It’s a cliche because it’s true: women are more social than men. Put a group of us together, and we’ll be talking for hours. Kids, politics, government, tv, fashion, and whatever else we feel like discussing.
No surprise here, apparently we also like talking online too. According to this study by Weber Shandwick, the number of women who use social media exceeds the number of men who do (75% to 63%). Eighty-six percent of North American women have a social media profile, and each one has an average of 2.2 accounts. That means that if they’re on Facebook, they’re probably on Twitter. On Pinterest, probably also on Instagram.
Women on social media are almost twice as likely to “like” or recommend products or services online, at least 10 times every month. This means that women have a MASSIVE amount of digital influence, so you can’t afford to ignore them anymore.
Or can you?
Does this information apply to the technology world as well?
It certainly applies to the CEOs of technology companies, according to Leslie Gaines-Ross, Chief Reputation Strategist at PR company Weber Shandwick. She says that it’s a “… a state-of-the-art leadership tool that surpasses many traditional approaches to listening and communicating with stakeholders.”
But How Many Women are the Big Boss in Tech?
This Dow Jones report from 2012 showed that only 11% of the surveyed executives were female, yet they hired more women as the companies grew. (6.5% had a female CEO, and 20% had 1+ female C-level executives.)
Lady Geek found that Fortune 500 companies with women in management were 44% more profitable than the median companies in their industries. And tech companies with women in upper management had a 34% higher return on investment.
This would seem to indicate that women play a vital role in technology companies, yet if we look at the Forbes list of the most successful venture capitalists in tech, only 5 are women.
My Experience in Tech
After having worked in this industry for over 12 years, I can say that while the number of women coming into the tech industry is increasing, it’s at a very slow rate. I’m still usually the only woman in the room when it comes to the pure-tech meetings (developers & product managers). The QA and BA spheres seem to attract and hold more women, but when it comes to the pure coding and writing about it, it’s mostly men.
Should You Create Content for Women in Technology?
If the data in this study from the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology means anything, then yes, you absolutely MUST include at least 1, probably 2 women in your marketing personas.
That’s because while only 10% of women in the study were in “high level” positions (this included individual contributors and senior level managers and executives), almost THREE TIMES as many of them were in managerial positions. This means that in all likelihood, your content is being read by a woman.
Your Takeaway from All This
You should be creating content for women, even if you’re in the B2B technology space. While there aren’t many of us, we are vocal. We’re the ones who will be spreading the word about your products and services, influencing the purchasers of your products within technology companies. So if you want to get in good with us, speak to us too.