Following on from PR Week's article on the misconceptions of PR professionals, last week myself and a few colleagues were discussing the challenges of being women in tech and telecoms a world, as we all know, highly dominated by men.
Not only did we discuss the challenges posed by our gender but also our youth, and particularly, the misconception that young women PR professionals in the B2B tech industry aren't seen as knowledgeable as their male counterparts when it comes to the tech side of things.
For myself and another colleague, we expressed that at times we felt as though our opinions were either disregarded in certain settings or not welcome simply due to our lack of perceived wisdom and experience. This hasn’t happened as a result of our senior colleagues preventing or hindering our progress, rather it's due to the mindset of our industry - and even society as a whole - which always finds comfort in the advice of an older (male) voice. It seems (some) more seasoned journalists see young women in the PR industry as an accessory, often well dressed, capable of taking notes and champions at diarising meetings.
The truth is for the millennial ladies of CCgroup, we're a pretty inspiring, intelligent bunch of women. It's true, we are very capable of taking notes, champions at managing diaries, and are often well dressed. But accessories we are not.
Take Sarah, our Deputy Head of Telecoms, who is well on her way to becoming a telecoms expert and continues to charm us with her Irish wit, then there’s Chloe, who’s helping Duncan with the launch of our Media Tech stream and has reached Senior Account Manager level at the height of her 27 years. We also have Aisling, who runs several accounts across FinTech, Enterprise Technology and Telecoms and heads up our Social Media offering for which she’s earned her title as ‘Social Media Queen’ (we’re still working on a crown).
There’s also Abbie, Nicole, Tamsin and myself who manage and co-manage accounts across several streams and gradually becoming experts in our own areas. Finally, but certainly not least, we have Ruth, Martyna and Hannah who all underpin client accounts and play a massive role in our day-to-day activities.
But just as the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child - in this case, it takes a whole host of women (and men too, I haven't forgotten you lot!) to nurture us young women into future tech PR leaders. From Niki, our Head of Telecoms, the first woman to join as a stream lead, and Suzannah who heads up Analyst Relations with the help of Julia, to Aisling, our FD, who along with the rest of the ladies in the finance team, keeps our budgets in check. All the whilst, Sarah, our HR Manager keeps us in check. And last but by no means least Rose, our Marketing Manager who encourages us (forces?! Kidding!) to blog and Giusy, our Office Manager who always goes above and beyond and brings much needed Italian charm to our office.
This blog is neither a moan nor a complaint towards senior members of CCgroup for taking away us young ladies' moment to shine. We have people in this agency with enough telecoms knowledge to build a mobile network, the enterprise technology expertise required to build a data centre, and the fintech experts that could turn any start up into a unicorn, so it's absolutely fair that clients, journalists, industry bodies should turn to these people for advice and guidance.
Instead, this blog is just a small note and reminder to the industry as a whole and to (some) journalists, that while us young women may not have the experience of our veteran colleagues, in our short PR careers, CCgroup - perhaps unlike other agencies - has taught us a great deal about telecoms, enterprise technology, fintech and media tech. So, not only do we dress well, but it turns out we can hold a pretty decent conversation and write a bloody good article, too.
So, here’s a toast to the millennial PR ladies in tech - and especially those at CCgroup - and to all the other women (and men) supporting us, you’re all fantastic.