Episode 8 of the podcast is out! In this episode, our hosts Chaz and Motso, chat to Dana Jacob, SYSPRO Digital Campaign Manager, about her global Women’s Day Campaign.
This is our Women’s Day Special from our Women in Marketing Series. In this episode, we chat to Dana Jacobs, SYSPRO Digital Campaign Manager, about her global women’s day campaign, her impressive career and what being a woman in marketing means to her.
The 8th of March marks International Women’s Day, and the theme for this year is breaking gender biases. We kick off this podcast by discussing Dana Jacob’s global Women’s Day campaign, her impressive career, and what being a woman in marketing means to her.
Dana Jacob has earned quite a few feathers in her cap which include Art Director, Copywriter, Conceptual Artist, Creative Producer, and Digital Campaign Manager. Dana originally wanted to become an actress and developed a passion for film and soon became immersed in every aspect of it.
Throughout her exceptional film career, Dana has always continued learning and growing within the digital marketing industry, which is where she discovered her talent. “I had a knack for it, so yeah. I didn't particularly want to go in that direction. But here I am, a few years later after short films, reality TV, commercials, print ads, everything. Now I'm in digital marketing, creating digital and social media strategies for an ERP software brand.”
Dana’s global Women’s Day campaign is certainly getting a lot of buzz. She developed this campaign to continue to lead actionable, measurable initiatives to advance the representation of women at all levels within SYSPRO as well as the tech industry as a whole.
“When International Women's Day came up, I realised I didn't really have much, and I didn't want to just do a post about it. I felt that we have so many incredible women, not only at SYSPRO, but in the world, in tech and it's the research around the globe that's saying they're not really well represented. So I came up with an idea to do something a little bit different, a little bit more meaningful, and showcase actual women in tech in a better light.”
The campaign and the story behind it is truly remarkable, so be sure to listen to the full episode here.
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Full Transcript below:
Do Better, Be Better
Welcome back to the Spitfire Podcast: Take Flight. We’re your hosts, Motso and Chaz, Inbound Marketing specialists at Spitfire Inbound.
We have another addition to our Women in Marketing series and we’re very excited to have Dana Jacob, Digital Campaigns Manager, from SYSPRO with us today. She shares everything that she has learned from being a part of a global company to how she pulled off her incredible Women’s Day Campaign and how she’s taken on challenges of being a woman in a male-dominated industry.
Please make sure to hit that subscribe button to get notified everytime we drop a new episode. We’d love to hear from you. Leave us a voice message on Anchor and tell us what you’d like to hear from us in future episodes.
Now let’s get into it! Dana has worked as a Creative Director, Graphic Designer, Copywriter, Scriptwriter, Conceptual Artist, Video and Film Director and Creative Producer. These experiences have given her a deep understanding of branding, marketing, digital platforms and technology, interactive experiences and advertising. Basically, creating content and telling stories excites her!
She is currently working as a Digital Campaigns Manager for SYSPRO. Her role at SYSPRO allows her to create digital and social media strategies and campaigns for the brand. This includes developing, executing, and optimising digital and social media campaigns. In a nutshell, she is at the forefront of content creation for the SYSPRO brand on all digital platforms.
But there’s so much more.
I'm going to jump straight into the first question. We obviously heard a little bit more about you from Motso's introduction, but from your point of view, could you tell us a little bit more about yourself and how your career in marketing started out?
Yeah, so I've always been an artist and a creative at heart. I did art design, I did ballet, I did music, piano, I pretty much did every kind of art available, all forms of art. I was always interested in architecture, film, fashion, trends and culture, and fashion and design really did it for me. I in fact, collected every single international Vogue, Elle, i-D, Nyblom wallpaper, you name it.
You were that girl.
I was that girl. I would literally spend all my money just buying literally every single magazine known to mankind, but it wasn't only just for the fashion or the trends, I started picking up on things like layout and photography. How people styled models and the way that they brought themes together, so creatively. Maybe one issue would have a specific theme and it just came together so beautifully. So I really started getting hooked on that.
Love that. Yeah. Like me with my Seventeen magazine.
Yeah. And even down to things like typography, I saw how they did different things with typography and lettering and all of that. But, you know, in that same time, while I was in school, I actually was able to study design.
So it kind of all came together back then when I was in school. And then I studied and I have to say that one of my first jobs, as a junior designer, I worked at a tiny design studio. I have to give credit to those two bosses that I had. They really gave me a good start. You know when you're first starting out, no one wants you. And yeah, you have no experience and people are like, okay, cool. Yeah. What do you have to show?
You need to have four years of studying and five years of experience, but we also want you to be 21. Yeah.
So yeah, here I am, little old me in this little studio, I was the only designer there and they used to do outdoor design. So I don't know if you do, you probably won't remember, but there used to be a very famous wall on Oxford Road and every month there would be like a new painting. So I would work with artists, and we would theme that wall. And so that's one aspect, another aspect...
That’s so nice.
Yeah. Another aspect was interior spaces. So we would get artists to actually apply my designs to interior spaces and designs and things like that and billboards. Yeah. So I always joke that my claim to fame is designing the interior of Monte Casino.
I was literally thinking like, Michael Angelo vibes with you and I was just like, let's go back. Did you actually do that? I need to know.
Unfortunately I did not
So with this particular project, my two bosses, they actually went to Italy and they took tons of snapshots and a lot of inspiration and a lot of reference material. They came back, they briefed me, and basically I designed things like the sky. The sky had a certain look. So it was like a day sky, the night sky. I did all the mosaic designs. Yeah. So it was quite an interesting project.
I love that. It's amazing. And I mean, it's still there. Claim to fame vibes.
Yeah. And throughout the rest of my career, I've kind of hopped around different agencies, production agencies, design agencies. I've done everything from above-the-line, below-the-line, print, radio, TV, down to packaging, events, outdoor–I've literally done it all. From there I also became really obsessed with advertising.
You can be like that sometimes. Once you pop you can't stop.
Sure. Once you pop you can't stop. Advertising really hooked me. And again, it also stemmed back to those designs that I used to see in the magazines. I don't know if you remember, or if you know Diesel? So the way they used to advertise Diesel was my absolute favourite campaign ever!
I could see that campaign. Yeah.
So the first campaign that really got me hooked was a campaign that they called Joanna. And it was basically kind of a behind the scenes. They created a fake character, the country singer named Joanna. And the whole campaign was just about her and how the paparazzi follows her and all of the antics. I love it, it was just so creative and down to the copywriting, so they would create newspaper clippings of her!
And again, this is all fake. It's like a fake for advertising..
It was phenomenal. I was obsessed. I used to read everything and I love the detail of it and yeah, it just completely hooked me. So all I wanted to do was make ads. Yeah. And I just want to say like one of my highlights, in my previous job, we did a lot of reality TV and commercials, music videos. One of my favourite ads, I think, to this day, is an ad that I did for Jelly Tots. So Jelly Tots hadn't advertised in a long time. But it was quite well known, especially their ads back then. And the brief came in, to design a new ad or come up with a new ad idea for an animation. And yeah, I worked with animators. They came up with the most incredible animator. I wrote the concept, I wrote the script. I worked hand in hand with the animators and yeah, it was just phenomenal to see something quite, you know, quite well known.
And that's also so different. I mean, being able to work with animators. You have actors and you have directors, and now you are the director, but it's for actors who are not actors and real, but they are because they're making them. Yeah.
And you honestly, like you do form a relationship with your animated characters. I created this persona of this little kid in this world of Jelly Tots.
It's so nice.
Yeah. And actually, to my surprise it landed up on Millward Brown's Best Liked Ads at number seven.
And it was the only animated ad on that list.
Wild. That's incredible.
Yeah. So to this day, it's one of my favourites.
That's so cool. We want to see that ad, we're all invested but obviously we're going to put it there.
Then I formed a new obsession with film and TV, reality TV, and movies. I started watching elaborate behind the scenes clips and documentaries, and I was just fascinated with how they made movies. That's kind of what I wanted to do. And yeah, I actually got to do that in my previous role.
That's a very cool. Reality TV is my passion.
I’m still obsessed. For me, it's mostly about stories. Yeah. I absolutely love seeing stories
See, for me, it's the production.
Making the stories happen. Yeah. Cause it's all real. Like, don't get me wrong. I know we have cynics. And yes, it's 100% orchestrated, but that for me is so spicy. I’ll literally see something happening. And I think to myself, “OK, let's see what these guys are going to do with this.” And then they'll just drop something in and it creates...
Absolutely. So there's that aspect of reality TV, but…
But the stories…
What I also liked, at the time, dare I say The Apprentice, but at the time, I loved that kind of reality TV, where you'd have celebrities actually working together.
You know, competitive things.
Yeah. Those kinds of work environments and productions, which was just really incredible. And also things like Undercover Boss.
Yes. Undercover boss!
To bring that up as well. Of those types of shows, I like those types of shows as well.
Yeah. So that's really the heart of people. And honestly, I think a lot more companies need to start kind of, having a view of what the people are experiencing.
But that's not dependent on the industry?
Of course. Yeah. No, it shouldn't though. It should not.
It shouldn't. Because all bosses should know exactly what the hardships are of their people. But yeah, that show, it's quite inspirational. Like, you know, to see people give back. Again, it's just stories. I love it.
Yeah. No, I always say that reality TV to me is like anthropology, like modern day anthropology because you put a whole bunch of people in a room under certain specific situations. And then you just watch it unfold and you're thinking to yourself, “How would I have reacted to that or handled that?” So anyways, that's a little bit of a tangent, but it's okay.
It's so important. Beause you're right, like, if you watch a reality TV show today from something that is like 10 years old, it's a commentary on that time and what people are going through.
True. And I think now, people are going to watch stuff obviously now, you know, with the things that we're going through. Yeah. But it will be a commentary on that. I mean, how people have evolved and you know, how things have changed, hopefully for the better.
I always think how wild it's going to be when people watch news or anything from the past two, three years and everyone's wearing masks. Obviously, we don’t know if that's going to be the lost soon or ever, but...
I just want to share another highlight from my TV career. I used to work on a reality show. It was a martial arts reality show. And I think I mentioned that I was a dancer, they put me on the show as a dancer.
What were you dancing?
Dances and creative directs a martial arts show.
Oh my gosh. That's cool.
And we flew in Hollywood actor, Michael Jai White to South Africa. He was our host and yeah, I got to write scripts for him. And honestly, it was one of the most surreal moments of my life. You know, having a script in your hand and he's reading it.
I can't tell you how….
I know, you just have to be cool…
I have to be like I'm going to give him some directorial notes, you know, just say it a little bit more, you know. So that was one of my highlights and it's actually worked out to be a really great reality show as well. Because we focused on the story of Martial Artists and their hardships, you know, it's not really well known here, in the country. And we followed them and took them behind the scenes and it was a really great show. Yeah. So that was a highlight.
Was that a South African show?
So, was it popular though? Or was it niche, particularly for people who like martial arts? How was the reception, how did people receive it?
I think it actually did really well. I don't know if you remember e.tv? Yeah. It used to be screened on e.tv and again, I'm giving away a lot of things, but it was screened on e.tv, which was quite big and the audience was really big. I think it spanned a little bit further than the martial arts world, because again, it's their stories. One of the martial artists happened to be a doctor. A female doctor.
Oh, that's incredible. Phenomenal. Love that.
I mean, just her story and she also had struggles just to get herself sponsorships. And it's again, the story part of it was really heart warming. Yeah. And then, you know, throughout my career, I've continued with the TV and film. Throughout that phase of my career again, I was writing scripts. I actually did wardrobe because I was really good, I had an eye for styling and fashion. I did directing, I produced, I did creative things. I worked with actors and musicians. We did music videos for them. Yeah. I was really obsessed with films and movies. So much so that I entered randomly, I don't know if you know the 48 hour film festival?
Speaker 5: (15:21)
Yes. I do know that.
Cool. In fact, the year before, a friend of mine… I didn't know anything about this and I hadn't done TV before at that time when my friend had asked me. He said, “Do you want to just be a standby actress for this thing that I’m doing, this short film?” I'm like, “I don't… what are you talking about? This means nothing, I don't understand what you’re saying.” So fast forward to a year later and here I am, working deep in TV and film and movies. And I saw the call to enter for this. And I'm like, “Oh, this is what he's talking about.” And I wanted to enter. I was like, “You know what, I'm going to enter this. Yeah. I'm going to be the producer/director.” “Why not?” And I did it. I assembled a team. I knew one of the directors who has worked very closely with Die Antwoord. So I had a really reputable director.
And pulled together a crew. He had Carl Beukes.
Who used to be on a lot of soapies and now he’s in LA.
I thought it was Beukes. Like that sounds familiar. I dunno. You could do that. We could Google it. It's okay.
Yeah. Yeah. So we had Carl Beukes and it was honestly one of the best experiences of my life. It was a lot of work, obviously, you know, you're creating a production.
And the competition itself was very intense because it's done over 48 hours. Yeah. You don't really know what theme you have. You pick it out of a hat. You have two days to make a film, two days to edit, go, hand in. There we go. And that first film, we won the Audience Award.
That's incredible. Yeah, all these accolades, I see you. okay. Yeah.
Again, you can watch it on YouTube or on my channel, but it's one of my favourite films that I did. I also entered it into lots of film festivals. So for screenings, internationally. And again, the whole movie is again, storytelling. But it is one of the fun experiences I've ever had. So that's how I got hooked into short films, movie making, producing, directing all of that, ven more so. And in fact, later on, I entered another competition. You're seeing a theme here. I'll enter anything. So I entered the Discovery Documentary competition, and also this competition stemmed from my dancing days. I used to dance at a place called Moving Into Dance, MID. And it's a place in Jo'burg town and they don't have a lot of money, but the dancers and the choreographers are phenomenal. One of the women that started this company in the 70's and she's done a phenomenal job with this company, in the theatre. So I used to do open classes there. The people were just so inspiring. So I had this idea to do a documentary about it and yeah, I followed two choreographers and I got their stories and it turned out to be a really, really beautiful piece.
Again, where can you see that?
Yeah. And this documentary actually got screened on the Discovery Channel. It made the top 20.
Wow. Very cool. Yes. Exciting. Love that.
And yeah, just to sum up, I guess my career as I have been rambling on about it, but...
Not Rambling at all, but I was going to say, so how did you end up in digital marketing?
Actually, let me bring it home. So something to note is that throughout all of this I've always studied something.
Okay. Upskilling. Upskilling. Upskilling.
Absolutely. Always learning.
Always learning man. People always joke with me, like, “What are you studying now?” You know, like “She can't make it to this thing, but she's studying.”
I've got a lifetime of knowledge.
Literally every year of my life, I would either take a long course, a short course, or a webinar. I've even done a podcast course. I've literally studied so much. When I said that I went into TV, at the time, I didn't actually study anything for TV specifically, but all of my other knowledge, you know, from marketing and being in advertising and design, it really comes together.
The creativity aspect is the same
It's the same.
It's like events management and project management. I used to, whenever I was studying, when I was in high school, in my brain, I was going to be an events manager and still love it to this day. But then you start getting into marketing and you start, (cause obviously marketing is so multifaceted)... Yeah. But it's project management and the projects are also just as cool. It doesn't necessarily have to be on the day. Wow. Yeah. You know, it can be your campaign. Yeah. And so that's the same.
And funny you should say project management. I did a course on management just last year. I'm waiting for my certificate as we speak. Yeah. So I've studied everything to do with marketing and branding. One of my aha moments, I had a beautiful aha moment when I studied, well I graduated at Vega, but through the years, I've continued with their Vega courses. They’re outstanding. I did a design thinking course.
So design thinking is not design. It's design for the user or design, you know, putting yourself in the user’s or customer’s shoes using empathy and behavioural thinking.
OMG. Inbound marketing.
You know it's UX. Yeah.
I'm trying to get to that, it's the same as UX, like solving for the customer.
It's not about you, it's about who's going to use it, find a definite benefit and find value from what you're creating.
And I think we do the same thing, like on the online space. I'm sure we designers think it's way more broad, but from our perspective, if we have a website, we want to make sure that the website is optimal for the user before the people behind the website. So I like that whole design thinking process, always using empathy. I think that empathy is the key word that is involved in so many aspects of what we do.
Yeah. So that was one of the courses. Then I stumbled upon a digital marketing strategy course at Vega. And you know, at the time I never really intended to be in digital marketing. It was something that I had a knack for, you know, being a millennial. I was always online, seeing the evolution of mobile technology and online technology. Yeah. Instagram, like I was, I'm there, I'm in it. And I just happened to be really fascinated with this course. And again, I had a knack for it, so yeah. I didn't particularly want to go in that direction. But here I am, a few years later after short films, reality TV, commercials, print ads, everything. Now I'm in digital marketing, creating digital and social media strategies for an ERP software brand.
Cool. Hey yeah. And… take a breath. That was wow. Like I honestly, I knew… this is why we brought her in everyone. This is why we have her as our Women's Day Special. I mean you're incredible. Wow. No, and like you keep on saying, no, don't speak about that. You're still a young girl. We're going to watch you taking over the world. Okay.
But, okay. So now that we have heard a little bit more about your career, I obviously knew about the deals and marketing side of things. I wasn't expecting the rest of it, but we're so excited to hear about your new International Women's Day campaign. The film and all of that, it's all starting to make sense. I've heard a little bit about it already. So I am going to ask you to tell us more about it. What was your thought process behind the development of the campaign? Explain the campaign. Maybe we should start there. Maybe just start explaining the campaign, what the topic is. Yeah.
Yeah. So it all started about three years ago. And, you know, while I still obviously worked at SYSPRO at the time, but, I create content, digital content for the brand and I do content for specific global themes or global international days. And when International Women's Day came up, I realised I didn't really have much, and I didn't want to just do a post about it. I felt that we have so many incredible women, not only at SYSPRO, but in the world, in tech and it's the research around the globe that's saying they're not really well represented. So I came up with an idea to do something a little bit different, a little bit more meaningful, and showcase actual women in tech in a better light. And this, again, this wasn't really a brief, I created this out of almost like a need to do it or something that I really wanted to do because it doesn't really exist. It didn't particularly exist even in my company at the time, even though at the company, we've got 50% women and you know, we've got software engineers, they're working on a software product.
I mean, it's a telltale, the fact that the content wasn't there yeah. That shows you that, it wasn't the thought, it was never important. So they needed you to come in and make that for sure.
Yeah. So I felt the real need to showcase these women. And again, I see them every day, they're inspiring women. You look at people like Katherine Johnson, Ada Lovelace, Grace Hopper, they were also women in STEM and they didn't get a stitch of recognition. Yeah. Even to this day, it's very difficult to find their stories and they just… I find that quite shocking. So I didn't want that to continue. And I think a lot of people around the globe are actually doing something about this now. But it's a real problem, especially with equality and also, I'm not just talking about women, I'm talking about people of colour.
There's this gap, there's this gap and it's not being spoken about. And it's important to tell those stories, for sure.
Yeah. So at least with this, you know, we could actually put our brand behind something quite meaningful because of these women that are producing beautiful software and, they're the women behind the brand as well.
50% of it to be exact.
There we go. In fact, one of the women that are featured in my campaign is the Head of Software Development, a phenomenal woman.
That's so good.
We are going to put those campaign's links again, just by the way. I'm very excited to see it as well.
I will give you a preview today. You'll like it too. It’s really good. So my idea stemmed from that. And what I really wanted to do was create or produce an all women, produced by all women video. So I wanted everything to be all women, the whole crew was all women. And just a video that highlights these SYSPRO women who are breaking the glass ceiling. Identifying SYSPRO women who are at the forefront in tech, and spotlight these women who are actually defining the strategy in a corporate sense and in a business sense. Also highlight how they are disrupting the status quo. And as well, just to get insights to the women who are not just figureheads, but also moulding the strategy. I felt that was an important thing to tell.
No, 100%. It's not just a title. It's, it's the work, you know?
Yeah. So, every year, since that day that I came up with this idea, every year (it's been three years now) and I've done something different.
So the first year I did a short film, well, a short video, so about a three minute film and I had to handpick the women. Now this in itself...
It was beautiful, a beautiful process because again, there's so many to choose from, but also...
Who do you choose?
And also include that SYSPRO is an international company. We have offices around the globe and I wanted to include them because everyone's got a voice. We want to show that we have a global footprint. Yeah. So yeah, the selection process was difficult, but I got, I think about six or seven women in that first video and the launch video, I'm beyond impressed with it. It's one of my favourites to this day as well. Wow. And I actually work with a company called She Saw Video Productions. Okay. And she was the first person, I say, she, but her name is Sheldeen. She's the owner of this company. And I've known her for years, but she was the first person and the only person that I wanted to work with me alongside this. So we have a very good creative synergy. I will say something and then she'll do a bit better. And the same with her, you know, like I'll come up with a script line or, you know what I mean? Like we just fuse our ideas together and we really, I feel that it's so magical.
Synergy, it's absolutely magical.
And it's important.
Yeah. So, that was year one. And I'll just mention that year one was about a month before COVID hit us in South Africa. Shew.. So I had a bit of a problem getting our Asia region to be filmed because they were hit before us. Yeah.
And we weren’t taking it seriously.
I was here doing the full shoot together. We were high-fiving, hugging, it was normal. It was nothing. And then by the time we wrapped up production, we were in major lockdown.
It is unbelievable. Bizarre. I think that the stars aligned and we were actually able to do it. And I'm very thankful for the team in Asia. We actually did come together even with their strict lockdowns at the time. And now I know what that is like because I’ve experienced it first hand, today. So year two was last year. Another huge challenge. We couldn't even be in the same room as each other. So the whole thing was fully virtual, it was all remote video. But again, trying to do something different, I decided to focus on the women that represent our SYSPRO customer community and our partner community.
So different angle. Yeah. I didn't look within the company per se. I looked into the ecosystem and the people who actually use our software and partner with us. Yeah. So I shone a light on them, and it was also another really beautiful process. A few technical things, as we would know yeah. Doing things virtually is an additional...
Sounds easy, but yeah. It's challenging.
In fact, not easy at all. So just doing the virtual thing and of course getting everyone's time… because now you're recording with people in America.
Yes. The timezone is different.
The timezones…. Yeah. And trying to get the technical aspects right. Everyone's got different computer laptops. I can't expect people to have a top grade...
100%. So not everyone can have mikes and not everyone can etcetera.
So we were working with different challenges there. But I believe the video also, it's a beautiful piece as well. And then now this year, so I'm currently in production, we're almost about to wrap up. And I'm very excited to launch it. Wow. This year I've done something different yet again. I've done a long form panel discussion. And if I have to just mention, I've never done this before.
I've never done a long form interview panel with a host. I've never done that before. So it was...
We know your experience, we know your experience, we know.
It was completely beautiful in a sense that again, always learning and the research I did for this was immense, and also my video company. She also came to the party and it was so cool. It looks like a really great interview panel.
Yeah, cos it is one. It doesn't look like one.
So yeah, I mean, a long form video, that just means longer editing, longer script, longer shoots. Yes.
Was it virtual?
No, it was not virtual. We filmed it just about a week after Omicron hit South Africa. So at the time of pre-production, we were getting lower cases. I was feeling a lot more confident to do an in-person shoot. I had planned it to the T. I had everything down. It was really astounding. It was ready.
I remember having a conversation with her and she was like, “I'm even surprising myself!” So that's obviously why the universe had to come in and just like, bam!
And look, I started this in October, November. That's how far ahead I was, and I didn't know that Omicron would've hit us.
None of us did. None. No. Yeah.
Omicron hit like a week before my shoot. So I had to deal with a cancellation, and you know, it's really hard to get a replacement, especially when you've been building a relationship with that person.
And you've been curating it with a complete mission and purpose in mind as well.
Yeah. I mean, I had written her script, but yeah. Things happen, you know, I couldn't force anyone to be there, but it is completely understandable. And we had someone from the US shoot… so another challenge is working with shoots globally while I'm not there. Yes. So here I have full control and full visibility of exactly what's going on. So just an additional, kind of task to make sure that I get exactly what I want, the right kind of footage. What are the specs to make it look like it's a seamless video. Yes. Because we're cutting to footage from different global places.
Different, yeah. Which is so cool.
Yeah. Yeah. So there were a lot of technical things, you know. Like we had a host panellist, who actually is a woman that featured in our very first video. She's now the Head of Product Marketing.
Nhlaks, and she's our host (Nhlakanipho Zondi)
Full circle moment.
She is such an inspiration to me and to many other women. So I really liked what she said in the first video and I felt she was the perfect host. So, we had to kind of brief her and say, “Okay, whenever you're asking a question to the US team or to the Canada team, you need to look into the camera. So pretend that they're there in the camera and look back at the team.” And then we'd have blank pauses with the whole studio kind of looking blankly at the camera.
It all works. I promise you, it looks beautiful in the edit, but that was just if you're asking about challenges though.
Just a few. But having said that, it was a remarkable process because even with Omicron, the women came together. Even with the USA team, I had three women, a woman had pulled out because she was overloaded with work. So a workload thing that we need to consider, you know, people are burning out.
Especially towards the end of last year after everything that was happening.
Yeah. So there's a lot of things to consider, however, the women that are in this are phenomenal. And honestly, they brought their stories and their voices to the table and I think that's all you can ask for.
It's the story. And I think every single person has a story.
And everyone's story is inspirational in its own right. Now you have these women in tech yeah. Which are incredible as they are as well. I'm so excited to watch it as well. And what are the main highlights that really stood out? I mean, you've obviously had your challenges. And you did mention those stories and them coming out and the seamlessness of everything, but are there any other highlights that you really enjoyed?
Yeah. Again, I have to stress that it was a top quality production, and that was my highlight as much as we were stressing. And I had phone calls the night before of people pulling out and, you know, there were a lot of stresses, but the actual production of it, nothing took away from that. Yeah. And again, it's back to their stories, you know, when I get buy-in and when I ask the women, I nominate someone and I usually plan on a five minute call to say, “Do you want to be in this? Yes or no?” Yeah. It turns out to be like an hour or two. I wonder why. Yeah. But it's also because every woman has a real special story and they don't ever get to say it. Yeah. They've never told the story. Again, in the workplace we've experienced bias, discrimination, inequality, and now we actually get to speak about it and not be afraid. Yeah. It's a remarkable conversation that I have with each of these women.
Oh, it's so empowering as well. Because first of all, “Oh my gosh. I'm not the one!” Yeah. I mean, I've been in the working world for four years now and have experienced all of those things. I've spoken about it from a cultural point of view as well, and from an organisational culture point of view. But then, yeah, you’re just shut up because you're a woman. I've mentioned in the first episode where I was asking for a raise, which I 100% deserve because I was doing a managerial job as a coordinator and the guy turned around and he said, “Well, my girlfriend got the same position as you.” And it was just like, “Does she work for this company? And does she do what I do?” You know? And even the fact that I had to say that–it blows my mind and recently. And so yeah, I could imagine, literally hold my mic!
Yeah. Unfortunately, every woman has a story like that and you know, it's big or small. I mean, when I say small it's, you know, something like, I've been in meetings where you'll be in a room full of men and they don't make eye contact with you, or they'll ask you to take notes.
And it's just like...
What is your position again?
But asking for a raise, absolutely. And again, one of the highlights of this is women have to fight, I think a lot more, and to prove things a lot more. So just getting the budget for something like this, I don't just have a budget for this. Again, this stemmed from an idea that I had three years ago that I felt really strongly about. There was no budget, there was no brief. This was not part of anything that we've done before. So I had to fight for everything. You know, you fight as a woman, you fight for asking for a raise. I think back to those scenarios, like if I was a man asking for a raise, would it be this difficult?
No, you wouldn't have been asking for a raise. You wouldn't have been asking. Yeah.
Or a promotion. I mean, asking for something, even a title change, like women have had to fight, and that's what's really empowering about this particular process and the thing that I do, because as much as I'm fighting, it's something that I love doing. Yes. And I get to tell the stories at the end of the day,
And also, what will come from this is that the next time you won't have to fight because everyone is, it's just not done, but once it's done and it's there and everyone can watch it, everyone can see the value of it. There's no doubt. Yeah. Right. And it's not because... once it's in front of you and you see it, then your perspective changes. But until that happens, it's not going to. And so I'm putting that into the universe that the next time you're going to just be given all the dollar bills, budgets. But that is… you need to tell the story. Somebody needs to hear it the first time. And if they don't, then you can just carry on doing whatever you want to do, but that's how change happens. And it's always a difference in perspective. And then being able to produce this so beautifully and it be such a spectacle. Okay.
Did we put it on swearing or not swearing? But it’s just like …Boss Bitches.
I’ve had a few you know.
You know, like I've been wanting to say that since she told us about her but, it's so cool. And to be able to say, even though I know you, it's not about you, but for me, you doing this is ridiculously amazing. It's incredible. I'm so happy that we got to speak to you about this as well. And it will also be airing on Wednesday at the same time of the campaign. So you can see the faces or the voices behind the thing.
Ah guys you’re making me blush.
You deserve it. But, we were obviously talking about women's stories. Do you want to close up about the campaign or can I?
So again, I was talking about how women had to fight and work really hard and, I feel, do a lot more to prove themselves. So, it does not come easy, but having said that, in this particular process, I have a boss that is completely supportive. He is really open to diversity in every sense of the word and gives me every bit of support. He backs me all the way. So there goes a shout out to my boss. I have to really commend how he supported this from day one. So yeah, having said all of these struggles, I do still have a support system.
No, of course,
Because there are people that support you and really embrace this whole process. And, like a final thought about this video campaign is, on the day that we shot the panel. So we had a full day of shooting and filming the women. One of the ladies that I feature is Sandra Fraga, she's our Chief Sales and Marketing Officer. When you get a phone call from her...
It’s like “What have I done, now?”
She gave me a call at the end of it and she said, “Dana, this was the best day.” Not only did she have fun, but she absolutely loved that it was an all women crew.
And the fact that it was the most professional film experience she's ever done.
That's beautiful. I love that.
Yeah. Again, she was feeling bougie. Oh, love that. With her commentary… How do you think the campaign impacted the woman involved? Did you get any more feedback? And also, how do you think it will impact the audience as a whole, watching? I mean, visually we can hear that it's going to be amazing. Content-wise, obviously it's going to be amazing.
Yeah. So I don't know if you're aware, but every year there's a different theme for International Women's Day. So there's an organisation and they release a new theme every year and this year happens to be Break the Bias. And honestly, with something like this, I do feel so passionate that you are breaking the bias. 100%. We're breaking stereotypes. I've been in advertising for many years. I've seen the boys club, I've seen a lot of things happen and we are starting to break that. And also, you know, hopefully starting to equalise the pay gap and it's all really about equality and giving people a voice. I think with this particular one, I focus on...yeah. So it's about opening the conversation. It's such a trending topic and I hate to say the word trending, but it's an important topic that people have started talking about because of the inequalities and the injustice. Yes. I mean, just the other day, the USA soccer team got a big win. They've been working on this equality pay gap, you know, closing that pay gap for six years. Wow. So they've been fighting to get the same salaries as men for six years.
And remember that's American soccer. Yeah. Female soccer, it's...
I mean, we're not even in the tech world, that's just an example.
And tennis as well, you know, like how is that a thing? It blows my mind.
It's insane. I want to take us back to Mad Men and poor old Peggy.
No, but… yes.
So I think, because we are starting to open the conversation, we are giving people the voice and exposing the talent that's within the company from women. It really gives them such joy to be a part of.
That's so nice.
Such a joy. So again, Nhlaks, she features my first video. She's now my host. Yeah. Another woman from our very first video, her name is Aisha. She's a Muslim girl. And you know, she's been telling me, she faced a lot of discrimination. She featured my first video, and knocked it out of the park.
She was beautiful. And now she is someone that did this for the internship program, fresh from school.
And we've almost followed her story. So here we are with her in this panel discussion today. So she's in our panel and she gets to talk about her journey and how special it is to be a part of a tech company that does actually nurture women and her career. So, that internship program has about 54% women. She got absorbed into the company. She now works there. So that's also another full circle moment for someone like her. So I think it's really impacted each and every single woman quite highly. And I think to the women that actually watch it, to the women and men, I think everyone's inspired by something like this.
Of course. And I want to ask, since you are from a company that's a global company, what do you think are some of the things from a global perspective that companies can do to tackle the bias, especially global companies?
I think a lot of talking, having the conversations. Having the conversation, not being scared and, in the past, women are too scared to ask for a raise or they're too scared to ask for a promotion.
Or too scared to have an opinion.
Too scared to have an opinion. So it's all about opening the conversation, having a diverse team, and kind of, it's back to breaking the bias, everyone has some kind of unconscious bias naturally. I think you have to forcefully work at it. And I think if people… global companies start embracing diversity, bringing people in, have everyone's voices together, asking people what they want.
What they want…
It's not rocket science. No. And it's also a little bit of compassion. 100%. Just having compassion.
Excuse me, I've been wanting to do that for a while (we can cut that out). I love that because this also the thinking or as we've recorded more of these Women in Marketing episodes and with what you've said as well, you know, this is normal. This is how it should be, it should be normal. We should all be treated the same. And I know that's living in, you know, whatever… It's possible. It's possible, there are places doing this. I mean, 50% women, 54% rates of internships coming in. I almost hope that women that are listening to this, who are a new to the marketing industry, maybe you're studying, or you busy looking for a job or you're in a job and you're hearing this and you're thinking to yourself, “I can't speak, I don't have an opinion.”
“I've been wanting to ask for a raise for a while.” Get away. And I know it can be easier said than done. But I promise you, if you set your mind to it and you know what you want and who you are, you refuse to settle for anything less. It's not just about the industry, it's about the way that people treat you. Yeah, and you know, being in the marketing industry with it being a boys club for a very long, now obviously, it's moving in a different direction and I think that's happening across the board in all industries. And that's what we said. It should be like that everywhere. And then you have your corporations and cultures and there's different fits for everyone. But at the end of the day, if you feel like you're being discriminated against for anything, but especially because you're a woman you do deserve better and you can come out of it. And these people are here to prove that there's no reason for you to not be that person. Yeah. Like just amen.
Beautiful. It's beautiful.
Very well said.
With that being said, as a closing off question, which I'm really sad about, (we can go get coffee afterwards). But, what does being a woman in the marketing industry mean to you? With all of your experience, with this Women's Day campaign and seeing other people's experiences and stories, what does being in the marketing industry mean to you?
It actually, it means a lot to me, because I get to be the woman I want to be. I created my own path, my own career. I had a goal to do something and I did it. I wanted to go into film, I did it. I studied, I did it. And you know, even with the years I had so much rejection, I had so many Nos. I was overlooked, undervalued, underpaid. I've had so many, “You can't do that.” But I actually thank those experiences. I thank the people that said no to me. I thank the rejection. It has made me stronger.
I'm going to show you!
That's an underrated viewpoint, but it is true, right?
Yeah, absolutely. And as much as they are terrible at the time you look back and it's like, “I'm so glad I never took that job. I'm so glad I left.” And it goes with all facets of your life. Yeah. You know, my mother always says to me, rejection is protection.
I love that. That's achieved right there. Yeah.
So it has made me stronger and actually helped me do what I really am passionate about. And I get to do that today. I'm in marketing, I'm in tech. Yeah. So I look back and I'm like, you know what? Those are experiences that are negative, but they have really shaped my path and my journey. And I also get to see other women in marketing. Yeah. I have to give huge credit to, there are so many other women in marketing and I've worked throughout my career with incredible women. And again, just for this video, the woman that I work with, her company, there's been tons throughout the years. We come together, we collaborate, but it's also about men together. So I love working with men too. It's not about just, okay, cool, singling out each other. It's what I love about being a woman, is that we actually are inclusive. We have the stories to say, “Okay, cool, this is wrong. Let's do something together. Let's break everything. Let's break the stereotypes.”
And actually let's work together. And that's how you actually form better ideas and yeah, honestly, I think that's how we can change things.
And dare I say, what's next on the horizon? I know you just recently finished the course. So do you start something new or do you have your eye on something? I feel like we all need to make a poll and decide what industry, or what course is she going to say? But also at the same time, like please just stay, selfishly.
So what's next, in terms of studying, I'm not sure, I'm still waiting for my certificate as I said.
I'll get my certificate first and then I'll make a decision, but there definitely will be something on the books for this year. In terms of what I'm working on next, I call myself a content creator or a storyteller. Yes. I'm telling the story of the SYSPRO brand. So I've got a lot of brand campaigns coming up, product campaigns, people-focus campaigns, making the brand an employer brand. So attracting that diverse kind of person to SYSPRO. Yeah. So there's a lot on the books, SYSPRO is growing and yeah, we do have a really beautiful global footprint. And so yeah. I'm very excited to see where we are going.
To the moon!
We were also excited.
Actually. Yeah. Thank you. Thank you so much for being with us. I'm sad, it's over.
It’s been a really nice conversation. I really enjoyed it. Like I've got so much from your experience, like your life, everything. Just from where you've started till now, I'm like, wow. It's amazing.
Thank you. Thank you for having me. This is really special. I love talking about this. And with people like you, it's honestly so great too.
She's our fan too!
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