On March 8th every year, we come together to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women globally for International Women’s Day.
But today is not just a day to celebrate how far we’ve come. It’s a time to look at the journey still ahead and to reflect on what we are doing in the ongoing fight towards gender parity.
In the SEO space, as is the case in many industries worldwide, there’s still some way to go before women are fairly represented.
Last year, North Star Inbound’s Nicole DeLeon ran and released an eye-opening study surrounding gender equality in the SEO industry.
Unfortunately, for many women the findings were likely not such a surprise. But for many others, the gender gap study unveiled a shocking disparity in our very own industry.
Nicole’s study found that retainers for those who identify as male are 28.6% higher than for those identifying as female.
In our own Local Search Industry Survey, results showed that respondents who identified as women earned 14% less than their male-identifying counterparts. It also showed that fewer women occupied senior positions.
All this goes to say, while celebrating women’s achievements is absolutely something we should be doing, we cannot become complacent when gender pay gaps like those found by these studies are still present.
Top tip: A lot of consumers will be looking to support women-led businesses. If your business is women-led or owned, make sure to include that as a GMB Attribute!
The theme for International Women’s Day this year is “Choose to Challenge”.
A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day.
We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.
From challenge comes change, so let’s all choose to challenge.
In this article, we’ll be focusing on how each of us can #ChooseToChallenge and take action this International Women’s Day, and all year round.
It’s engaging to see so many groups worldwide mobilizing their communities to #ChooseToChallenge because #IWD2021 provides an important opportunity for us all – everyone, everywhere – to #fightbias, celebrate women & create positive change. Remember, from challenge comes change! https://t.co/EsBvdVBQsS
— Women’s Day (@womensday) March 2, 2021
At BrightLocal, we’ll be raising our hands high to show that we’re invested in, and committed to, choosing to challenge, and calling out inequality wherever we encounter it.
Ways to help
There are plenty of ways that companies and individuals can contribute towards the fight against gender inequality. Here are just some ways that we’ll be looking into, and we’d love for you to do the same.
Sponsor an event or training ticket for a woman in SEO
Training programs can be instrumental in giving women in SEO the platform, skills, and confidence needed to progress in their careers. Programs like this often offer the opportunity to sponsor a space at events. If you’re able to, reach out and offer to contribute to the cause so women from all walks of life have the opportunity to access these vital resources.
UPDATE: There are now 47 spots of ROAR Together 6 months given away to SEO women thanks for an additional spot sponsored by @brightlocal – Thank you so much for your support ?
There are also 225 women participating:https://t.co/y7dxuikV1R – The giveaway is on Monday 5pm CET!
— Aleyda Solis ??? (@aleyda) September 24, 2020
Here are just a handful of programs that can benefit from your support:
- Roar Training
- United Search
- Women in Tech SEO Conference (‘Gift a ticket’ option now sold out, but keep your eyes peeled for other opportunities!)
- LocalU Advanced Virtual (Sponsor a scholarship)
Assess your own gender bias and internal processes
Whether as part of a company or as an individual, it’s essential to uncover your own gender bias, which is often unconscious. To do this, try taking the Harvard Implicit Bias test to identify your gender bias blindspots. This is a great resource to tackle all types of unconscious bias, including race, age, weight, and more.
If you’re looking to tackle gender bias at work, try running an internal survey to see how people of different genders feel at your company. After the survey, open the floor to suggestions and commit to taking action.
Surround yourself with a diverse range of voices and support marginalized genders
Our perspective is influenced hugely by who we are surrounded by. In the world of social media, accessing a wide range of voices is easier than ever. There are many brilliant women in SEO doing great things right now, whose insights your Twitter timeline could definitely benefit from.
— Women in Tech SEO (@techseowomen) March 8, 2020
If social media isn’t so much your thing, you can subscribe to a newsletter to get insights sent directly to your inbox from some of the leading names in SEO.
Here are some SEO newsletters and blogs headed up by some amazing SEOs, who happen to be women, that we’re particularly big fans of:
If you’re in a position to do so, donate to or fundraise for a charity to support women’s causes. Here’s a great list to get you started.
Hold gender bias training
Holding gender bias training is a great, proactive way to ensure that you’re combatting and getting ahead of unconscious gender bias at work.
Looking for #IWD2021 resources to help colleagues #ChooseToChallenge in the workplace? Download the free #IWD @LeanInOrg #50Ways to #FightBias workshop and #LeanIn Circles Presentation ?? https://t.co/JiBvd40ET7 & see further resources ?? https://t.co/bkWcSF6eKb #IWDresources pic.twitter.com/YBkO4UPgSx
— Women’s Day (@womensday) March 2, 2021
If you’ve got limited resources, you can use tools found on the LeanIn website, such as this free gender bias program for companies.
What we’re doing
We don’t just want to talk about taking action, we want to actually make meaningful changes. Here’s what we’re doing to champion women and gender equality at work and through our platform.
- Unconscious bias training to eradicate gender bias at work
- Decoding gendered language in job ads
- Ensuring all genders are represented in important meetings
- Assessing pay ranges internally to ensure parity in all similar roles
- Running gender bias surveys at six-month intervals to track progress
- Ensuring equal representation of genders contributing to our blogs, webinars, and podcasts
BrightLocal’s content team is continually looking into ways in which we can address the issue of gender disparity in SEO and provide platforms to talented but underrepresented SEOs. If you’re of a marginalized gender and are interested in getting involved with BrightLocal content, please don’t hesitate to reach out to discuss relevant opportunities!
International Women’s Day Events
To mark the occasion and gain some valuable insights from women across the globe, why not attend an event this International Women’s Day, and encourage your team members to do the same?
Here are just some of the great events taking place this month:
As individuals and as a company, we’ve relied on some core resources available online to help us along the way. Here are some we’d recommend:
- How Big Is the Gender Gap Between Men and Women in SEO?
- LeanIn Community
- 50 Ways to Fight Gender Bias at Work
- World Economic Forum: 100 Years of Gender Pay Gap
- Women in Tech SEO
- Empowering women-led businesses on the Map and around the world
- TedTalks on gender
- Harvard Implicit Bias Tests
- Gender Decoder
- WTS Speakers list for events
What are you doing to combat gender inequality in SEO or at work? Are there any resources we need to know about? What more would you like to see us do? We want to hear from you! If you want to keep the conversation going, please share your thoughts in the comments below.