Across every industry in the U.S., women are typically under-represented in leadership roles and executive positions.
The 2022 World Economic Forum Gender Gap Insight Report found that for every 100 men, only 86 women received management positions. In the digital leadership landscape, for every 100 managers, only 52 were women. The same report estimated closing the gender parity gap would require 132 years.
And yet, The McKinsey study, Unlocking the Full Potential of Women at Work shows that companies with gender-balanced leadership earn up to 50% higher profits, and 87% of the time, inclusive, mixed-gender teams make better business decisions two times faster, and with 60% better outcomes. Read that again.
The Inception of Women of Digital Mars
Unlocking the Full Potential of Women at Work produced hard evidence that gender equality across company leadership benefits business performance and overall outcomes and elevates everyone. Inspired by these findings, Mars Associates and senior staff sought to understand the barriers and challenges to women’s upward career mobility throughout their vast array of 50+ global brands and companies. And so, in 2020, the Mars Digital Technologies group commissioned a study to examine the challenges impacting workplace gender equity.
To address their findings in vital areas of women’s career growth and narrow the leadership gender gap and disparity in the digital tech world, Mars, Inc. Associates created the company’s first global ARG (Associate Resource Group), the Women of Digital Mars (WoDM). WoDM officially launched on International Women’s Day, March 8, 2021.
Previously, in 2019, women in senior digital leadership roles at Mars, Inc. were at a mere 4%. But thanks to WoDM’s efforts and the commitment of Mars senior leadership teams, that percentage has increased to 32% and in 2023, is still growing.
WoDM offers empowering mentorship opportunities, coaching, and advocacy to increase women’s access to leadership roles in the digital space. Their target audience consists of male allies, female Mars Associates looking to advance in their careers, and digital talent interested in gender parity willing to amplify WoDM’s messages.
But without a unified, cohesive brand image – like warriors going into battle weaponless – WoDM members felt empty-handed in their mission.
WoDM needed KSV to help tell their story in an aligned, consistent, and impactful way. We equipped every WoDM member with the tools to grow their impact and advance their mission.
KSV Associate Creative Director Jackie Demers said, “This project was an excellent opportunity for a collaboration of skill sets across our department, including everything from digital hierarchy to writing a brand manifesto to illustration.” She said the WoDM work reflects KSV’s in-house talent and teamwork.
Demers also said that as a woman in a predominantly male industry, it’s thrilling to work for a client whose primary goal is to support women. “Truly being a part of fighting the good fight makes getting up and going to work worth it,” said Demers.
To help empower WoDM members and make it as easy as possible for them to tell their stories and amplify the group’s efforts and achievements, KSV created four deliverables rooted in a cohesive, branded look, feel, and voice:
Brand Story & Script – an all-encompassing brand story, brand guidelines, and complimentary script.
- Social Media Strategy – a solid brand-building strategy centered on three pillars: Show, Flow, and Grow – and how to use social media to share their work, recruit new members, and tell their stories.
- Social Media Toolkit – including specific directions, visual templates, best practices for social media channels, an album of content, ideas, and sample social media posts.
- Design & Branding – an entire WoDM-inspired digital design deck PowerPoint with bold images, logos, website content, landing pages, a digital blueprint, and a calling card enabling members to increase and elevate their messaging, visibility, grow their audience, and more fully tell their story.
WoDM built a foundation based on qualitative data, statistical proof, powerful words, and an impressive mission. Their actions encourage career development and gender-inclusivity. And now, they have the digital media tools to achieve their goals.
KSV Production Design Lead, Elliot Schneider said, “Working alongside Women of Digital Mars was truly rewarding. Their mission to break barriers in the digital tech world resonated deeply with our [KSV’s] creative spirit and mission-driven approach. Through strategic branding and creative efforts, we breathed life into their cause, actively empowering their journey toward a more equitable and inclusive tech landscape."
Tour KSV’s case study and strategic tools crafted to shape, strengthen, and inspire WoDM’s mission here: https://www.ksvagency.com/women-of-digital-mars/.