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Are Men Dominating Social Media?

adage-power150We get it. No one has to explain relationship building, story-telling, and community to a woman.

It is how we have always functioned and learned from one another, from rural villages to the global village. Women are instinctively drawn to social media — and excel at it!

But yet, as Danielle noted in a post here at MomCrunch earlier this week, men dominate in the social media speaking circuit, (apart from the parenting conferences.)

Yes, women do make excellent entrepreneurs in the digital space — Danielle also linked to this interesting article on Mashable. And yet, when you skim the speaker rolls for SXSW and Blogworld Expo the men far outnumber the women. We are there — but outnumbered!

This gender imbalance is not just on the speaking circuit or a product of prejudice. No, it is a reflection of the state of social media and internet marketing.

There are some incredible rockstar female bloggers, internet marketers, and social media influencers. No question! But in general, it appears that there are more higher profile males than females in this space.

Why???

If women are naturally skilled at social media and entrepreneurship in the digital age, why aren’t more of us in the spotlight?

It is probably quite true that women bloggers and social media influencers are often thought to be “less important” and relegated to the mom blogger category.

BUT is that due to prejudice or rather because our “success” and our numbers are often less than the those of the male social media and internet marketing “rockstars” as reflected in AdAge’s Power150.

To speak in complete generalizations, understanding that there are obviously many exceptions, here are five contributing factors I see for the domination of men in social media and internet marketing.

1. Men tend to give a different level of respect to other men and male-run businesses than they do to women and female-owned businesses.

2. Men often expect more from themselves and their companies, or have bigger egos than women do. Men expect to succeed and build large businesses when many women in social media set out first for relationship and community. Men see themselves as providers and will not undervalue or offer their services for free, as easily as women may. (Again – these are generalizations and I know some fabulous rockstar women in the space as well)

3. Men generally do not have the same child-care stresses and responsibilities. Most of my male social media counterparts are working their online businesses full time, whereas most of my female social media counterparts are juggling more household and childcare responsibilities. Even when women have childcare, as I do, many of my work hours are interrupted by parenting duties.

4. Men usually follow male sites and male experts. Women will often read both male and female authored sites and blogs. Dad blogs are a great example of this imbalance. A majority of the readers of dad blogs are women, whereas males tend to stick to male-written and male-focused sites. Right THERE, women face a numbers problem.

5. In society as a whole, men succeed where women could do just as well or better. Name your favorite 5 movie directors? Are any of them women. In fact, try naming 5! On TV, well done Oprah and Tina Fey but, where are the others? In Fortune 500 companies, what percentage of the CEOs or board members are women? Do you get my point?

If the numbers and challenges are against us and, if more men are rising to social media fame, what should women do?

Don’t complain. Just KICK ASS!

Sure, men may have some advantages on women in business. But, let’s not forget the assets women have in this new media age! We are good at this game, baby. And we do not need to be limited by anyone or anything.

On the whole, we need to focus on excelling and believing in ourselves.

We need to build strong businesses and brands and thus GET attention and respect without asking for it.

Ultimately, it doesn’t have to be about male versus female in the online space — it is about success. Don’t make excuses, just kick some internet ass!

Read more of Janice’s posts at 5 Minutes for Mom.

And don’t miss a post — follow @5MinutesforMom on Twitter!

Check out the Top 50 Dad Blogs of 2011

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