Ngozi Ogbonna — Women-Led Communities Can Transform The Workplace
The movement to cultivate an equal opportunity workplace takes many forms in 2019. One of the most promising is Fairygodboss, a career development website specifically designed by and for women. Millions of users visit Fairygodboss each month to search for jobs, find leadership advice, or conduct research on how businesses treat female employees. Tapjoy recently met with Fairygodboss Senior Director of User Acquisition Ngozi Ogbonna to discuss the unique challenges of building a women-focused career community.
What We Learned:
- The future is female — Gender equality and diversity are dominating the cultural zeitgeist of 2019.
- Communities create change — Fairygodboss users are self-driven and ambitious, but also work together to create inroads for women across tech and financial industries.
- Men can also support equality — When men support the visibility and voices of female colleagues, it empowers everyone to transform workplaces for the better.
Hi, Ngozi. Thanks very much for speaking with us. Can you start by telling us about Fairygodboss, and your role within the organization?
Fairygodboss is the largest career community for women. We provide millions of women with career connections, jobs, community advice, and hard-to-find intel about how companies treat women. I’m the Senior Director of User Acquisition, so my role is primarily focused on driving growth via paid and organic media channels.
As a platform, Fairygodboss is geared towards an audience of professional women — a group that has been historically underserved. Does that create any unique challenges from a growth perspective?
Fairygodboss is really unique in that it’s a platform that not only provides really great content and articles for career-minded women, but where women can also apply to jobs at top companies across the US — companies who care about gender equality and supporting women in their work spaces; where they can read real company reviews by women, for women about what it’s like to work at those companies, what the benefits are like, whether women can grow and get promoted there, whether women are paid fairly, and other hard to get intel; as well as access a community of millions of peers to get advice, have meaningful discussions and connect with. Additionally, Fairygodboss also sponsors and produces virtual and physical events around topics about women in the workplace.
One challenge is that across those different value propositions, we have a lot of competitors who also do some of those things. I believe the unique opportunity for Fairygodboss is our community. Our users are driven and ambitious about developing their own careers, but are also determined to help other women advance as well.
What does monetization look like for a unique platform like Fairygodboss? Are there challenges you face that similar websites do not? Are there lessons from other digital companies that proved successful here?
Fairygodboss is a marketplace where we’re building a community of women who are engaged and interested in developing a career that fits their overall life. And on the other side, we’re partnering with companies that are actively looking to attract and recruit those women.
Fairygodboss wants to create an inclusive community where women feel empowered to speak their minds and give honest reviews about their employers. Like any other review site, we rely on the wisdom of the community to convey the truth about a particular company. And anonymity is important to us. While some reviewers register using their work email addresses, others don’t feel comfortable doing so, and we respect that. We look at other platforms that feature user generated content like Indeed or Glassdoor, who have done this well, to see how they’re managing and enforcing their content guidelines. Our content guidelines were crafted in consultation with Harvard Law School’s Cyberlaw Clinic, so that’s something we take very seriously.
From a user engagement standpoint, I like what digital-first brands like Away and Casper are doing. Luggage and mattresses are infrequent purchases, and they both do a great job of continuing to engage their consumers throughout their lifecycles. For us, whether you’re an active job seeker, are just looking for career development advice or want to support the mission of improving the workplace for women, we want Fairygodboss to become a regular destination for you.
Fairygodboss generates profiles on a wide range of employers, from small nonprofits to massive corporate firms. Are there particular industries or business structures that seem particularly supportive of gender equality? Is there any field showing impressive advances in recent years?
We’re seeing the desire for meaningful diversity and inclusion initiatives across a myriad of industries and company sizes. There have been tons of independent studies confirming that diverse teams and organizations are more profitable and successful. Specific fields that are really striving to make more inroads are the tech and financial industries. Collectively, we still have a long way to go in terms of mitigating gender inequality in all workplaces — especially in historically male-dominated industries.
You’re also a co-chair for mBolden and a member of the board for Urban Bush Women. Are there any common themes you see between women’s communities for tech and the arts? Are there any obstacles that make them distinct?
Yes, both organizations are focused on supporting and elevating the voices of women who are underserved in their respective spaces. Showcasing the huge community of leaders and talent that don’t get the recognition they deserve — despite positively impacting and leading innovation in their industries. Both communities are continuing to challenge and make some process in changing those narratives.
What would you personally like to see men in mobile and tech industries do to support their female colleagues?
I think inequality is fostered by the lack of access and opportunities. I would love to see more male colleagues support the visibility and voices of their female colleagues in the workplace. We should all be empowered to challenge existing systems and be the change agents to transform workplace cultures.
Are there any current or upcoming mobile trends or technologies that you find particularly exciting?
The conversations around data — data unification, privacy, transparency, and accuracy — are exciting to me. As performance marketers, we want to measure everything. But we have access to so much data, and with continued legislative and platform changes on how we can collect and use that data — the challenge is figuring out how we can best apply the data in an actionable way. AI and machine learning are helping to solve that problem.
Are there any untapped opportunities for gender equality initiatives like Fairygodboss that you’d like to see more focus on? Are there similar projects someone else is working on that you wish Fairygodboss could be a part of?
Culturally, gender equality and diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives centered around career-minded women are dominating the zeitgeist right now. It’s exciting to see organizations that are focused around that intersection like mBolden, The Wing, Elpha and The Cru continue to expand. The future is female, and I’m excited for all of us to work together to shift the culture and effect lasting change for the next generations.
Originally published at https://www.tapjoy.com on April 29, 2019.