Despite the fact that us girls have slowly started to gain on the boys over the years, it's fair to say that women are still underrepresented in the digital sector.
And while the sense of sisterly support is pretty strong within Code itself, it's always good to get out there and chat to other ladies about the challenges and frustrations they've faced (and, of course, victories they've won) when it comes to working in what's still very much a male-dominated industry. Which is why we were so pleased to hear about the launch of SheSays MCR.
SheSays is a global network that offers women in the creative and marketing sectors support in advancing their careers via free mentorship, workshops and networking events. With branches sprouting up all over the world in cities like New York, Sydney, Vancouver and LA, the Manchester organisation is the third to be established in the UK (after London and Brighton).
A few of the Code ladies went along to the SheSays MCR launch event, 'It's Awesome up North!' at Hyper Island to find out more -- and to watch our very own talent manager Alex, one of the three speakers on the panel, do her stuff.
After a video introduction from SheSays cofounder Laura Jordan Bambach, Alex did us proud with a lovely talk about our agency culture and her path into the digital industry. She was followed by Sian Eddis from Online Ventures Group, who explained how she managed to network her way into a job in social media, and Amy-Jay Handley who bounced back from a major career blip to become Digital Marketing Manager at Pixel8.
After the talks, the group got the chance to put questions to the panel which led to a general discussion around women in the marketing and creative sectors. As we debated topics like 'Why it is that so many agencies are still run solely by men?', the main theme that emerged was around the skills gap that remains.
As an industry that isn't governed by employment ratio quotas, most agencies are recruiting based on talent rather than gender. But the sad fact is that not only is there a lack of skilled females around in our sector's employment market, but women with relevant experience and talents aren't really coming through at apprentice level either...
The main bit of advice that the panel had for women looking to break into the industry? Network, diversify and develop.
To be the first to find out about the next event, follow SheSays MCR on Twitter.