51 weeks to go: International Women's Day 2018

Celebrating the kick-ass women of Dog, all year round.

Joannie McLellan

Joan McLellan
SEO Manager

15 March 2017


At Dog, we are extremely lucky to have some amazing and inspiring women working together, making a positive impact on business by leading and doing great work, and supporting the women and men around them. We’re almost 50-50 here and, in an agency of marketing, digital development, UX and design teams, that’s a pretty healthy mix. We also recognise how lucky we are to work with some incredible female clients, leading by example and driving their respective organisations and industries forward.

To mark International Women’s Day last week, and to continue the celebration of bold, strong females who make a difference, every day, we chatted to a few of our leading women, asking them to share their backgrounds and thoughts on how to encourage more women to get involved in digital communications.


Kayleigh Grieve, Head of Sport & Entertainment

How did you get into digital communications?

Through a love of sport really. I started out in sports coaching and decided to study media studies with a view to getting into sports journalism. I latterly trained as a broadcast journalist and was working as an intern in the BBC sport department but found the broadcast work to be quite formulaic. I really enjoy making things, so I taught myself Photoshop, video production and some basic coding and started to develop small websites and make content for the web (which was a big deal back then!)

I ended up in the Scottish FA media team heading up their very first digital department where I got to merge my love of digital content with my journalism training. I spent all my time creating sport content for fans, developing applications and platforms, launching the association and our teams onto the new and emerging social platforms of the day, live streaming games and delivering marketing campaigns. Then I landed at Dog where I still get to do all those things, but for a bigger variety of partners.

How do you think more women can be encouraged into the industry?

I think the industry, overall, is pretty diverse and does attract women. I don’t think we have a massive issue on that front and as we progress we’re seeing more and more female directors and owners of creative and technical businesses higher up the chain too. So if we’re not quite there yet, we’re on the right track.
I would say when you break the industry down to specific roles you’ll see more gaps where there are few women working, like development and, to a lesser degree, design. These are possibly connected to a wider issue in attracting women into STEM roles generally. But as with everything the more visibility of the opportunities and of women currently in these jobs to create role models to younger girls the more you’ll attract. You can’t be what you can’t see, as they say.

What’s your favourite thing about working at Dog?

Generally learning from a variety of really clever, creative people. Each project brings together a different pack within Dog and you learn something new each time. I still love making things so delivering websites, campaigns, apps and content for our sport and entertainment clients is what it’s all about for me.



Laura Haggerty, Strategy Partner (and one of our newest additions)

How did you get into digital communications?

Completely by accident. I studied Law and Marketing at university and my first ‘proper’ job was as a paralegal assistant within an in-house legal team. Sadly (or perhaps not so sadly, given how things have worked out) just days after joining the company the department was closed and I faced redundancy. Luckily I was offered another job – albeit not exactly what I was looking for or even a role I’d have ever applied for. I became PA to the Sales and Marketing Director – which turned out to be the single best opportunity of my career – even to this day. I got exposure to very senior people at a very early stage and a real insight into sales and marketing ‘from the top’. I was then offered a Mat leave contract in the Marketing team and went on to become a brand marketing executive. Following this I landed a brilliant job at a web services business – iomart – where my focus was almost entirely digital. And the rest, as they say, is history!

How do you think more women can be encouraged into the industry?

In fairness I don’t think this applies specifically to women but raising awareness of the varied opportunities within the industry is key. For women in particular (but we shouldn’t forget men too) – I think supporting family commitments and offering flexible hours and remote working is critical. The industry has come a long way – but there’s still this lingering attitude amongst some of the ‘old school’ and the even the early career builders that 60+ hour weeks should be the norm and that evening and weekend work is expected. A focus on quality of output over quantity of hours would make a huge difference.

What’s your favourite thing about working at Dog?

Hands down the culture and the people!

Steph Lindsay, Head of Marketing

How did you get into digital communications?

I worked at a full-service advertising agency before Dog for almost 7 years. My first role was Production so I sent the newspaper ads, checked they went in and scanned that into a powerpoint – exciting!! I then moved into the Planning Department and my role there was audience research, channel planning and insights which I did for almost 2 years. At that point digital was getting to be a bigger ‘thing’ so I moved into the media department as Digital Media Manager and mainly self-taught in PPC, SEO and digital media buying/planning… I came to Dog in 2010 and fully digitised!

How do you think more women can be encouraged into the industry?

I think that’s already happening and definitely for me at Dog the gender split is far more balanced that it has been in the past. The real unbalance I think sits with very technical roles – e.g. development and very creative roles (see the 3% conference where they are looking to increase the number of creative directors who are women up from 3% globally – now at circa 11%). Women control the purchase decision of 73%+ of all purchases may that be their beauty regimen or their husband’s car so marketing to women is far more convoluted than ever – getting women to lead this conversation creatively is key and expecting men to be able to think like women or write messaging that they think is correct still shows that 91% of women don’t think that advertisers understand them.

Sorry this is convoluted…! I’m getting there…

So, to combat this women need to get into the marketing, digital, communications… industries. I think it’s great that my 15 year old niece is being taught basic HTML in secondary school and amazing that my 10 year old niece’s heroes are YouTubers and social media stars she watches on her iPad. As digital is now norm for these generations I hope that regardless of gender this generation continue to build the digital industries.
Getting women into digital is one thing; keeping them is quite another. Sexism in our industry still exists but here’s a great wee download on 100 things we can do there.

What’s your favourite thing about working at Dog?

I love working in our team; we are entrepreneurial, hard-working, friendly and have a great deal of freedom to grow our careers here. But what I love best is that our team, and the agency pretty much on the whole, is very clear in our communications. There is nothing I hate more than jargon and we are in an industry that is jargon heavy – debunking digital, making it clear for our clients and transparent in its results is my favourite part of the job.

Tala Byrne, Social Media Specialist

How did you get into digital communications?

When I was in my second year of an undergrad degree at the University of Strathclyde I realised I wanted to work in marketing, but since it wasn't my degree I thought the best way to break into the industry would be to build up some experience with an internship. I got a part time internship at a digital agency in my second year and worked there a few days a week right up until I graduated, at which point they offered me a full time job!

How do you think more women can be encouraged into the industry?

I think that because digital is a relatively new discipline, and it's constantly evolving, part of what makes it tough to attract more women into digital is that there isn't enough awareness within education institutions, or indeed parents, about the benefits of a career in digital, and how many different job options there are for the up and coming generation of girls. A lot of people will still think of the digital industry as ‘coding’ only, something traditionally male-dominated, which can be off-putting to women. I think the best way to encourage more women into digital is through education in school and careers advice services at a young age, so that we can change the way that girls see the digital industry from the offset and learn that, yes you can code if you want to, but there's also a bunch of other great careers in digital too!

What’s your favourite thing about working at Dog?

Flexi-time, obviously! That and I think it's great to see so many women in a prominent digital agency like Dog, and as a woman working here I've always felt just as respected and valued as the male members of the team.


What’s clear, is that many of our most talented females came into our industry through very different routes, bringing a range of skills to the table and a drive to make a difference. This had made for a truly diverse, creative and talented pack of individuals, and one that we’re all proud to be part of. We’re always on the lookout for talented, ambitious women, to join the pack, so feel free to take a look at our Careers page or get in touch about current opportunities and internships. 

With 51 weeks to go until International Women's Day 2018, we'll continue to celebrate our kick-ass female Dogs for the rest of the year, and beyond!

Joannie McLellan

Search Marketing Executive