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#WeAreTheGirls – Empowering Young Females to Promote Gender Equality

Katariina Juvonen Oct 20 2022 2 PM | 5 min read

We at Smartly.io commit every day to promoting trust, equality, diversity, accountability, and learning through our work and company practices, as part of our Corporate Social Responsibility work.

One of the chosen key areas of our social initiatives is Women & Girls. We want to promote equality overall and especially in the tech industry. To put this in practice, this year we’ve deepened our partnership with Plan International, a girls’ rights organization, to support women and girls.

We’ve been thrilled to be part of meaningful celebrations of International Women’s Day, and most recently we celebrated the tenth International Day of the Girl, recognized by the United Nations.

We were privileged to have three Young People Representatives to take over a day at Smartly.io and meet our leaders, get to know our industry and business, learn and contribute, as well as get mentoring from experienced leaders. These Girls Takeovers aim to inspire and help empower the next generation of girls in their careers.

 

Knowledge Shares to Make an Impact

Our International Day of the Girl Takeovers took place in New York with Eva, in Singapore with Adinda, and in London with Simran. Each of the girls had a special program planned for them, covering knowledge shares around our business and digital advertising, talent acquisition, sales, and customer work, together with mentoring on how to navigate today’s corporate world and the required skills to succeed. All the girls engaged in active dialogue to gain more insights and share their experiences and opinions on a variety of topics.

Each young advocate got to experience something special: Eva in New York ran a fireside chat with our CEO Laura Desmond talking about female leadership – be it in your hobbies, first job, or at Board level. Adinda in Singapore engaged with a webinar around Girls in Tech with a group of Indonesian girls to inspire them about a career in tech. Simran, in turn, jumped into the deep end of leveraging social media for business with our social media expert.

Based on the feedback, our guests truly enjoyed their visits and felt their expectations were exceeded – which we are thrilled to deliver!

 

Essential Leadership Skills of Tomorrow

One of the key things we wanted the girls to take away from the Takeovers was an understanding of what is required to be a good leader in today’s world. Anyone can learn from their testimonials below!

“I found that the top three most important skills would be empathy, having a drive, and accountability. These skills develop one’s ability to lead others, with fierce determination and an understanding,” said Eva in the US.

 

Resilience: because the world is changing, so are the challenges we face. Learning orientation: great curiosity and ability to keep learning. Communication: how to communicate with our manager and team,” summarized Adinda in Indonesia.

 

“Having a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset, showing how you have grown in past situations. Similarly, being a learner instead of a knower. If you’ve accomplished something, demonstrate what you have learnt on the journey. The importance of having a positive mindset. It allows you to drive forward and take opportunities in life,” concluded Simran in London.

 

The Value of Mentorship

Learning about the ups and downs from more experienced professionals at an early stage can have a huge impact on your future career. Here are some essential tips our Takeover participants took home with them:

  • Have a positive growth mindset. 
  • Start using more self-confident language and limit the use of minimizing language. 
  • Be solution-oriented and bring constructive energy to the room.
  • Ask for help. 
  • Understand when you have failed and what you learned from it. 
  • Be consistent with your beliefs and you will foster success.
  • Understand who the decision-makers and influencers of the organization are.
Things all of us can put into practice!  

The mentoring sessions were valuable not only to the young advocates, but also to Smartlies. Here are some of the mentions we got from Smartlies around the world:

“I found it really fulfilling sharing my experiences and feel that Adinda took away a lot of tips from the sessions.”

 

“It was great to see the young girls interested and ask so many insightful questions – it was rewarding to be helpful!”

 

“It felt good to hear young people’s hopes and concerns and hopefully provide actionable advice for their future – I’m really happy we participated in this, both as a company as well as as individuals.”

 

“The diversity of people in ad tech directly impacts how inclusive global advertising is. Simply put, a diverse team is more likely to create inclusive ad tech platforms and services compared to less diverse teams. We are extremely honored to be able to work together with Plan International's Young People Representatives, and be part of making a positive change in young women’s career experiences.”

 

The Work for Equality Continues

To continue creating an equal world and work life, it’s critical that girls' and young women’s voices are heard. They want to be recognized as change makers who can help them make an impact on the challenges they face globally. We can each play a part in taking the steps towards that. 

If you’re ready to support girls and take on the fight against gender inequality, take Plan USA’s We Are the Girls pledge today at wearethegirls.org. Additionally, to get involved in future activations, you are also welcome to get in touch with Plan USA via email at Pallavi.deshpande@planusa.org. 

Let us know how we can do our part and continue making the tech industry a better place for girls!

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Author
Katariina Juvonen
Communications Director at Smartly.io

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