Monday, August 27, 2012

Women: Use your OUTSIDE voice

I sorted the mail today, preparing to pay bills.  I do this only once a month and the pile is a behemoth.   Doing it once a month is my gentle rebellion against the shear amount of mail, the mewling of creditors, and general inefficiency of a world made of paper.  Near the bottom of the pile was the TMRE Brochure.
What do they talk about in there?
I've looked at this brochure a few times already,then it struck me that there was something odd about the keynote photos.  Yes, they are black & white and yes they are always a little weird because they're taken by different photographers.  What left me dumbstruck is that they are all male.

This is not new news.  Women have been the backbone of this male-led industry for decades, beginning with Procter & Gamble's "Field Girls" in the 1950s and leading up to today.   Certainly we have our icons.  Yet - the proportion of women at the lower end of the scale in Market Research is very high and the proportion at the upper end very low.  This is not a new conversation among women in this industry, we've just kept it in the ladies room.  The event planning is just an artifact of the reality.
  
We need the women in leadership positions in this industry to step up.  Publish.  Have a public point of view.  Take a commanding role in shaping the industry.  We know you do this daily in your roles as leaders within your companies.  Time to share with everyone.  We know you are outnumbered by male counterparts but in this case we're also being out-voiced.  Use your OUTSIDE voice and tell us how to grow this industry, improve its technologies and build a stronger future.  Inspire us with what makes our diversity important.  And please be more visible on the platform at these types of events.  Let's take this conversation out of the ladies room and on the main stage where it belongs.

** ** **
Today's guest post is from Kelley Styring. Styring is principal of InsightFarm Inc. a market research and consumer strategy consulting firm. She has led insights for Procter & Gamble, Pepsico, Black & Decker and NASA prior to founding her own firm in 2003. Kelley is a published author and has been featured in USA Today, ABC News, Good Morning America, Brandweek, Fortune, Quirk's Marketing Research and The Market Research Daily Report from RFL Online.  She will be live blogging from The Market Research Event 2012 this November 12-14 in Boca Raton, Florida.  If you'd like to join her, register today and mention code TMRE12BLOG to save 15% off the standard rate!

No comments: