It’s no secret that technical sectors are male-dominated, and will continue to be for some time. The Women in Tech Survey 2023 highlights that women still only account for over a quarter (26.7%) of the IT workforce, which, while still small, is representative of a field experiencing growth, inclusivity and progression.
If recent trends are anything to go by, it’s clear that women can be equally gifted and suited to a technical career like SEO or web development as men can. Luckily, the gender gap in tech is closing with each passing year.
While society might still be playing catchup, that doesn’t change the fact that now can still be an excellent time for women to pursue a career move into SEO. Or, if you’re intent on making a career change into a technical field like this, again, there is no time like the present. This short guide will look at some of the burning reasons why women can prosper in a technical line of work like this.
Akin to other evolving and rapidly growing industries, technology – and within that, SEO, which also falls under the bracket of marketing – is a sector that carries bias.
For starters, it’s still a male-dominated field, with fewer opportunities presented to women venturing into work after graduation. Globally, women are less likely to study technological subjects. Furthermore, female progression in this field is rare, with very few of the small percentage of women occupying the tech space making it to a top position. As such, the idea of pursuing a career in SEO doesn’t always fill many aspiring women with confidence that it’s viable in the long term.
On top of this, some women prioritise starting and raising families, making it harder to retain their positions. This, along with other factors, exemplifies why women currently leave the tech industry at a 45% higher rate than men.
However, despite this marginally bleak outlook, women in SEO are, according to Spotlight Conductor’s March ‘Humans of Marketing’ story, “redefining the way brands use content to connect with customers and increase their visibility in SERPs.”
As the number of women in SEO rises, more women can progress further up the totem pole, occupying positions of greater influence and direction. However, it’s no good simply stating this – more needs to be done to encourage diversity in this space and why women can be instrumental in changing the outdated perceptions of this industry.
At the root of it all, however, is the realisation that technology and SEO can bring tremendous long-term personal and professional benefits for women. Why is that?
People today are more reliant on digital connectivity than ever before. Consumers worldwide are constantly on the hunt for information, advice, guidance, tips and solutions, for which businesses are consistently competing with one another to appear in the top spots of search engines. These positions are the goldmine for the modern searcher – the place where they can find the answers to their questions, discover new products or services, and make a purchase with confidence.
Therefore, every business has – or at least should have – a fervent interest in making SEO work for them. Whether a legal practice, a cybersecurity company, a construction firm, a software developer, or even an HR consultant, there is a market out there for SEO. So, whatever your background, it’s likely you’ll be able to bring something positive to the table for a client or agency.
Many women are very analytically-minded, which makes them perfectly suited to a role where data and metrics are at the heart of the business. SEO careers require the ability to think proactively, as well as challenge your perceptions of that data.
For example, traffic patterns can change dramatically; companies can fall off the first page of Google unexpectedly, and experience dips in business. Effective problem-solving and analytical skills are crucial to the long-term success of SEO campaigns.
Women are no strangers to juggling multiple responsibilities at once. Working as an SEO Executive, SEO Assistant or SEO Manager will require you to get your hands dirty on several different projects simultaneously.
It probably won’t happen straight away, particularly if you’re new to the sector, but over time, SEO tasks will require you to wear several different ‘hats’ to keep campaigns ticking over.
Many aspects of SEO or search marketing as a whole require a great deal of patience. Many women getting into SEO are new or experienced mothers, who arguably need to demonstrate more patience than anybody. Therefore, there is a clear overlap with this particular trait.
In the world of marketing, SEO is one strategy that takes time (typically between 3 and 6 months, according to ahrefs) to manifest – instant results are very unlikely. Therefore, it’s a real test of patience to see an immediate return on investment. Fostering patience in stakeholders and clients is crucial, while also demonstrating level-headedness in your own right.
Schema markup, 301 redirects, SSL certificates, Google Tag Manager, anchor text…working in SEO yields a constantly expanding glossary of terminology that becomes hard to keep track of.
However, as previously explored, many women exhibit a passion for technical areas like coding, programming or development. This is why SEO can often make a superb spot for women with these kinds of skills in their repertoire, and who want to enhance these.
Women can excel in the personal and client-side relations sides of a business. While SEO requires technical proficiency, it also requires the ability to effectively communicate and build rapport with clients, partners and stakeholders.
Most women are, by nature, far more empathetic and nurturing than men, which means it’s possible for them to instinctively generate business for a company and be excellent salespeople.
It’s ludicrous to suggest that women are not intrinsically drawn to tech or SEO careers due to insufficient ability or a lack of interest.
The lack of progression in this sector can be attributed to many factors, not least the lack of opportunities, inadequate support and a vast underestimation of women’s abilities to build amazing SEO or tech careers.
To encourage more women into this space, companies need to do the following:
As time goes on, the tech space grows even broader, not to mention the huge importance of SEO. As a result, the demand for skilled workers keeps on flourishing. It’s important for women to not feel dissuaded from venturing into SEO or tech, whatever stage of life they are at. If you’re interested in working in a technical position, we can help provide you with the skills and assets you need.