Analytics & Digital Marketing Tips

Supporting Women in Analytics and Marketing

Supporting Women in Analytics and Marketing

September 25, 2017           Analytics

Supporting women in analytics and marketing should be implicit, yet we still operate in a global business environment where not everyone is treated equally. Every company has the opportunity to make a positive impact by raising awareness and taking action on this important issue.

Every company has the opportunity to make a positive impact by raising awareness and taking action on this important issue.

Specifically, the analytics industry has largely been dominated by males, or so it seems. In fact, according to a recent Forbes article by Meta S. Brown, nearly half of all analytics professionals are women — the most of any other STEM field.

There are many capable, successful women in analytics and marketing, within Blast as well as client and partner organizations. These women are critical resources to the industry’s growth, as well as its long-term sustainability.

Still, companies must continue to drive change by welcoming women into analytics and marketing careers, while also reaching out to young females to explore the opportunities the industry can provide.

After all, analytics and marketing is an exciting, challenging, and rewarding industry — one that would be even better served with broader views and differing approaches through diversity in the workforce.

Corporate and Social Responsibility

image of blast's core value of individualityMany companies promote a set of values that guide organizational behavior, decision making, and action both internally and externally. Among Blast’s Core Values is INDIVIDUALITY, encouraging teammates to “be yourself and support individuality (show your personality).”

This means wholeheartedly embracing diversity in the workforce and industry, supporting people of all gender, race, ethnicity, religion, and other personal backgrounds.

Blast has a proven track record in hiring, developing, promoting, and advocating for women in analytics and marketing. Many of our teammates are females, including several in leadership positions, and all serve as key contributors to our company, clients, and industry as a whole. Yet we are always striving to EVOLVE in this critical area.

Taking and Encouraging Action

Blast continues to advocate for women in analytics and marketing, using our industry leadership to raise awareness of the topic and encouraging others to do the same. In addition to hiring women into leadership and growth-oriented roles, Blast sponsors the Women in Analytics Community within the Digital Analytics Association, supporting gender equality within the profession and helping female analysts thrive.

In addition, Blast encourages Women in Analytics (WIA) internships; sponsors STEM/STEAM competitions and programs in elementary schools (for all kids), and supports libraries, computers, and art programs at local schools with relevant resources.

Furthermore, we are planning to offer our employees sensitivity training to understand and avoid harmful actions toward women and other minority groups. All this, and we’re just getting formally started in this overall initiative to support such diversity and continue to Make Our Mark on the industry.

A couple other examples of positive support in the industry include:

Women Making Their Mark

Blast has directly benefited from the contributions of many women in critical roles across the organization. We are proud to highlight some of them and their diverse perspectives below:

blast analytics and marketing women in analytics

Mai Alowaish Aimee Bos Roopa Carpenter Amy Hebdon Sarah Katinger Halee Kotara

Mai, Alowaish, Analytics Consultant

image of blast's mai alowaish quote regarding women in analytics

Briefly describe what you do at Blast:
I design and implement digital analytics configurations for our clients on a variety of platforms; develop analytics tracking strategy and implementation documentation for clients; build and customize Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, DoubleClick, and other analytics and advertising platforms’ tracking code to measure critical KPIs; and oversee the testing and validation of code.

What inspired you to enter the field of analytics and marketing?
I have always had a passion for working on websites, and I followed the market trends that led me to analytics. With only 20 percent of engineering degrees awarded to women, being an engineer made me realize that women need to challenge some stereotypes in the workplace and deliver a social impact on their profession. Going into analytics, I knew it was a big challenge, but I have enjoyed every step. I really like problem solving (my engineering mind) and working with numbers to tell the story behind the data.

What advice would you give to other women entering the field of analytics and marketing?
First, love what you do. What you do for a living doesn’t have to be the norm for your gender, age, or profile overall. If you have a passion for what you do, you will excel no matter what! Second, keep learning. Continuing education gives you a competitive edge in the market. The options are now endless to learn new skills or achieve certifications through learning in different mediums that fit any schedule and lifestyle.

First, love what you do. What you do for a living doesn't have to be the norm for your gender, age, or profile overall.Click To Tweet

In what ways do you feel the analytics and marketing industry can further support women?
With the recent technology options, companies in the marketing and analytics industry can offer women great life-work balance options. Investing in resources that offset the life-work balance challenge will ensure that companies retain their female employees for a longer time. Also, building a community for women in these industries and providing mentorship can help women connect and have a supportive community that encourages advancement in their careers. Furthermore, the Analytics industry can show us, with figures, how women in the workplace make a difference. The marketing industry can use its power to overcome stereotypes and break down barriers to encourage women to follow their passion and utilize their skills in technical or analytical careers.

What other thoughts or messages do you have on this topic?
Working at Blast, I realized how the policies and culture of the company can really affect a topic like this. Blast gave me the opportunity to work remotely and provided all the tools to make my remote work almost like being at our Rocklin headquarters. That made a huge difference on the energy I had for work. Furthermore, Blast focuses on results and delivery and provides great tools to have the flexibility to manage the hours and work. As a Mom, it would have been hard for me to stay in the market if I didn’t have those flexibilities that Blast offers.

Aimee Bos, Director, Analytics Strategy

image of blast's aimee bos quote regarding women in analytics

Briefly describe what you do at Blast:
I work with clients to develop analytics strategies. The best part of my job is I get to tell stories with data.

What inspired you to enter the field of analytics and marketing?
I was already working on the digital side of advertising, and it was a natural progression. Early in my career, I took over the ROI reporting for an advertising heavy business-to-business ecommerce site. The demand for reporting required me to take our analytics from basic page level and click events to user behavior analysis and business insights.

What advice would you give to other women entering the field of analytics and marketing?
My advice is the same as it would be for any STEM career: you don’t need to be a stereotype. We might be outnumbered, but we can lead, we can inspire, and we can contribute at the highest level. Just remember, you can’t be intimidated by your male counterparts. Reach out to them, learn from everyone you can, collaborate, and network. Your male counterparts will mentor and support you too!

In what ways do you feel the analytics and marketing industry can further support women?
Diversity is important, not just as it relates to gender. Different people bring with them different perspectives. I think it is important for the industry to show that their hiring practices not only support a diverse workforce, but also helps to develop a group of diverse leaders. We need a diverse group of leaders in the analytics industry who can mentor and inspire the next generation.

Diversity is important, not just as it relates to gender. Different people bring with them different perspectives.Click To Tweet

Do you have a female mentor or “role model” that has helped inspire, guide, or grow your career? Briefly describe.
I have been very lucky to work on teams with many strong, intelligent women. We would often share our professional experiences, challenges, and victories with each other. That feeling of inclusion and having other people rooting for you is always inspiring.

Roopa Carpenter, Director, Optimization

image of blast's roopa carpenter quote regarding women in analytics

Briefly describe what you do at Blast:
I drive testing and personalization strategy, implementation, and results analysis for various clients. Specifically, I oversee all optimization-related account activity, identify user experience (UX) opportunities, create testing roadmaps, and utilize a data-driven approach to impact customer purchase behavior and bottom-line metrics.

What inspired you to enter the field of analytics and marketing?
I actually don’t have an analytics and marketing background; I started my career as an attorney. However, when my family moved to a new state, I was unable to practice law there, so I sought something new. That led me to become a PPC manager, which aligned well with my existing analytic skills. In this industry, we’re not always presented with an answer. The real joy is in looking at the data, analyzing it, determining a recommendation, and then communicating that recommendation effectively to the client. As PPC manager, I also became involved with testing, and I fell in love with that role. It involved many of the skills and experience of a lawyer, but applied in a different industry. I continued to pursue testing knowledge and opportunities, and eventually managed the entire testing team. Thereafter, I found Blast and evolved into my current position.

What advice would you give to other women entering the field of analytics and marketing?
I would encourage any female interested specifically in testing and personalization to develop coding skills, such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. There are several online training opportunities to achieve this. You don’t necessarily need to develop advanced skills, but having an understanding will make you less dependent and more confident in following up on the work you’re performing. When engineers are discussing “buildouts,” for example, you’ll know what they’re talking about, even if you’re not doing the work yourself.

In what ways do you feel the analytics and marketing industry can further support women?
Overall, there needs to be more concerted effort to place deserving women in leadership roles. For young females, seeing women in leadership roles validates growth opportunities and inspires them. Contrarily, if they only see male leadership roles, they may question their career paths and development, within a specific company or in the industry as a whole. It’s critical that companies understand the impact of this visibility on women, particularly younger employees.

For young females, seeing women in leadership roles validates growth opportunities and inspires them.Click To Tweet

Do you have a female mentor or “role model” that has helped inspire, guide, or grow your career? Briefly describe.
There is no single person; I’ve been inspired by several women. Personally, I’m very focused on developing my career, versus just performing my job, and how I can help grow our company. As such, I continuously reach out to women in leadership roles to understand how they got there, so I can apply some of their learnings and experiences to enhance my role — and value — at Blast.

What other thoughts or messages do you have on this topic?
When you’re performing your job, do it to the best of your abilities. But also think much bigger. Ask yourself how you can bring even greater value to your company and what else you can do, even if that’s not part of your current responsibilities. If you’re thinking about growing your career, be proactive about your development and newer, bigger things you can take on.

Amy Hebdon, Director, Paid Search

image of blast's amy hebdon quote regarding women in analytics

Briefly describe what you do at Blast:
I oversee our paid marketing efforts and strategies.

What inspired you to enter the field of analytics and marketing?
I’ve always been drawn to advertising — I was writing jingles and ad campaigns when I was 7. I got my degree in Marketing Communications and saw the opportunity in digital.

What advice would you give to other women entering the field of analytics and marketing?
My advice is simple: Know there’s a place for you at the table. The field desperately needs more smart marketers, whether you’re more creative and intuitive, or more analytical and logical. (Bonus points if you feel equally at home with left-brain and right-brain activities.)

In what ways do you feel the analytics and marketing industry can further support women?
No manager, company, or even industry can end systemic sexism, but we can all do something to acknowledge it, recognize it, and address it. It can be so subtle and pervasive that it can affect both women and men without us even realizing it, so we all need to commit to increased self-awareness and seek feedback from others.

It can be so subtle and pervasive that it can affect both women and men without us even realizing it.Click To Tweet

Do you have a female mentor or “role model” that has helped inspire, guide, or grow your career? Briefly describe.
I really admire Rhea Drysdale for single-handedly fighting a fight that should have been fought by the industry.

Sarah Katinger, Marketing Manager

image of blast's sarah katinger quote regarding women in analytics

Briefly describe what you do at Blast:
Mainly, I work with our creative and editorial teams to improve our company branding, sales collateral, and marketing initiatives. From site content to social media, blog posts, case studies, webinars, event sponsorships, and email marketing campaigns, I’ve got it covered. I’m also our Salesforce and Marketo administrator, ensuring our implementations are working together and that our analytics and marketing consulting sales pipeline is up-to-date.

What inspired you to enter the field of analytics and marketing?
As a kid, I couldn’t sit still, and I continue to have a hard time doing so in my 30s. I knew I’d need to work in an industry that is always changing and growing in order to keep me interested. The world of marketing doesn’t disappoint on that front. From the smallest of marketing tactics to the hottest tools, there’s always something new to try and something new learn.

What advice would you give to other women entering the field of analytics and marketing?
A few things jump out at me, but I think the most important are: 1) You’re just as qualified as those other guys. Be confident in that; 2) Don’t be afraid to speak up. I feel that sometimes women wait to be asked. Don’t wait; if you have a valid point, make it; 3) Trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, then listen to that feeling; and 4) Even if you think you know exactly what you want, that will most likely change. Get as much experience as possible, in as many facets of a business as you can. If you’re lucky enough to find a place like Blast, many paths will be available to you.

I feel that sometimes women wait to be asked. Don't wait; if you have a valid point, make it.Click To Tweet

In what ways do you feel the analytics and marketing industry can further support women?
The gender and pay gap is real. The first step is for organizations to admit that there’s a problem. As far as support, some ideas that come to mind are: 1) Work with elementary and middle schools to create and sponsor programs that encourage girls to participate in science and technology at a young age; 2) Provide scholarships to qualified women who want to pursue a degree in the analytics industry; and 3) Do everything it can to retain women who are performing well — whether that’s creating safer work environments, not tolerating gender bias, or taking steps to level the pay gap.

Do you have a female mentor or “role model” that has helped inspire, guide, or grow your career? Briefly describe.
There are too many amazing women in the analytics industry to pick from, including my co-workers, to leaders like Michele Kiss and Krista Seiden. However, one that stands out for me is Lea Pica. I saw her present at an eMetrics conference a few years back and was totally impressed by her confidence, presentation style, and message. Oh, and her ability to speak in front of a room full of people! If you’re looking for some great tips, check out her site!

Halee Kotara, Senior Digital Analytics Consultant

image of blast's halee kotara quote regarding women in analytics

Briefly describe what you do at Blast:
I help clients capture, organize, and utilize data from their websites and mobile apps to measure the success of their business efforts. On any given day, I could be crunching numbers, troubleshooting code, writing documentation, creating taxonomies, conducting training, or designing data visualizations.

What inspired you to enter the field of analytics and marketing?
Early in my career, I was doing a little bit of everything: front-end development, SEO, email marketing, project management, and more. I realized the days I most loved my job were those when I sat down to pull reports. I would chase people down the hallways waving my printouts because I was so excited to share what I found!

What advice would you give to other women entering the field of analytics and marketing?
The analytics and digital space has its share of “tech bros;” don’t be intimidated by them. Oftentimes you will be the only female in the room; don’t be self-conscious about it. There will be times when people will be condescending to you because of your gender; don’t let it deter you. (And let that guy get his own coffee.) Let your quality of work do the talking.

There will be times when people will be condescending to you because of your gender; don't let it deter you.Click To Tweet

In what ways do you feel the analytics and marketing industry can further support women?
There are a few organizations, including Women in Digital and the Women in Analytics (WIA) community within the Digital Analytics Association, that are great for connecting women with other women in the industry. But I think the best way to support us is through wage equality. The Digital Analytics Association’s Compensation Survey report from 2016 found that the salaries of males in the analytics industry were 8-13% higher than females.

Do you have a female mentor or “role model” that has helped inspire, guide, or grow your career? Briefly describe.
Do I have a character limit on this answer? I’ve known a lot of amazing, strong, smart, sassy women in my life. For brevity’s sake, I’ll limit this to one. When I decided to focus my career on analytics, I moved from my home state of Texas to work for an agency in Seattle. My manager there was amazing, and working for her was like winning the career development lottery. She was a few years younger than me, but I quickly realized that I wanted to be just like her when I grew up! She was whip-smart, had amazing business instincts, could make the grumpiest clients happy, and always managed to distill complex problems into simple, achievable solutions. And all this while wearing five-inch stilettos! [Insert Ginger Rogers “backwards and in heels” reference here.]

Please share any other thoughts or messages you have on this topic.
Stop Saying “Sorry” And Say “Thank You” Instead. This is something I think about and work on a lot. We women are programmed to apologize for everything, and this is a fascinating and empowering alternative.

Commitment to EVOLVE

These and other women in analytics and marketing at Blast underscore the company’s commitment to INDIVIDUALITY, which is and will continue to be a big part of our company culture.

Jamie Greeson, Team Development Manager at Blast, is responsible for recruiting, hiring, growing, and retaining our company talent, saying: “As a professional woman myself and the person responsible for our team development, I lead without fear, encourage other females to pursue their professional goals, and continue to bring awareness and new perspectives to this topic with our open-minded leadership as well as my industry peers.”

I lead without fear, encourage other females to pursue their professional goals, and continue to bring awareness and new perspectives to this topic.Click To Tweet

Desire to Make a Positive Mark on Analytics Industry

Building and EVOLVING an analytics and marketing consulting company has been a rewarding, yet challenging effort over the past 18 years that can make it difficult to raise your head, and pay attention to macro issues and have the resources to address them.

Having reached the point where I’m able to work on the business versus work in the business, I’ve been able to focus on how our organization can make a positive mark on the industry (as well as our community, clients, teammates, family, and beyond). 

We welcome and ask for support from our partners, clients, and peers in the analytics industry to EVOLVE the STEM fields to a point where we no longer need to discuss these topics since diversity has become implicit and everyone is treated equally

I’m personally proud of the talented women at Blast that are leading many of our consulting services and making their mark at Blast and on our analytics industry and across STEM fields. We are excited to foster and hire more women in analytics, as well as broadly support diversity and equality.

As we continue to scale and hire across the United States and globally, we will have more opportunity to build a diverse and broadly experienced team that brings a wider variety of perspectives to the conversation.

Speaking of, please contact us to learn more about Blast’s career opportunities for people of any gender, race, ethnicity, religion, and other personal backgrounds.

Call to Action to EVOLVE our Industry

Thanks for your attention to this important topic and please show your support in the comments (below), sharing this post, demonstrating a commitment to raise awareness and TAKE ACTION within and outside of your organization, and Make Your Mark on your daughters, her friends, and all those who need support to make our world more diverse and equal.

 

  • Marilee Yorchak

    Wow! Love this blog post and the strong advice from these incredible women in analytics. I esp. love Jamie’s comment: I lead without fear. Each one of these women are great role models – thank you!

 

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