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When James Brown soulfully declared that this is a man’s world, he did so with one caveat: “It wouldn’t be nothing, nothing without a woman”. The 1966 hit might not strike as much of a cultural chord as it once did, but Mr. Brown was clearly onto something back in the day.
When we look around the digital world as it stands today, it’s fair to say that women have played a major part in its growth. While it may have once been the case that the people leading the industry were all male, that’s certainly not true in 2017.
Whether it’s social media or digital marketing, women now share a platform with men. So, to mark #DayOfTheGirl, we’ve picked out three women who have blazed a trail through the industry in the last few years.
Mikela Eskenazi: Brand Partnerships Director at Blippar
Virtual reality and augmented reality have dominated the tech world over the last 12 months and one woman that’s leading from the front is Mikela Eskenazi. Brand partnerships director at London-based Blippar, Eskenazi has been instrumental in the company’s global expansion since 2013.
So what does she do? Essentially, Eskenazi is the person who takes the corporate mantras of major brands and turns them into a digital reality. Commanding a team handling the accounts for Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble and more, Eskenazi has become one of the leading voices in augmented reality.
Indeed, despite honing her business skills in the banking sector, Eskenazi has since turned into something of an augmented reality preacher. In between controlling multi-million pound contracts, Eskenazi mentors the next generation of digital entrepreneurs, speaks at conferences and generally extols the virtues of augmented reality and, more importantly, her vision for the future.
Nicola Mendelsohn: Facebook VP Europe, the Middle East and Africa
When it comes to digital tech and marketing, Facebook is a veritable behemoth. Naturally, Mark Zuckerberg still takes much of the credit for leading the social media platform, but in the UK and Europe it’s Nicola Mendelsohn who calls the shots.
Dubbed the “most powerful woman in the tech industry” by the Telegraph, Mendelsohn is Facebook’s vice president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, but more than that she’s a mother. Despite what Donald Trump might have you believe, woman can thrive in business and raise a family at the same time.
Prior to joining Facebook, Mendelsohn spent two decades working four days a week in an effort to balance business and family. A tough task by anyone’s standards, Mendelsohn not only managed it, but excelled at it so much that Facebook came knocking. Today, with her children older and Facebook a multi-billion entity, Mendelsohn has her nose to the grindstone five days a week – but that doesn’t means she’s relinquished her role as a mother.
Charlotte Green: Director at ICS-digital
For all of digital marketing’s bells and whistles, it is, at its core, based upon words. Crafting a well thought-out media campaign is all well and good, but if the words don’t resonate with an intended audience then it all counts for nothing.
One woman who knows this more than most is our very own Charlotte Green. A University of Cambridge English graduate and someone who knows the value of words on the page, Green is a director of ICS-digital. Overseeing digital marketing campaigns for major brands across 50 territories and 40 languages, Green attributes much of her success to being able to rely day-in, day-out on a strong, committed team. ICS-digital have an exceptionally low staff turnover rate, so Green knows her team can be trusted to excel when new projects come in. That makes her job of impressing new clients and keeping existing ones happy much easier.
Green also has a firm belief that it pays to focus on what you love. “I’ve been an English geek for as long as I can remember,” she told me this week. “At ICS-digital, although we offer a wide range of services, there aren’t many that don’t revolve around carefully crafting the written word. This means that I get to indulge my passion every day at work. Building up services that mean something to you personally is the best way of doing business.”
Moreover, like Facebook’s Mendelsohn, Green has also managed to become a major player in the industry while raising a family. Outdated notions that women must choose one life or the other are less true now than they’ve ever been. From the top of the pops to fledging start-ups, digital media is anything but a man’s world, but it’s also a whole lot more than a certain type of woman’s world.
Donning a “power suit” and adopting a masculine persona aren’t prerequisites for success in the industry and our top three women are a testament to that fact. So, in the spirit of #DayOfTheGirl, let’s salute our power three – along with all the women achieving success in the digital industry.