For the past 7 years, OneByte has primarily focused on software and web development services. As any good company should, we too realized we needed to adapt to the changing times and so we recently diverted some of our attention to social media and its impact.
Today, Social Media Management (SMM) is a core service we offer to our clients, as part of our holistic approach to product development and launch strategy. Haadia Athar, our digital marketing strategist, has been the mover and shaker in this campaign to add this service to our portfolio. Here’s what she had to say about being a leader.
What exactly does your job entail?
I look after the digital branding for OneByte including social media, website, content writing and creation, etc. and am also handling the provision of SMM services to clients as a core service.
What made you choose social media marketing as your field?
When I was doing my bachelors and studying conventional marketing methods, I always used to wonder about how brands calculate results achieved from bill-boards or newspaper ads. Sure, one can use a generic formula or make an educated guess based on the average number of people who drive on the road by the board, or the number of subscribers to any given paper. But how do you figure out which campaign outperformed another, or what product is truly your cash cow? That’s when digital and social media marketing really started to attract me as a case study. By that time, I had also observed a change in my own shopping habits as a consumer because of the advent of social media, so I could take a guess at the potential of digital and social media marketing. 5 years since my graduation, digital marketing is one of the most popular fields and is generating a lot of attention for its low cost and high impact tendencies. It’s still new, so there’s something you learn every day as well, which is exciting.
What motivates you to come to work every morning?
Payday! Jokes aside, my work and the interesting ways in which I continue to learn and grow as I work with a more diverse set of industries than I ever have. It’s exciting to build a portfolio from scratch. Additionally, the people I work with. The respect with which they conduct themselves and the decency I have observed in their day to day dealings is admirable.
Did you find it difficult to get to a leadership position as a woman in your industry?
I have never thought anything is impossible. Yes, there is no denying that there is resistance in a lot of fields for women. But recent years have been proof that things are changing, slowly but steadily. Personally, in 2 out of 4 jobs, I have worked under female bosses, and have learned so much under their guidance. The fact is that being a good leader has hardly anything to do with gender, as long as the decision is being made on merit. Both men and women have their own strengths.
Do you struggle with maintaining a work-life balance because of the expectations people have from women?
Fortunately I have a very supportive family so I don’t have a lot of responsibilities at home. Even so, it can be overwhelming, and living weekend to weekend can get exhausting. But when you manage to achieve something at work, it also gives you a sense of pride. I think as women, a lot of us have it ingrained within ourselves that our only duty is to our homes. While my family and my home are very important to me, who I am individually is also important, and what I do is part of that.
Who are some women who inspired you to do what you do?
My grandmother worked until she retired at 60 after getting a PhD from Scotland. She supported her family along with her husband, and also made sure the kids were well-fed, well-clothed, and well-groomed. My mother also followed suit, studying to become a doctor, then taking a break to raise a family, and going on to get a master’s degree only last year. Both these women really set the tone for how I view my career path and future.
What are some of the things you’ve learned working in a leadership position — in general and as a woman?
I think one of the key learnings of working in a leadership position has been how to look at the big picture, and understand that things are more than the sum of their parts. As a woman, I do think that some places undermine and undervalue female employees, but I can say with utmost confidence that OneByte has never failed to make me feel valued, respected, and important.
Do you have any words of wisdom for the women who will follow?
Don’t chase success; don’t make your whole personality revolve around doing whatever it takes to get ahead. Keep doing your work with sincerity and honesty, and whatever you do, do it well. Realize your own value but don’t let go of humility. People will take notice and success will follow.