Women in Tech: An Interview With Ms Megabyte
I had the great pleasure of “talking shop” with speaker, women’s advocate and social media maven, Yvonne Adele. She is a well-known TV personality in Australia (known as Ms. Megabyte) and has spent most of her career demystifying technology and advocating for women in the industry. Her enthusiasm was truly infectious (even from over 10,000 miles away) and her genuine love of working with people inspiring. You won’t want to miss her talk on Driving Social Conversions for Retailers at Retail Global 2016.
A Little Background
At 8 years old, Yvonne was introduced to a Commodore 64 by her mother who worked as a typing teacher. She developed an immediate love of technology and learned that she was particularly good at helping others understand the ins and out of technology use. In 1997, she published the first-ever article on technology in a women’s magazine via Women’s Daily, which helped to launch her 10-year television career as Ms. Megabyte on the Today Show. Since then, she has written a best-selling book (Conquer Your Computer) and heads her own community management agency where she is able to combine her love of technology and working with people to help online businesses.
“I’ve always loved the quick pace of eCommerce and how it moves with the changing technology,” said Yvonne. “Online sellers know how to roll with the punches. But most importantly, as a group, they’re always so generous with advice.”
Social Media Advice for Sellers
“The biggest challenge sellers face today is being overwhelmed with social media,” said Yvonne. “It’s important to be connected. But to avoid being overwhelmed, choose two platforms and get them right for 12 months, or until it becomes second nature, then move on. Don’t just create content. Be relevant and create contextual content that appeals to your market.”
But what about the time and effort it takes to be successful on social media?
Yvonne suggests sellers commit to spending at least 1 hour a week on social media. Create 3-5 posts that inspire customers to buy your product and schedule them to be posted throughout the week. Use data, such as Facebook Insights, to optimize scheduling times.
Advocating for Women in Tech
Yvonne and I also spoke at length about the lack of women in technology and what we (meaning other women) could do to promote change. “If you’re a woman in technology, be more visible,” recommended Yvonne. “Share your journey. Write about it in places like LinkedIN Pulse or speak at industry events and panels. And if you’re in the position to hire, make it a point to hire qualified candidates that are women.”
Most importantly, take time to be a mentor. Yvonne was recently asked to lead a group for Code Club, a worldwide organization dedicated to teaching all children how to write code. She agreed to help, but insisted that the class be an even ratio of boys to girls. They agreed, and because of that request, she managed to inspire young girls to take an interest in technology, much the same way she did when her mother introduced her to the Commodore 64.