International Women’s Day 2019: Celebrating the Female Face of Search

There’s an old-fashioned belief that men lead the way in the tech and digital scene. However, this, as you'd expect, is far from the case. More and more women are getting involved in the industry, from coding interns to technology and digital director. Women may only make up just 20% of tech roles in the UK, but this has gone up by 3% in the last 12 months. While this may not seem a huge amount, for such a competitive and already highly male-driven industry, it is a promising amount of growth that will only continue to expand. It’s partly down to education bodies and institutions during early life to break these outdated stereotypes of the tech scene being a man’s world. Organisations are also starting to do more and more to break the mould and get more women into the digital industry.

For example, e-commerce giant Alibaba has partnered with iamtheCODE to create an initiative focused on teaching one million women and girls to code by 2030. The initiative, part of a wider movement dubbed “Tech for Change”, will give female programmers in marginalised areas access to online training and cloud computing resources.

Wanli Min, chief machine intelligence scientist at Alibaba Cloud, said that among the social challenges the firm hopes to tackle are inequality in education, equal access to healthcare, sustainable agriculture and protecting wildlife.

“By making technology more accessible and affordable, we can inspire creativity and nurture the next generation of game-changers who will make our world a better place,” he said.

Many believe that to develop initiatives aimed at tackling problems such as skills gaps or lack of equality, collaboration is essential.

Here at ICS-digital, and the wider ICS Media Group, 50% of our directors are female and 90% of our senior management positions – spanning projects, operations, content and everything in between – are held by women. So, with all this being said, we wanted to celebrate the ladies who are changing the world of search and showing everyone just how it’s done.

Kirsty Hulse

Kirsty is thefounder of ManyMinds, a revolutionary digital agency exclusively made up offreelance workers. Their team is comprised solely of experienced digitalexperts and professionals in the industry, who come together to collaborate ona huge range of projects according to a clients’ needs, no matter what the task.

As well as this, Kirsty is also a prolific guest speaker at industry events such as Search Leeds, sharing her wisdom and insights into the world of search. Kirsty also runs donation-only workshops on creativity and confidence after finding herself as the only female speaker at a number of conferences around the world.

In hermission to try to balance the playing field, Kirsty wanted to support femalesin the industry by not only helping them get their voices heard, but also tohelp break the stereotypes. She wants to encourage more females to get involvedin not just digital and search, but to stand up and shout in a male-dominatedworld in general. That’s not all, as Kirsty is also the author of Amazon #1Bestseller “The Future is Freelance”. So, long story short, Kirsty is a bit ofa hero of ours.

Izzi Smith

Izzi is from ahumble background: Not only did we study together at college, but her (now music producer) big brother and I were very close friends. I saw Izzi fly off to Munich during her penultimate year at university to work in the industry for the year and the rest is history.

Izzi is now the UK and USA SEO Manager for Sixt Rent a Car as part of their huge in-house SEO team. Not only is Izzi a regular speaker at industry events around the world such as Brighton SEO, but she also creates SEO and content podcasts with her friends in her spare time. Fun fact: Izzi was also given the title CBO (Chief Beer Officer) after Sixt soon realised her passion for beer; it’s great to see some things haven’t changed.

Lexi Mills

So, Lexi Mills is a bit of a superhuman: she has won a plethora of awards, both personally and through the digital agency she is managing partner at, Shift 6 Global. They specialise in SEO and PR but focus on algorithms and the actual thinking and brainpower behind decisions, allowing for unique data-driven insights to help achieve a client’s current objectives.

Not only this, but Lexi is a recognised speaker at most industry events thanks to her vast knowledge and experience. She travels the world speaking at events from Miami to Madrid to share her insights and experiences. Lexi is a huge believer in collaboration and to break down the walls of competition when it comes to agencies and battling for clients. Lexi is a firm believer in girl-power and strives to encourage and empower females within the industry.

Charlotte Green

Last butcertainly not least on our list is our very own Charlotte Green. Charlotte is aCambridge English graduate who loves the written word and is also chiefconstable of the grammar police at ICS-digital HQ.

Not only does she keep an eye on all of our campaigns and clients, but she is the go-to person in the office for a range of problems. Whether it's a client with sky-high expectations, or your hot water that seems to have disappeared in the morning, Charlotte is always happy to help. She has helped to carve out an incredible path for the company while raising a family and nurturing everyone within the team.

We have exceptionally low staff turnover rates at ICS-digital and it is this community spirit we pride ourselves on. Outdated clichés that women must choose one life or the other are less true now than ever before. From the global agencies to fledgling start-ups, digital media is anything but a man’s world in 2019.