Lysanne Louter, Co-Founder & Creative Director at Fluency joined our Q&A session.
Besides her personal journey in the digital marketing industry, she also mentioned the importance of a women-owned and operated digital marketing agency. Here you can see the full Q&A, find out more about her valuable insights on the diversity in the industry:
1. Can you tell us about your personal journey and your current position at the agency?
I am a former journalist and Emmy Award-winning director who started Fluency Digital Agency in 2019 with my business partner, Dayna Boyer. I oversee all creative work for the agency including website design, graphic design, ad creative, and video production. I am also an Executive MBA candidate in the prestigious Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.
2. How diverse is your team? Do you believe agencies should take further actions to diversify their teams?
Fluency’s buzzwords are diversity, equity, and inclusion. We believe all agencies should work harder to build inclusive workplaces that better support women. We work hard to find and develop diverse talent on our team by actively seeking out and recruiting BIPOC and LGBTQ2S+ candidates for every new role within our company.
3. Do you think there is a gender gap in the digital marketing industry? If yes, what are the main reasons for that?
One of the main reasons we are a women-owned and operated digital marketing agency stems from the lack of representation in our industry. When we started Fluency Digital in 2019, we looked at our competition in Canada and we realized, as a pair of women founders, we were pretty rare. In order to create the kind of working culture we wanted, we quickly decided we needed to make women’s equity and inclusion the focus of our agency both internally and with clients.
4. How can we support the next generation of female marketers entering the digital marketing industry?
Women are more vulnerable to COVID-related economic impacts because of existing inequalities in society. That means it is more important than ever to provide a flexible and supportive working environment for women at each stage in their life and career.
As mothers and full-time caregivers, we are acutely aware of how women bear a disproportionate burden at home and at work. In order to support the next generation of women marketers, we need to provide flexible working hours and schedules. We need to provide childcare opportunities within the workplace or allow women to work from home. We also need to give women professional development opportunities and extra time to help them grow into new roles or responsibilities.
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?
Not only do women make up less than a third of digital marketers, but they’re paid less than their male counterparts. Women also make up a small fraction of CEO and executives. Women need to blaze their own trail and reinvent the agency model by placing women’s unique needs at the heart of their organizations. Positioning ourselves as a women-centred agency definitely demands more of us as leaders but it also sets us apart from our competition. Furthermore, it helps us foster a highly committed team and client-base who share our values and our goals.
6. Who has been an inspiration to you in your life and why?
In 2013, I traveled to Bangladesh to produce a documentary about the Rana Plaza garment factory collapse that killed 1,100 people. While I was there, I met a 16-year-old girl named Aruti who lost her leg and her mother in the tragedy. She was working there sewing clothes for Canadians. Aruti inspires me to think about how my choices have a direct impact on the lives of women around the world. Meeting Aruti inspired me to work with women entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.
By putting women’s equity and inclusion at the heart of our agency, I hope to have a positive impact on the lives of not only our employees, but also our clients and their customers too.
7. Why do you think your agency stands out from other digital agencies?
Fluency is a women-owned and operated web design and digital marketing agency in Toronto, Canada. We are committed to inclusive hiring and pay equity, and we are always looking for clients who share the same values.
8. How does being a DAN member contribute to your agency’s success?
DAN has solidified our reputation as an industry leader and helped us generate website traffic and high-quality leads.
Bonus: What has been your favorite lockdown activity to do at home?
My favourite lockdown activity is going hiking with my four-year-old son in a ravine near our home.