Today, Wednesday March 8th, is International Women's Day. The theme this year is #BeBoldForChange and there are a number of ways you can join in.
At Webfactory we are taking bold action in two areas: celebrating women's achievements and advancing women's education. We are specifically celebrating the achievements of all the women who work in our digital agency, and raising our voices to encourage more girls into STEM education and careers.
Meet the women @Webfactory (L-R, from back):
Aine Kelly, Marketing Executive; Elaine Shinagawa, Developer; Mary Butler, Lead UX Designer; Sinead Clandillon, Head of Content; Marie Moran, Project Manager; Rebecca Treacy, Junior Content Editor; Anna Pospieszynska, Social Media Manager; Annika Rahman, Senior Designer; Mairead Hession, Head of Project Management; Marianne Herbert, Operations Director; Melanie Doyle, Accounts/Office Manager; Alisha Yee, Relationship Manager.
Celebrating achievements AKA knowing we can do anything at any age
Where to start? At Webfactory we have women working in every area of our agency. From coding to project management, social media to content, UX to design, sales and relationship management to finance we work throughout the business.
Not only that but Webfactory women are positioned at all levels of the company structure too, right up to senior management and company directors. Our mix of talented and opinionated female Gen X's and Millennials help to create that culture of equality. Together with our male colleagues we also help drive the passion, humour, and perfectionism which is a hallmark of the company.
Another fact is that many of the women who work at Webfactory end up occupying very different roles to those they began with. The opportunity for change and creating your own role is very real in digital's fast moving world. As Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO has said:
"The reason I don't have a plan is because if I have a plan I'm limited to today's options"
Encouraging more girls into STEM AKA studying for a job which doesn't exist yet
Not all of us studied STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) directly but digital is without a doubt one of the most exciting and innovative areas to work in today. A good number of us are now doing jobs which didn't exist when we were in college. How amazing is it to think of all the new careers and opportunities which the Internet and digital will create in the future - because it's only early days.
Something I care about is getting girls beyond simply using technology - but to understand it. And then to figure out how to improve it, and of course to build something new with it! One of the beautiful things about digital is the amount you can teach yourself online. Even if you don't want to be a developer I'd urge girls to learn some code so that you can understand at some level how the internet is powered. Joining a CoderDojo is a great step, or taking some free online courses, and there are literally hundreds of learnings to be had from reading studies on areas such as UX, or by watching the numerous TED Talks available online.
So, if you like solving problems, working in a fast paced world, and seeing innovation happen every day consider a STEM career and #BeBoldForChange