Working in a Male Dominated Field: Experience, Challenges, and Advice (Podcast)
In the 5th episode of our #WomenTalk series, we chatted with Natasha Schön, the digital marketeer at Open Social, and the only woman in the office.
When we met Natasha, we were curious about her day-to-day in a male team in a male-dominated field. In this podcast, Natasha told us about working for Mars One, working in a male team, and the challenges that arose.
Listen to the podcast here:
What this podcast is about:
○ How did you get into digital marketing?
○ How did it feel working with the huge online audience of Mars One?
○ Why don't you want to travel to Mars?
○ What challenges did you face while working in a male-dominated field?
○ Any funny stories from working in a male team?
○ What advice can you give to women who face similar situations?
Una [00:00:00] Hello everyone and welcome to the Fashion Potluck Podcast session. Fashion Potluck is a social media platform where women can consume and create content. My name is Una, I'm the content manager of Fashion Potluck. I'm here with Julia, the Chief Marketing Officer of Fashion Potluck. And, our guest for today Natasha Schön, a digital marketing at Open Social.
Natasha [00:00:17] Hey everyone!
Una [00:00:18] Welcome, Natasha. So today we're going to be talking about a bit of Natasha's career. She's a digital marketeer. And so, Natasha, really curious to hear how did you actually get into digital marketing?
Natasha [00:00:34] Well it's quite an interesting story actually because I began doing my masters in communications and that was first off because I loved reading and writing and I didn't really know what else to study at the time that, that I really wanted to do. And while I did my bachelor's I started working for Mars One. They want to send humans to Mars. So they're a Dutch-based company. And for them, I really started doing digital marketing activities and that really inspired me to continue, and then I did my Masters in digital marketing and landed my role that I have now.
Una [00:01:17] But can you tell me a bit more about what you did at Mars One? Like what type of content would you create. Because it's a really unique company.
Natasha [00:01:25] It was really unique because we had hundreds of thousands of followers basically, who were really into the concept especially from America. We were also a very small team of six or seven. And I did everything content related, so social media, newsletters, blogs, PR, everything. Yeah. And what I really loved about it was doing the content and the social media and the website interaction because you had people who were so enthusiastic about space travel and would ask so many questions and I would have to handle so many emails on a daily basis asking the most random questions about Mars.
Una [00:02:12] So you also had to have a lot of knowledge about it?
Natasha [00:02:14] Oh yeah I have so much knowledge base about Mars now.
Julia [00:02:19] How did it feel to know that the post you're gonna post in a minute will be seen by hundreds of thousands of people?
Natasha [00:02:27] At first it was quite tough. I would reread these posts like 10 or 20 times, especially the newsletter. And also people are quite judgmental when it comes to this like they are already not sure if you can really achieve something like this. And even one spelling mistake can make them lose trust in you. I mean people will say if they can't even spell properly how are they going to get people to Mars.
Julia [00:02:54] So what made you leave the company?
Natasha [00:02:59] Well I didn't have much space to grow in the role actually because we were such a small team and I wasn't sure if I really belonged into the space industry and as a marketeer I really believe you need to love what you're promoting. Otherwise, how can you genuinely write about it and make other people fall in love with it? So if I don't want to go to Mars maybe I shouldn't be promoting it.
Una [00:03:27] So you don't want to go?
Natasha [00:03:28] I would not go, no
Julia [00:03:32] Why?
Natasha [00:03:32] I think the earth has enough beautiful places for me. And Mars is very barren cold. A lot of well not a lot of possibility to walk around on the actual planet. So you'd have to live underground or in very well contained bubbles let's say. And I don't enjoy that restriction. [Laughing]
Una [00:04:02] Where do you currently then work and what is your role?
Natasha [00:04:04] I work at Open Social. So we have an online community solution for primarily nonprofit organizations. So basically if an organization would like to have their own social platform like Facebook they can build their own with us using white-label branding. So it's with their own branding. And it's also a way from all the ads and interruptions and you can really focus on achieving your own goals and connect people from all around the world as you would need to do with volunteers and stuff like that.
Una [00:04:41] OK. Well, and what is your role there?
Natasha [00:04:44] I'm the digital marketeer there so basically anything that is content has my name on it. And I work closely with our customer success manager to make sure the content is delivered at the right time the right place and that our customers are happy throughout the entire customer journey basically.
Una [00:05:04] Okay. Nice. From the story, it seems to me like you work in many let's say male-dominated fields. How would you describe your experience?
Natasha [00:05:16] Well I think any experience working in an industry that is dominated by the opposite sex whether that's male or female can be quite daunting. I think it's well known that males and females react differently in the work environment. But interestingly enough for me it's not only about the gender but also my role in the industry whether that was space or the tech industry but my marketing role compared to the developer and technical roles in my company can cause a bit of friction sometimes and it just so happens that more females are doing marketing and the tech industry is still very male-dominated. So sometimes my own knowledge in tech or in our own software is underestimated and that can be really frustrating.
Julia [00:06:12] I can imagine. From what we know you also work currently in a team consisting only of men right? In your office, you are the only woman. How does that feel?
Natasha [00:06:24] Well I mean. I love working with the guys. I would say we're a quirky team. There are and there were a few interesting things I noticed from the beginning on and that was if there was ever any task outside our work that would have to do with the Office for example like decorating for...\
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*Disclaimer: The purpose of this podcast is to educate and to inform. It is no substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified professional. Statements made by Fashion Potluck's guests and speakers do not reflect Fashion Potluck's views and are shared as personal opinions of interviewed individuals.