Campaign’s Digital Mavericks is a celebration of women in digital and technology who are going against the grain. The innovators, pioneers, catalysts and champions of the industry; these women are paving the way for others.
Highlighting women who are driving the digital and tech agenda is more crucial than ever.
The digital economy is growing at twice the rate of the UK’s wider economy and now brings in around £97bn a year, up 30% in the last five years. Unfortunately, more than half of women will drop out of digital and tech by mid-career. If women were encouraged to remain in digital, the workplace in developed nations could reach gender equality in 25 years versus 50 years at the current pace.
This year, the list of nominees includes our very own Chrisa Chatzisavva, Associate Director for Paid Social at Social Lab. We caught up with her to discuss how she got into digital and what continues to inspire her to stay ahead of the curve as she looks to the future.
1. Campaign's Digital Mavericks list recognises women shaking up digital marketing. How are you doing things differently?
"Shaking up digital" is a very big statement to claim. But what I do brag about is being fortunate enough to have a team consisting of an incredible bunch of women - each of them unique in their own way, completing one another. The digital industry requires innovation and to drive this we need boldness, creativity, commitment and passion. These are all elements found in my team.
2. Tell us a bit about yourself? How did you get into advertising? What's your background?
My background is in politics and diplomacy. I came from Greece seeking a future as the very first years of the financial crisis struck my country. Having an innate love for politics, a true "political animal" myself, I was always amused by how politics in its primitive form is the study of human behaviour. Funnily enough, advertising is not very different as a discipline. One could claim it is the art and science that aims at changing behaviours at scale. And this is exactly what politics does as well. At the same time, because it's such a diverse and constantly evolving space, the advertising industry itself is full of politics which is something that I secretly enjoy!
3. What most excites you about the world of digital advertising right now?
Even if it sounds a bit biased, I would genuinely say social and how this space is constantly evolving. Social networks are a great space to change and shift human behaviour (see above) as it is one of the most direct and interactive means of communication. At the same time, we learn so much about human behaviour without having to invest money and time on other means eg. focus groups.
4. Why is it so important that women stay in the digital & tech industry?
It is important that women stay everywhere really. Any form of community should be representative of the actual global society in order to operate in balance. İf we as digital advertisers want to speak to consumers then we need to be able to become them. And women constitute a huge chunk of the consumer force around the world.
5. What do you think is next for digital advertising & marketing?
So far, online advertising has invaded people's privacy, in a way, by extracting data from their online behaviour. It sounds creepy, but when digital is used in an ethical way it can help us to understand what people want and need. But this is based on assumptions informed by what consumers do online. The next step for digital is to fully connect the dots of online and offline behaviour and think of consumers as real people, not just screens. I see AI playing a huge role in the evolution of this - bringing together online and offline information of who consumers are, how they behave and what they need/want.
6. What do you think is next for you? Anything you're driving forward right now?
Empowering people and especially women evolving in the industry and doing great things. Innovation is driven by innovative people. But no one is born innovative. As a leader, my duty is to create the ideal environment for innovation.
Take a look at Chrisa's shortlist in Campaign