By JoJo Salazar
Earlier this spring we had a blog competition here at Isos. Really, the competition was limitless. You could write on basically whatever you liked in the realm of technology, even vlog if your heart so desires. If you've read my previous posts, you can see I dug up noteworthy contributors to technology, all who were women.
It's fascinating to see the impact women have had throughout history. It's apparent there is still a lack of recognition, or you could say respect, for women in the field today, but brilliant women like Melody Maleitzke are breaking down barriers and going for it despite inequality and pushback.
Melody helped us tremendously with our social media efforts here at Isos. If you're reading this now and you haven't already "Liked us", please do! If you have been following any of our social media channels, I've spoken to you! Melody helped us come up with a powerful social media strategy by doing a social media overhaul and creating a bad ass social media audit. She helped us realize our potential and how to most effectively convey our thought-leadership, quirkiness and passion for what we do! Her concise evaluation, expertise and tactics have become tools in my toolbox.
She definitely knows her stuff and I was enthusiastic when she said she'd agree to take time out her day and answer a few questions. Check out our interview below.
Jojo: Can you share a little bit about what it is that you do?
Melody: Absolutely! I work full-time as a Director of Social Media Marketing for The BARBRI Group, as well as freelance as a Social Media Strategist. But what does that mean? An industry friend of mine, Molly Mahoney (https://www.thepreparedperformer.com/), has a son who answered the cutest thing when asked, “What does your Mom do for work?” He replied, “I think she owns Facebook.” Even our children have trouble understanding what we really do for a living.
Social Media Marketing falls under MarTech – the blending of marketing and technology.
And what is a typical day for you like?
Melody: The typical day for anyone working in the Digital Marketing/ MarTech space isn’t ever typical. My bailiwick is Social Media. I’m sure you’ve heard that social media never sleeps. If you decide to follow this career path, realize that is #truth, right there.
Here is a day-in-the-life from this past week: Collaborative Marketing team meeting re: Reddit Advertising, Collaborative Comms team meeting reviewing blogs and tagging, Interview with a blogging candidate, Start preparation with my social team for upcoming social contests, Review results/adjust and place new ads on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn for three brands, Manage and review performance of social brand ambassadors, Work on results-oriented report for Executive Team due next week, work with Graphic Designer on ad images and upcoming social posts, Create and schedule content for social posts, Curate content for LinkedIn company culture initiative, Work on projects/assignment list for 3 incoming summer interns, and proactively manage the daily, social community engagements with my social media/customer service team. Easy, right?
Jojo: Did you always know that working with/in technology was what you wanted to do? How did you decide to go down this path?
Melody: My very first full-time job was working as an Inside Sales Rep in the computer parts industry. I think that and the fact that the internet was blossoming made tech so fascinating to me --it was the opening of communication channels like never before. I’m also a huge nerd. Fast-forward to the next jump in my career whereby I was bootstrapping my own business, the Singles Dating Convention. It was the time when Facebook Ads were just starting. I jumped in with both feet, learning everything I could about this new opportunity to reach people with micro-targeted messaging. It was a perfect blend of marketing and technology that just felt right to me – it sparked my passion and hasn’t let up since.
Jojo:I don’t think it’s any secret that many women in the tech industry have felt their gender has affected the way that they are perceived or treated. Have you ever been in a situation like that? If so. how did you handle it?
Melody: Recently, my age more than my gender has been an issue with how I’ve been perceived/treated. Unfortunately, there is a notion going around that if you’re not the same age as your target audience/customers, you can’t connect with them on social. That’s complete baloney. It’s not age or gender that makes someone successful as a Social Media professional. It’s your willingness to be open to understanding your audience/customers and speak their language. Your commitment to being transparent, honest, humble and grateful is what wins the day. On the tech side, it’s your willingness to always be learning that keeps your skills strong.
Jojo: What do you think is the best part of being a woman in the tech industry?
Melody: The best part about being a woman in the tech industry is the community of support I’ve found. I’m lucky enough to live in San Diego. I’ve made great connections with other women in my profession. We meet monthly and share insight and support daily (obviously via Facebook Messenger.) Also, I just found a fantastic group called San Diego Tech Hub(https://www.sandiegotechhub.com/get-involved)-- they support the local tech community with resources, events, mentorship, and tech-inspired entrepreneur programs for community youth.
Jojo: Do you notice a lack of women in technology? If so, why do you think that’s the case?
Melody: I think this quote from Small Business Trends (https://smallbiztrends.com/2018/03/women-in-technology-statistics.html) about sums it up. “There are several factors that prevent women from pursuing a tech career. According to a survey, girls become interested in tech careers at age 11, but lose interest soon after. Experts believe lack of female mentors and gender inequality are some of the factors responsible for this trend. On top of everything else, gender bias is extremely prominent in the tech industry. And unwittingly, companies foster a culture that doesn’t encourage women to pursue a career in tech.” The article shares an informative Infographic about what is holding women back in tech – definitely worth a view.
I think it’s great that Girl Scouts award STEM activity badges (https://www.girlscouts.org/en/about-girl-scouts/girl-scouts-and-stem.html) and some companies like, Intuit and Salesforce, are investing in women. Though, as a mother, it is important to cultivate opportunities for your daughter/s to get involved with STEM related events and activities. Even if you’re a mother who is not in a tech field, offering this exploration can ignite a passion that leads your daughter/s to a tech industry career path.
Jojo:What advice would you give to a woman considering a career in the tech industry? Is there something you wish you would had known?
My advice is: If you find something that sparks your passion, investigate it – discover how to gain knowledge in that field and allow your strengths to guide you to become a thought-leader. Realize that you have the resources within your community who are willing to share their knowledge with you. You don’t have to go it alone. Find a mentor and be a GREAT mentee.
I wish I had a known about mentorship when I was younger, I think I would have benefited from it greatly. Now that I’m older, I am happy to share my knowledge and be a mentor.
Thank you again Melody for sharing your insight and advice! Have any pressing questions about social media strategy? Connect with her on Social!