We talked with Amy Crawford, Office Manager at We Discover in our Q&A session.
She explained her role as an Office Manager and how she manages to balance between her career in the industry and her social life. Below you can see the full Q&A:
1. Can you tell us about your personal journey and your current position at the agency?
Prior to joining We Discover, I spent 12 years in Marketing and Corporate Communications positions in the medical device industry – from ophthalmic lasers and ultrasound to the colourful world of aesthetics and on to surgical microscopes. I then took 16 precious months off as I entered the world of mama-hood and embraced this beautiful time with my daughter. This gave me time to reflect and to reevaluate where I wanted my career to go. I knew that it was time for a change, not only in the type of role I was seeking but also in my priorities. More than any other time in my career to date, the culture within an organisation was a key consideration in the choice I made.
I joined We Discover two years ago as Office Manager and I haven’t looked back. My role is wide and varied and I love that no one day is ever the same. I support our CEO and team across all areas of the business, including marketing, people and culture, administration and the day-to-day running of the internal agency operations. My role allows me to strike a perfect balance between building a fulfilling career in this industry and spending quality time with my family.
2. How diverse is your team? Do you believe agencies should take further actions to diversify their teams?
When I first joined We Discover, I was one of their first female employees. The number of females that we have welcomed since then has grown fivefold in two years, which is incredibly exciting. We welcome team members across many different backgrounds and this growing talent collective is our “secret sauce”. Creating an environment that embraces diversity adds a marvellous amount of value to the work that is created within our agency and should be a consideration for all agencies when growing their teams.
3. Do you think there is a gender gap in the digital marketing industry? If yes, what are the main reasons for that?
While I feel the tides are turning for women when it comes to the gender gap, statistics continue to prove that there is still very much a gender divide in our industry (and we are not alone). A number of factors are likely to be responsible for this, in particular, we hear time and time again that women are paid less than their male counterparts, despite the same qualifications and experience. In fact, studies have found women to be better at digital skills, including social media, digital strategy and planning, yet this gap still exists.
When women take a leave of absence to start a family, they often have fewer chances of being promoted or getting hired for new jobs, not to mention they may also be faced with challenges associated with the perception of their colleagues. This has often left women feeling as though they need to make a choice: family or career?
Of course, there are other reasons, too. There is still a lot of work to be done, but I feel that by acknowledging and working together to create change, these uphill challenges faced by women will be lessened, particularly so, for the next generation.
4. How can we support the next generation of female marketers entering the digital marketing industry?
I feel the best way that we can support the next generation of female marketers is to encourage one-to-one mentorship from women who are well-established, themselves. Fostering an ongoing conversation between these two groups can be hugely valuable not only to the introduction newcomers have to the industry, but also to the networks and opportunities that lie ahead for them. As managers, we can also encourage this generation to stay focussed on their short-term and long-term career goals and work with individuals to inspire and motivate them for success.
5. Considering the industry dynamics, do you think it’s more challenging for women to become leaders in the digital marketing ecosystem? Why/why not?
Twelve months ago, my response may have been different. However, since the pandemic, I feel that the opportunities for women to become leaders in industries across the board (no less, the digital marketing industry) are far greater. We are starting to see a shift from the typical workday to a more flexible working week, comprising of a dynamic blend of remote work and commuting to the office and connecting face-to-face with colleagues. It has suddenly become easier for families to share household responsibilities, including childcare and this is paving the way for women who may have otherwise felt that they would not succeed in these positions to open themselves up to these opportunities.
Obviously, there is still a lot of work to be done in this area, including narrowing the gender pay gap and considering women for positions in all areas of digital marketing (even if previously, some roles may have been deemed more suited to men) but I feel that women have every opportunity to create a successful career for themselves in this industry.
6. Who has been an inspiration to you in your life and why?
From an early adopter of her products to following her success in leadership throughout my studies and further throughout my career, I have been inspired by the late Dame Anita Roddick, visionary founder of The Body Shop. Anita was completely ahead of her time in her approach to business and leadership, focussing such an incredible amount of time and energy on her passion for the planet and campaigning for causes. Anita showed the world that it could be possible for an international company to act in an ethically responsible way. Not only this, Anita redefined beauty, empowering women and girls around the world and encouraging them to be the best versions of themselves. Today, as organisations are focussing more of their efforts on their environmental, social and corporate governance, let’s not forget these early pioneers of social change.
7. Why do you think your agency stands out from other digital agencies?
We Discover is a design and innovation studio. We help technology and platform businesses explore and create opportunities that drive innovation. Everything we do at We Discover is grounded on customer insights/behaviours and lean frameworks. Our lean, full-stack teams offer a rare combination of skills, each mastering the use of UX research, design and technology to deliver on short and long-term goals or objectives. We partner with organisations to help prioritise and focus their efforts to drive product innovation and accelerate growth. Our operating model means we can quickly spin up on new projects saving time with hiring/onboarding contractors and it also means we retain industry, product and brand IP/knowledge for future projects.
Our services range from product and customer research, rapid prototyping, user testing, product design, UX/UI design, product strategy, experimentation and design delivery. We believe in exploring new perspectives and looking at things differently, turning structure upside down, back to front and sideways.
We are represented in Sydney and Melbourne and work across a range of industries including telco’s, airline, property, finance, government, startups and more. We have had the pleasure of working with clients such as Qantas, Finder, Zip, Wisr, NSW Government, TAFE NSW, Children’s Cancer Institute, Hireup, ISCA, Isentia and CSIRO.
8. How does being a DAN member contribute to your agency’s success?
DAN has given us a platform to showcase our agency and share who we are to a broader audience. Our membership has resulted in more conversations and opportunities as well as increased website traffic and quality leads.
Bonus: What has been your favorite lockdown activity to do at home?
One of my favourite memories of lockdown was ordering meals from local restaurants to emulate the restaurant dining experience at home. My family wanted to support our local community as much as possible, to ensure these businesses survived beyond the pandemic. And I have to admit, embracing the slower lifestyle was a welcome change.