‘Pay employees on skill, value addition basis, not gender’ : Swaarm's Yogeeta Chainani
The marketing industry was another male bastion for years, but has steadily evolved to become more gender-diverse over the recent past, with changing conditions and the increasing role of technology. Against this backdrop, women have also started to make a mark in the sector.
Yogeeta Chainani, co-founder and CEO, Swaarm, a performance-based marketing technology (martech) tracking platform, is one of them and in an interaction with People Matters says in comparison with other digital industries, digital marketing has changed positively and has become more balanced than it used to be, but identifies areas where there can be more progress.
A first-time technology entrepreneur, Yogeeta co-founded the company along with Mircea Alexandru Dumitru in September 2020 at the age of 31, and in her current role as CEO of the Germany-headquartered firm with a diverse global resource pool, focuses on driving product innovation and Human Resources, along with spearheading the business development side.
Prior to establishing Swaarm, she was Chief Product Officer at WeQ Global, a leading mobile advertising company, and has also held several product leadership roles at Ocono and Crobo GmbH (a mobile marketing and user acquisition company).
Gender gap in the martech industry
I actually believe that when it comes to gender balance and equal representation, the digital marketing industry in particular has consistently moved in a positive direction. For sure, areas like architecture and development within the tech and digital industry are still male-dominated.
However, I think that this is not due to the incapability of women nor due to companies purposely excluding women from that space but rather due to choices that women tech professionals are making.
For instance, more than 70% women in my Master’s programme chose non-technical roles post-graduation whereas more than 80% men chose core technical ones. This had nothing to do with their incapability as both had the same Masters in Engineering but had to do more with the preferences of each individual. And this for me is exactly what equality stands for - the flexibility to choose your form of life without being judged against the conventional roles assigned to you.
Gender and pay parity in digital marketing space
Originally, the marketing industry in general was a male-dominated domain, however I believe the industry has steadily evolved and changed over the past few years. Take, for example, a higher percentage of women holding senior leadership positions or even leading companies. In comparison with other digital industries, digital marketing has changed positively and has become more balanced than it used to be.
Digital overall is a big part of our modern economy and we should use this new, innovative way of doing business to not fall back to old patterns of men determining how digital business is done and rather focus on what women have to offer (opinions, ideas, challenges) to foster gender balance.
The same holds true now for pay parity as well. We have come a long way where pay now is determined by one’s skills and ability to add value and is not changing based on the person’s gender.
However, I would like to underline that I have seen women do tend to hold back when it comes to negotiations as compared to men and this is where I would recommend them to take the time to educate themselves about the market (from a gender-neutral standpoint) so that they get the confidence they would need to negotiate fair pay.
Striking a balance
Organisations must create a culture where women are not only hired in key positions, but also groomed, mentored, and recognised to boost their confidence.
At the time of succession planning, the board of an organisation and its HR heads should first look at and evaluate women professionals for all management positions that are currently held by women in order to maintain diversity at the top.
Acknowledging all genders to be equal
It’s high time that we instill gender equality in businesses in general and not only those in the digital marketing arena.
Various studies and research have already proven how women can be better at several things compared to their male counterparts, but we don’t even have to go that far. In my opinion, by acknowledging all genders to be equal, we can take a step in the right direction. This simple yet strong perception would already be enough to foster balance and inclusiveness in the world.