Blog Celebrating women in mobile, on Internat...

Celebrating women in mobile, on International Women’s Day and every day

It’s no secret that women remain underrepresented in the tech and mobile industries, and there is still plenty of work to be done to create a diverse, inclusive environment for all. After all, not only are diverse companies more successful, but they also offer employees broader skill sets, experiences and points of view.

International Women’s Day felt like the perfect opportunity to highlight some of the fantastic female mobile marketing leaders and their motivations and successes. We spoke to Vu Kim Oanh, Founder and CEO of one of Vietnam’s biggest performance agency and network, Omega Media Worldwide; Ekaterina Petrakova, Marketing Lead at renowned incubator and venture builder Rocket Internet; and Gessica Bicego from popular book-insights subscription service Blinkist. Read what they had to say below.

And while diversity in the sector is improving, the industry still needs to address its own shortcomings - as ultimately, it will only ever be as good as the talent it attracts. IWD is a great opportunity to highlight the progress we’ve made, but the motive behind it should be thought of year-round. Here are some ways we all can do our part.

Doing better

  • Helping women and minorities advance in the sector starts with acknowledging that the playing field might not be equal. While we all deal with unconscious bias, it’s important to be aware of these learned behaviors and how they affect decisions. Training all employees in unconscious bias awareness is an excellent way to highlight the issue company-wide and help remedy it.
  • Be conscious of representation, particularly on stage at industry events, and commit to securing more women speakers. A common excuse is that it’s too hard to find women working in tech who would be willing to speak. This list of close to 600 women speakers from the industry shows differently. While it’s UK-focused, there are similar resources for the US and Asia, including this global list.
  • Community outreach programs help to invest in the future and inspire thousands while at it. US-based organizations such as Girls Who Code and Black Girls Code are excellent ways to get involved, while Girls In Tech offer a range of programs, including bootcamps and mentorships, around the world.
  • Companies can also demand better during the hiring process. Insist that headhunters’ shortlists include a balanced representation of all genders and ethnicities, or support initiatives such as Women Hack, a job platform and community that promotes gender equality in tech.
  • Most importantly, don’t be afraid to speak out when you see discrimination or intimidation. Supporting industry peers and colleagues is the only way to let others know that their behavior is unacceptable.

Vu Kim Oanh, Founder & CEO at Omega Media Worldwide

What attracted you to a career in mobile?

I love that the tech industry is always developing and always innovative. I’m also driven by being able to solve client problems and make their lives easier.

What’s been your proudest career achievement?

I am proud of having built-up my experience over the years, meaning I have the knowledge, background and a wide network to scale up and make my company a success. Prior to starting my own company, I served as either CEO, director or shareholder for three foreign startups in Vietnam. I

was responsible for their growth from the start, so the experience was invaluable when it came to building my own company. Finally, I’m also proud of my network and reputation in the industry, which I’ve built-up over the past 10+ years with dedication, good manners and a can-do attitude.

What advice do you have for women getting started in the industry?

Most importantly, love what you do. Always remember why you decided to work in the tech or mobile industry, and use that passion to drive you forward. In addition, don’t give up. Remember, failure isn’t loss. If you can learn and grow from failure, you’ll be able to reach greater goals than if you had never failed at all.

Ekaterina Petrakova, Marketing Lead at Rocket Internet SE

What attracted you to a career in mobile?

When I joined Rocket, some mobile marketing areas were still fairly new. The teams were essentially building it from scratch, and I loved having ownership and being able to set up and develop processes. I was also attracted to Rocket’s approach as a whole. It’s a company with very clear procedures and a great workflow.

Now, I really love that mobile combines arts and data, and that I have the opportunity to combine the two.

What's been your proudest career achievement to date?

Establishing App Store Optimization as a discipline for Rocket was a big achievement -- from setting up a team, building up our tech stack, and setting applicable benchmarks. I’m also really proud of organizing the first Rocket Marketing Week, a marketing conference for all Rocket companies, both incubates and those we have invested in. It involved five days of training, meetings, knowledge-sharing and networking.

What advice do you have for women getting started in the industry?

Often, the more diverse the team, the more creative ideas they can produce -- and the better results they can achieve. So don’t be afraid to speak up, even if your point of view is different to everyone else’s. Saying that, don’t forget to have it backed up with supporting data!

Gessica Bicego, Director of Performance Marketing at Blinkist

What attracted you to a career in mobile?

After studying computer science, it felt like an obvious choice for me to stay in the tech world, although I opted for the marketing side of it. I like that everything moves much faster in tech, and you can easily bring innovation.

What's been your proudest career achievement?

My job is split into two main areas: people and business. On the people side, my biggest achievement has been building a team of 12 people from scratch, coaching and mentoring leads and experts, and creating an atmosphere where we

can have fun and be successful. From a business perspective, I’m proud of managing an eight-digit budget distributed between different platforms while growing the revenue of the company 100% YoY.

What advice do you have for women getting started in the industry?

First of all, get yourself out there, don't be shy and fight for what you want. Secondly, build a network of women who can support you. I recommend finding mentors who can guide you through this process - that’s been super important to me in my career.

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