What it Means to be a Woman in Tech in 2019 .

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In preparation for International Women’s Day, I sat down with our very own female tech guru, Dan Zhang, to find out how she started her career in development and the everyday challenges she has to overcome as not only a woman but a woman in tech.

How did you get into tech in the first place?

Dan, *chuckles*

“Well, it has nothing to do with passion or ambition, it's more to do with that I’m not very good at other things… I’m bad at memorising things such as people’s names, numbers and how to spell things which has made subjects such as history or politics impossible. But, I am good at logic, reasoning and mathematics so studying computer science seemed like the most logical option for me.

“When people find out what I do they often wonder how I, as a woman, am able to cope. But from my point of view, whilst coding is complicated when you don’t know anything about this field… once you’ve started and you’ve studied the subject, it’s no more difficult for a female than it is for a male!

“There aren’t fewer women in tech because it’s too hard, I mean the first ever computer was a coder: Ada Lovelace! And in countries such as Jordan 56% of STEM graduates are females. The reason there are less female developers in the UK and where I’m from in China is because of gender stereotypes which we are exposed to from a very young age where girls are steered away from STEM in education and jobs as this is deemed as a ‘male-dominated’ subject.

“Where I went to University, in my class there were 8 females and 52 males. I was also encouraged to steer away from IT & Technology but if I hadn’t of tried I wouldn’t have ended up being a woman in tech so if you get the chance, you should take it!”

What challenges have you had to overcome since working in the industry?

“One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced is as a woman, people will expect you to spend more time taking care of the family and the housework rather than a man doing these things. Especially once you’ve had a child. I think most people take it for granted that taking care of a child is a ‘woman’s job.’ They accept it if you spend a lot of time with family but not if you spend this time working, studying or upscaling your skills in tech; an industry which is constantly evolving and changing.

“I am very lucky. I have a very supportive husband who encourages me and my career and is happy to take care of our little one, even when I have to study or work in the evening or weekend. I’m also very lucky to work at Sagittarius; who trust me to work remotely from time to time so I can save the 3-hour commute and pick my daughter up from nursery before it closes.”

What have your highlights of working in STEM been so far?

“I think the biggest highlight for me is now that I am more experienced and taken seriously in the industry, my skills and my work are being recognised. Clients and male colleagues trust me and what I have to say, they will discuss their technical issues with me and see me as an expert in my field. This two-way respect means that we can learn from each other and grow as a team, it’s a very positive step in the right direction.”

What is your vision for the future of women in tech?

“I can say that the awareness in the industry is growing and that girls are being encouraged more and more to get involved in STEM subjects. I like to think that anything is possible for women because this way of thinking is how we unlock our potential.

“Whilst raising my little girl, she’s 2 at the moment, I am not going to tell her what girls are usually good at or what toys they like, she can develop that by herself so that she can reach her own potential. Currently, she plays with toys such as Barbie dolls and robots. I’m not going to define her future because I want her to retain all possibilities, it might take generations to see those changes, to see more women in STEM but I am very positive about what the future holds for women in this industry.”

It’s amazing how gender roles and stereotypes still exist in our everyday lives with people such as Dan facing them head on daily. At Sagittarius, we are very proud to say that 41% of our workforce are women and that we are always actively recruiting women in tech and female developers to join our global team!

Whatever your business, be it a regional or global brand, the content you produce plays a vital role in your success. You know that… hence you’re reading this.

A well formulated and executed content strategy not only drives more traffic, at the core, it defines what your business is and helps build a strong connection between you and your audiences.

So let's quickly look at why developing a coherent content strategy is important and how setting clear goals and understanding your audience will elevate your online performance. 

What is a Content Strategy?

It's basic right? Content is at the core of how you define the way your business presents itself and an effective strategy should look to ensure that tone of voice, messaging and the core values are surfaced across all channels, from service or product pages on your website, to blog posts, through social media updates blah blah blah.

But let's keep it simple - your content strategy should be a clear roadmap that connects your marketing activities to your business goals. Align to your customer’s wants and needs and engage them at every interaction point and boom, you're in business. 

Who are my Audience?

You likely start all your projects with this chalked on the wall because your business knows “exactly” who its customers are right? Sounds obvious but we often find its not been done forensically enough (not based on data), is too old (more than 12 months ago - forget it) or its a spin off from some brand work that was legitimately aspirational but doesn’t face the reality of who you your business is actually engaging today.

So start (or circle back) with audience research, building out those personas to understand their ambitions, their lifestyle, their pain points or concerns, and crucially their wants and needs - in your context. 

Do I need to tailor content?

As part of your research find out where your audiences spend their time online and how they interact with content: Some may spend time thoroughly researching a product or service, whereas other audiences may want their content to be quick, snappy or easily digestible in the form of a video, infographic or short blog posts.

 

Ultimately, the key is to produce a strategy that creates the type of content your customers want to see:

  • What are the problems that your product or service will help them solve?

  • Who are they most influenced by?

  • What voices influence their behaviour?

  • What type of content do they consume?

  • Where do they consume content and engage with brands?

Different Content, Different Objectives

 All content is not born equal: When producing your strategy, it is important that the objectives for each individual piece are defined, that these fulfil your marketing objectives and tie to the overarching goals for your business.

There are various content frameworks that exist to aid content development in this way, but one that is popular and effective is Google’s hero, hub and hygiene method: It provides a framework on developing content to achieve different goals and gives guidance on the effort needed to create each type of content.

Hero Content

Hero content is essentially campaign content, it is big splash ideas designed to appeal to a large audience with the aim of telling your brand’s story at scale. 

Ways of measuring hero include the amount of PR mentions or links from authoritative domains plus social interactions and mentions of your brand across all channels. 

Considering the scale of hero campaigns, this content is not regularly produced and is reserved for peak promotional times where it’s important for a business to stand out from their competitors.

Hub Content

Hub content is the stuff that keeps your audience engaged, it expands on the themes of product or service level content, educates users and helps create a connection between themselves and your brand.

Hygiene Content

Hygiene content is the bread and butter of any website, it is the BAU content for products and services, it is SEO focused and targets important keywords at a product, service or guide level.

How do I manage all this?

Content development is only one part of the ongoing work needed when working with an effective content strategy. We call it “feeding the beast” because it really is the fuel in your brand vehicle and once you start you really can’t stop (if it’s delivering results) but that’s where performance measurement comes in.

Your greatest gift in managing the outputs from your hero/hub/hygiene style efforts is to understand If your content is working. To truly deliver results your business must first understand the objectives and goals of each piece of content to effectively measure its success. That as a guiding light from day 1 will let you slow down, speed up, stop or start new content briefs and projects.

Remember - content strategies are not set in stone. They are living breathing things and should adapt and pivot as insights become available and your brand naturally evolves.

If ever you want to chat content and explore new initiatives we’re always here to help.

want to speak to one of our experts?

 
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Naomi Harper
Head of Marketing & Communications
Naomi is the agency's Head of Marketing & Communications with a strong background in Public Relations, events, Marketing and Brand campaigns.

Naomi joined Sagittarius in January 2021 to deliver exceptional external brand experiences, engaging internal communications and to assist with the driving of sales and the developing of relationships with key strategic suppliers.
 

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Naomi Harper

11 Mar 2019 - 5 minute read
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