The role of women in the media landscape has changed immensely over the past few years. Influencer marketing, having barely existed 10 years ago, this year was estimated to be worth 21.1 billion USD. New sectors within the industry aren’t the only change. Where women once only took minimal senior positions, in 2020, women populated 45.4% of executive marketing positions.
This week, Influencer VP of Global Marketing, Rachel Powney sat down with Katie Gill, Influencer Senior Creator Partnerships Executive, to share insight into her career, as well as advice for future Marketing executives.
Katie: Hi Rachel, I’m thrilled to sit down with you today. You’ve worked in marketing for over 20 years, across a range of industries and you’re now VP of Marketing here at Influencer. How would you describe your leadership style and what do you think has most influenced it?
Rachel: I have been incredibly fortunate to have discovered my passion for marketing quite early on in my career, which has allowed me to embrace the chance to inspire and motivate my team members. As a leader, my priority has been to nurture a sense of accomplishment and fulfilment among my team. I have always firmly believed in empowering them to unlock their full potential and make meaningful contributions within their respective roles.
Katie: Feeling empowered by those in senior positions is definitely important. I’d love to know how you found the representation of women in senior positions at the start of your career?
Rachel: In the early stages of my career in a consumer marketing role, I was fortunate to witness a considerable number of women holding senior positions, such as VP and SVP. This was definitely inspiring to me, however when I transitioned to the B2B technology sector, I became acutely aware of the gender disparity in management positions. Growing up, I had limited exposure to women with careers, so initially I never really questioned this inequity.
Katie: How do you think this early male-dominated environment in B2B impacted you and your ambitions?
Rachel: Navigating a predominantly male-led environment presented its challenges. There were instances where I felt my voice wasn't heard, and my ideas were not taken seriously. To secure pay raises or seek advancement, I often had to resort to changing companies, but the lack of women in senior positions ultimately pushed me to work harder. I quickly learnt to seek guidance from experienced individuals, both male and female, from outside my company for insights and support which proved invaluable. I found that working diligently—putting in the extra effort eventually came to pay off.
Katie: And now as a Marketing VP yourself, what advice would you give to women like me who are at the start of their marketing careers?
Rachel: Your hard work will never go unnoticed. Eventually, your dedication will be rewarded. Embrace the courage to seek more from your role and company, don't fear asking for what you deserve. Keep pushing forward, persevere, and you'll achieve the recognition and success you deserve.
Katie: And finally, what would you say are the biggest advantages of having more female leaders in senior positions?
Rachel: As a mother of two remarkable young girls, I am personally committed to creating a future where gender equality and the underrepresentation of women in the workplace are no longer prevalent. It is imperative that we take action now to pave the way for a more inclusive and equitable workforce, ensuring that future generations enter a world where gender disparities are eradicated.
Resources where women in senior positions are reaching outwards and sharing their knowledge, advice and experiences, like this interview, are pivotal in making those senior positions more accessible, and helping women understand their own capabilities to achieve them, and how to get there.