LEANING IN: EQUALITY THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA

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Social Media has changed the way we share information, has provided a new platform to advocate for social, political and cultural issues and has changed the face of marketing. Platforms such as Youtube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter allow users to reach a wider audience faster, and have influence on a larger market than more traditional methods such as print media. Businesses have since taken advantage of the reach of social media. Whether they are large or small, these ventures have been able to take out ads, create pages, provide products to users with a large following and have generated significant amounts of traffic on their own sites through the use of social media. It is affordable; it is easy to use and relies on the connectivity of people between their “friends” and “followers."

Women actively seek to have conversations on inclusivity and the future of women as advocates in business, in policy making, as a part of the work force and as members of a, hopefully, more inclusive society. This active participation has led to broad discussion on pay equality and gender equality initiatives; it holds executives accountable to a population beyond the walls of their businesses.

Women add value to the conversation and an alternative perspective on business ventures and have changed the face of the business community. For example, companies are experiencing success through partnering up and sponsoring Youtubers or popular Instagram celebrities to deliver reviews about their products.

A large amount of social media entrepreneurs are women, creating a brand based on themselves and the content they upload. They have tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even over a million followers, friends and subscribers. They have a personal connection with their audience; no building, no walls and no actors; just, seemingly, authentic conversation.

Women have significant influence in the social media space, not only encouraging others to pursue entrepreneurship, but also being a voice in the social space for women overall.

Let’s face it, product sales increase after celebrity endorsements, sales also increase dramatically when a product user provides a recommendation. Businesses have taken advantage of these resources, have relied on popular influencers to wear their products, promote their products or even provide viewers with information on their products, the company and even the distributors.

It has long been predicted that social media would change the way women interact with one another and provide empowerment to women’s rights advocacy groups. This would then force many top executives to lean in to the conversation and provide an avenue to pursue equality that isn’t just limited to the business community, but also to pursuing impactful change to previous social norms dictating a woman’s “role” in society.

Social media truly has changed the way women become involved in the conversation, has provided a sense of community and even accountability to the general population to take the empowerment of women seriously. It has made it possible for women to reach out to top execs and to demand change, we can rally support and draw attention to the bigger picture when it comes to a woman’s “place” in business. There is more than enough room for a woman’s voice to be heard and taken seriously as an executive, entrepreneur, influencer and consumer.

Posted by Jenna Magee

Jenna is a post-graduate student attempting to balance "adulting" and dreams. After finishing up her degree in Political Science she is in hot pursuit of a career in Human Rights but will most likely be found with her nose in a good book, singing one of Taylor Swift's hits into a hairbrush in her spare time or dancing with (mostly at) her dog.

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