Picture the scene; you have been up all night with a sick child, you need to leave for work while they cry for a mummy cuddle, you rush to make the train and flip your mind from mummy to work mode. Then you look up and see this advert…
Now, I don’t class myself as a feminist. Instead, I believe there are no roles better suited to women or men, and in my opinion, we can all do whatever we want to do there should be no boundaries. I’ve seen the digital marketing world come a long way in the past decade, but this advert sets us back too far for my liking.
Girl boss, boy boss or just boss?
I find offence with this advert for two main reasons. One, the language “girl boss thing”, Would we call our male counterparts “boy boss”? No! There are simply bosses. Two, the “SEO thing” – SEO is not gendered specific, in my ten years’ experience, I have worked with both amazing male and female SEO talents.
We need to move away from silly adverts and gendered stereotypes like this, we should support men and women in whatever role they want to pursue. There should be no boundaries! Here at Yard, we have a wide range of roles, and in our Edinburgh office, we are around a 50/50 male to female split. However, there is still a lot of work to do to attract more women applicants, specifically in tech roles.
This advert also upset me as I spend most of my life battling the dreaded mummy guilt! I am sure a lot of parents feel the same way. We want to be great role models for our children, showing them how important it is to have a career, and to be passionate about something. But that doesn’t mean we don’t feel guilty for leaving them in childcare.
Life of a working mum
Being a working mum has taught me a lot about life, most of the time I feel like I don’t have enough time for anything, but it has made me treasure every moment that I spend with my boys, even their daily wrestling matches which always end in tears! Most of all, balancing work and career has made me not sweat the small stuff. Sure, work can get busy and a little stressful, but walking into the house to the boys makes all that go away.
Becoming a working mum has helped bring a lot to the workplace, such as being super organised on minimal sleep. Before I arrive in the office, I have already worked a shift in the morning to get the little ones ready and out the door, dealing with tantrums along the way. It’s tough, but I feel blessed. I am also fortunate that I love my job and get to spend my day working with great clients alongside super talented Yardies.
Striving for equality
Attracting more women in tech and SEO is essential for creating a diverse work environment, and equal representation ensures we are creating work that appeals to male and female audiences. However, we are only going to attract more women into the workplace, if working families are supported, flexibility is offered, and we are kept well caffeinated!
Yard is by far the most flexible company that I have ever worked for, and there are never any problems if I need to come in late/leave early to do the pick-ups. If my little ones are ever poorly, I can work from home to take care of them. This level of support is essential for a working mum to ensure that we can carry out the two most important roles in our lives.
There have been too many stories in the press of working parents being passed over for promotions, or women of a certain age not being employed as they may go off on maternity leave. As we move into a new decade, these conversations need to stay in the past. Let’s start celebrating everyone in the workplace. Male or female, everyone has a life outside of work and the more we let that develop, the better.
In my opinion, anyone who has a healthy work-life balance and can spend time doing what they love is going to be motivated while they are at work. Stress levels will come down, and we will be able to retain a happy workplace who won’t want to leave. Whether you want to spend time with your kids, learn to knit, spend time baking or perform stand up comedy we should all be able to feel like we have the time and space to develop our passions outside of the office.
At Yard, we have a flexible working policy designed to ensure that Yardies have a healthy work-life balance and management is always on hand to support. Flexibility is the future, and I am very grateful to work for a company who cares so much about its staff and advocating a healthy lifestyle. Find out what it means to be a Yardie, our company culture and the next steps we’re taking to achieve our vision.