By Emma Pryke
'Lily, what do you want to be when you grow up?'
'Because I want to tell off naughty people'.
Lily is six years old, loves Frozen, making friendship bands, boardgames and putting my dad on the naughty step. When I asked her the above question I prepared myself for an answer along the lines of 'A Princess' or suchlike, so I was pleasantly surprised when she stuck true to her authoritative side and decided telling 'naughty people' off would be more fun than waiting in a castle, all trussed up ready to be rescued by a somewhat tardy Prince.
Times They Are a-Changin'
There's a shift happening, in schools, at home, and in the workplace. My friend's daughter came over for a sleepover and brought with her the wonderful read, 'Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls' which profiles amazing women, from singers and actresses to politicians and activists. Feminism is cool. Women are sacking off their jobs in protest for equal pay to their male colleagues. Celebrities are wearing black to the Golden Globes.
It got me thinking about being a woman in business in 2018, and how lucky we are that strong women before us have forged the path ahead so that we can feel confident going into a male-dominated industry such as digital and be heard. It's not long ago that we would be expected by society to be at home, warming our hubby's slippers and tending to the stove.
In late 2016 The Candidate conducted a research project into gender representation in the digital industry and found that;
Within The Social Club we specialise in these so-called 'soft skill' jobs, defined as those relating to 'emotional intelligence, the ability to recognise and manage your own and others' emotions'. There's no surprise here, as both Emma and I are extremely people-focused and love to develop relationships with our clients, feeding off their emotions and passions. But that's not to say we don't need the help of others who have 'hard skills', whether this be men or women.
The power of gender collaboration
This is in no way a slur against men in the industry (or in general) - far from it as I've encountered nothing but mutual respect and collaboration potential with many of the men who I co-work with. For me, it's how it should be - choosing colleagues due to their talents and ethics over their gender, carving a niche into this ever-evolving sector and connecting with clients who understand your values and choose you because of it.
It's about wanting to do a job you love - no matter what gender stereotype it traditionally falls under.
I wouldn't mind if Lily wanted to be a Princess. I would just hope that she wouldn't be waiting around for her Prince. Because no one has time for that.
I want her to be the heroine of her own fairytale.