We would all like to see more women in the technology industry. Currently, one area in B2B Tech where women are better represented is the marketing department. I do not have a single client with an all male marketing team. I have many where the team is all female. So we should applaud this? Yes, but not unreservedly.
Let's look at the language around the marketing department - "supporting" sales, "nurturing" leads, "building relationships". If you had to assign a gender to each of these terms it could be female.
By the standards of some unreconstructed colleagues, Marketing is the women's department. The department for parties and pamphlets, booth babes, bunnies and sexy PR chicks. Girls who "look after you" at events, who manage the tablecloth colours, the flowers and a nice logo on a banner. Marketing has far more muscle than this outmoded image.
Thankfully this way of thinking is dying and no professional marketer of any gender will tolerate such limited thinking. Those unable to adapt are dropping like flies. In a disrupted world, you need to see the bigger picture and it is more balance between the creative and scientific elements of marketing.
I find it interesting that scientific initiatives within marketing around measurement, qualification, targeting, power and lead acceleration all sound like stuff that could merrily roll of Jeremy Clarkson's tongue before he asked someone to "look after him" and bring him a nice hot dinner before he gets punchy. Some of the language is kind of a turn off.
I was in a meeting recently on a very interesting marketing tool, I was intrigued by the science but the language was very alpha male on how it would "crush" and "kill" the old methods.
As women in the industry we should challenge any instinct to retreat from the science. We mustn't get turned off by the alpha language otherwise the one area of Tech where brilliant women are thriving, will be under threat.
The sales cycle is changing and a large portion of it is driven by science and technology. However, the human still lives within the machine and building trust requires a new language. It goes way beyond gender.
Together, putting our human experience in the centre of a new machine will lead to a better and more androgynous language for the future marketing department.
Figures out this week, that reveal women still only occupy just 17% of tech jobs in the UK, with fewer than one in 10 of these women in leadership positions in the sector, really concern me. Regardless of the cause, this to me seems a great shame. Technology is a hugely broad and diverse industry and we need an equally broad and diverse talent pool in which to further develop the technology of tomorrow. Initiatives such as the 30% club — in which I play an active role — are spearheading campaigns to readdress the gender balance and further empower women into tech careers. Yet the very existence of these initiatives reveals that there is still work to do.