We are so excited to announce that this issue is in collaboration with the Women in Tech SEO community. You don’t need to look far to see just how many brilliant women are part of this powerful and growing community, with Areej AbuAli heading it up and bringing together a network of people that are thriving in the SEO industry.
You’ll find interviews with some of the community members on our website, talking about their career journeys, highs and lows and the advice they have for women looking to break into this fast-paced and ever-evolving industry.
So, who are Women in Tech SEO?
It’s an SEO support network for women in the Technical SEO field. It’s designed to create a space for female professionals to discuss, share and learn from one another. They aim to ‘empower each other in a positive, inspiring and beneficial way, and to help build our network and accelerate our careers.’
Areej AbuAli, the founder, is determined and driven to have female SEO’s better represented – particularly as speakers at industry events and conferences. She is also committed to actively improving the diversity of speaker line-ups and openly talks about the need for better representation across the industry as a whole. Want to know more about Areej? Skip to our feature interview with her.
Why is it needed?
SEO is a notoriously male-dominated field. According to a Moz poll conducted in 2020, for every two men in SEO, there’s only one female. This is a field dominated in every way by men. Something we at SOCIALight have talked about a lot in previous issues is the lack of women in STEM and how that can be improved with better resources, more role models, better quality information and increased support and encouragement for women in education and at the early stages of their careers.
For those that feel having a female-only group is unnecessary in this day and age, you only need to do the research to find that in fact, it’s needed more than ever. A safe space for women to discuss the SEO field, ask career-related questions and support one another is a haven for so many people that have felt intimidated and excluded from a field dominated by men.
Yes, we know that freelance SEO’s are made up of a higher percentage of women than men, which seems like a step in the right direction, but if you look closer you’ll see that whilst there seems to be a better representation of women here – it is often because men dominate the roles at agencies and companies meaning that many women feel that going self-employed is a better route for career progression and to remove the blockers in their career decisions. And whilst it’s brilliant that women have the confidence to work for themselves in a competitive industry like SEO, they still stumble at the next hurdle… pay. “Men who work in SEO still ask for and get on average 67% more pay than their female compatriots.” It’s frustrating and exhausting… but networks like Women in Tech SEO make it a less lonely place to be.
Not only is the Women in Tech SEO network a great place to troubleshoot and get some great advice, ideas and feedback on certain things you’re working on – but Areej has committed to using her platform to really increase the voices of women in the industry. On the website, she has put together a founders hub, designed to give exposure to brilliant women in the industry who are founders and/or CEOs of companies. This gives them a better chance of being found by potential clients as well as encourages further partnerships and collaborations with female-owned companies.
And just as you were wondering how on earth this initiative could get any better, it does and it can! The Women in Tech SEO website has a speakers hub, aimed at encouraging event organisers to diversify their speaker line-ups by reaching out directly to speakers from the community. What’s not to love?
If there is one thing you can’t accuse the community of doing, that is complaining about the problem without providing solutions. Areej has put in the hard work to make sure that there is no excuse for non-diverse speaker lineups and for women from all backgrounds, ethnicities and more to be represented across the board. She unapologetically raises awareness for women in Tech SEO, simply give her a follow on Twitter to see for yourself!