SMW12 In Rewind: Gender Roles



Social Media Week is a leading news platform and worldwide conference that curates and shares the best ideas and insights into social media and technology's impact on business, society, and culture.

Tuesday in Los Angeles hosted some great discussion on the gender roles in social media and technology sectors. The panel at #SMWLAGoingBig hosted five incredibly smart and articulate ladies including Taryn Southern (@ScienceInc), Rachel Mordecai (Modecai Inc.), Jamie Kantrowitz (Gobbler), Sarah Hall (Harley and Company), and Amaryllis Fox (Mulu). These ladies are often viewed as the ‘smartest woman in the room’ because of their approachable tenacity and confidence.

The pros and cons of the female gender role in business were discussed- with some big takeaways including:

  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You don’t have to know everything about tech to manage a company, but be educated enough that you can effectively manage the people working with and for you.
  • Alternative and non linear paths add dimension to what you do, failure grants experiences and you learn a lot about who you are and what you do best.
  • Know what you do best, and know when to hire and build your team to fill the gaps.
  • Women are naturally social, use it to your advantage when incorporating social media. It isn’t as hard for women as men to seem digitally approachable.
  • Ladies are naturally inclusive, but be careful of working with ‘friends.’ If a working relationship is not a good fit, you will need to be able to fire and move forward.
  • Stop being your own worst enemy and second guessing yourself. The men in the room are not doing that.

The genuineness of this chat made me want to run around my apartment belting ‘I am woman hear me roar’ and conquer all the things. On twitter the hashtag feed was notably quiet and when watching the recorded livestream I realized why. These five woman are all incredibly verbally articulate when discussing the topics and were imparting massive amounts of information and inspiration that I wouldn’t want to miss either because I was trying to live tweet. I think that speaks for itself, to truly capture someones full attention in the digital age is no small feat.

The topic of Men vs. Women was also in high debate at #SMWGuysVsGals. Motivation can just as likely come from listening to a strong male speak and gender demographics in social are worth analyzing at so you know where the voice you’re looking to connect with is coming from.

The stats:

  • 64% of Twitter users are women, whereas men dominate LinkedIn and Google+
  • 85% of bloggers are men. (A very surprising statistic in to room)
  • 2/3 of women will un-friend on Facebook and only 50% of men will

Numbers were in high discussion and people obviously feel passionate about this topic. But the biggest takeaway was simply knowledge. Know your audience and don’t forget about them. Speak the language they speak, not yours. Connect where they’re connecting. Trying to get more men to engage with your company on Pinterest (a largely female dominated platform) may not be the best use of your time and resources when you could instead funnel those efforts into Google+, where men are more active.

Image courtesy Vanessa Torres

Beckie Stravers is a New Yorker, lifestyle blogger at, and a social media pusher at She loves tweets and the internet, and hopes to see  you around the world wide web. You can follow her on twitter @cubicle57blog. She is one of our four Official Correspondents covering SMW12 for Crowdcentric.

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