for this year?

Our main business objectives for this year, I’m proud to say, echo our commitment to equality. 

Our team recently engaged in a workshop centred around Ari Wallach’s forward-thinking concept of ‘Long Path Planning’. This approach challenges us to move beyond short-term thinking, inspiring actions that pave the way for a brighter future. 

A pivotal moment came when we considered, ‘How might we shape a legacy within our agency that sets a precedent for future generations?’

Remarkably, over 30% of our team’s responses highlighted a shared aspiration for greater equity and equal opportunities within the digital industry, signalling a strong push for diversity, especially in leadership positions. It reflects our commitment to building a more inclusive and representative workforce.

Aligned with our journey of expansion over the past two years, our focus for the current year revolves around what we affectionately term the “3 P’s”:

  • People: We are invested in fostering personal and professional growth, cultivating a culture of collaboration and mutual support that enriches the lives of each team member through our ‘better me, better you, better us’ approach.
  • Place: We aim to transform our workspace into a sanctuary, where individuals not only thrive but also find solace, joy, and fulfilment in their work.
  • Planet: Recognising our interconnectedness with the world around us, we are committed to implementing sustainable practices in our operations and empowering our team to make conscious choices in their work and home life.

These shifts in mindset and practice guide us toward sustainable growth, ensuring that our agency not only thrives in the present but also creates a blueprint for generations to come.