Programmatic provides ‘level playing field’ for women in digital – Yahoo’s Dora Michail

The world of programmatic ad trading provides a “level playing field” for women working in digital, tipping the scales away from a male dominated industry, according to Yahoo senior director of audience solutions Dora Michail.

Speaking this morning at a breakfast event ahead of International Women’s Day, Michail, called programmatic a “leveller” in terms of the gender balance in senior roles due to the newness of the technology.

“We [Michail’s team] are supporting the running of this very, very technical and data-driven programmatic marketplace and I think that given it’s such a nascent marketplace that makes it a leveller,” she said.

“The technology is new and constantly evolving and you don’t have to have 20 years of experience in advertising or marketing to be able to make a difference.

“Everybody should be there on merit and if you’re curious and excited then you can really excel. I think that’s really what’s key – it’s so new you just have to be good. You can be a man or a woman but you just have to be good and curious and it’s very much a level playing field.”

Also attending the event was Digital Advertising Women’s Network (DAWN) co-founder Joanne Halstead who called on the advertising industry to better showcase women working in senior roles and give them a voice. She argued that women aren’t made “visible”; an issue that is often raised at DAWN events.

“At every event we run the questions at the end, regardless of the topic, are always about mentoring and always about visibility. I think women want to learn from somebody they can see higher up the organisation to show them that there’s not a glass ceiling.

“That’s a problem both of organisations not showcasing women across their business but also the media; it’s very easy to talk about the fact that there aren’t enough women rather than celebrating those that are and are doing these very senior roles,” she said.

International Women’s Day takes place Sunday 8 March.

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