The first in a series! The premise, which you can read about here, investigates how women act towards each other in the quest to be head social butterfly.
Provocative topic and series of questions! Well … while I am the first person to complain about the lack of prominence of women in marketing in general and social media in particular in Canada, I’m concerned when we start saying things like “women are more suited professionally to social media b/c of ABC” because that leaves the door WIDE open for statements like “men are more suited professionally to be a doctor, be prime minister, be a brigadier general b/c of XYZ (or PMS, as the case may be)”. While, historically, women in society may have had more call to develop and use skills that are aligned with social media, in general, anyone, regardless of gender, can work on their people skills and start to turn a taciturn nature to a more social one (we only need look to Austen’s Mr. Darcy for evidence of this )
Regarding the cattiness, I have not personally noticed that women are harsher to their own. I have witnessed both genders being catty to their own sex and to the opposite one. And I have experienced incredible generosity from both genders as well. We are in one of the most narcissistic and self-involved industries around. Heavens, we use our product (media) to talk about our product (media) – our professional lives as social media marketers are the very definition of “self-referential”. Combine that attitude with the money that flows around the marketing, technology and media industries, and you have a recipe for cattiness that has nothing to do with gender. Frankly, we’re ALL waving our chubbies (natural or strap-on) around to compare size and ultimately grab a piece of the pie for ourselves.
Success in social media marketing comes from being a real, genuine person, regardless of gender; and success comes to those who remember (as I try to remind myself everyday) that it’s not what we, as social media gurus/douchebags, all think of each other. It’s what our clients think of the work we do for them: Are they happy? Are they seeing results? Is their business improving?
To answer your very specific question, I like to think that my professional life is very light on the “lady drama” (or really, ANY drama). I feel that I go out of my way to promote women in my industry – whether for speaking opportunities, passing along client opportunities, networking or simply taking time to answer a question. But that isn’t to say I don’t support the dudes. To me, it’s all about skill-set and appropriateness to the task at hand. I’m blessed to have a strong network of very talented, highly skilled and outrageously generous individuals – men and women. And has it ever happened to me? Certainly. But for the one incident I can recall, I have dozens of positive, supportive experiences. I tend to be a glass-half-full, Pollyanna-ish kind of person. I like doing great work with interesting people. I don’t really want to spend my time focusing on the drama but rather on the excitement and innovation of what we do. And the incredible privilege that we have to be able to do it.