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Why digital marketing needs more female role models

Digital marketing, as an industry, is young, dynamic, fast-moving and filled with opportunities for women.
Image credit: Jon Flobrant on Unsplash.
Image credit: Jon Flobrant on Unsplash.

But despite the enormous strides that have been made in terms of female representation in the digital marketing industry, it continues to be dominated by males at the executive level.

It’s an industry in need of female role models, particularly in the form of entrepreneurs.

We need to challenge the notion that anything digital, or technical, is a space to which men are more “naturally” drawn.

Similarly, we need to actively challenge the tired notion of men being the creatives and women the account managers, as per the traditional agency model.

Women backing women

In order to achieve this, women need to support women. We need to celebrate each other’s triumphs and support each other through the trials

Women can’t afford to play small anymore, we need to overcome our fears, speak up, and believe that we are good – and good enough to be counted.
The best business advice that I was ever given is two-fold and continues to be relevant to this day.

Firstly, it’s important to not be afraid to speak your mind. Even if you’re not 100% certain of something, by sharing your thoughts and ideas you’re inviting feedback, collaboration and growth.

Secondly, we all have something to bring to the table. When one understands that it also encourages one to truly listen to others and to appreciate their contribution.

Achieving work-life balance

It’s such a cliché but I strive to maintain a work-life balance. We need to understand that burnout is very real and when you burn out, you are unable to contribute meaningfully to your work.

As women, we often feel the need to work harder, to perform, but it’s equally important to regularly take a step back to relax, reflect and re-assess what you’ve done and where it is that you’re doing.

I find that I get the best results from people when I treat them with respect by seeing them for who they are and focusing on their strengths.

Good results happen when you work with somebody on nurturing and developing their strengths. This includes listening to people because by listening we can start to understand what drives people and motivate them accordingly.

Strong female leaders have always featured in my career. As such, I admire strong leadership.

I admire those who aren’t afraid of taking risks. I admire consistency – in work ethic, in values, in style of leadership. I believe that good leaders encourage people to be a better version of themselves by sharing a clear vision and being consistent in how they give advice.

Staying relevant

Digital marketing is an industry where things move quickly – which means it is important to stay relevant by ensuring you’re up-to-date, and that you’re always challenging the status quo. Self-reflection is such an integral part of ongoing learning and professional development for me.

In my career, I have been lucky to work with (and learn from) some of the best local and international marketers. Working with big reputable brands is also always a highlight because there is so much to learn from brands that do things differently.

As females in the workplace, we need to stop being afraid of being ourselves. Don’t be something that you’re not, and don’t be afraid of using your strengths as a female.

Support other females. It’s when we stand together that we are able to make a real difference.

About Tasmin Kingma

Tasmin is the COO at Hoorah digital. She is results-driven and one of Africa's brightest talents. Tasmin believes data tells the truth hence why her thinking is data first.

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