When you become part of the Wagada team you’ll find a great working environment, dedicated colleagues and the opportunity to keep developing professionally. What you’ll also realise is that Wagada are really supportive of flexible working, have a range of family friendly policies and aim to help women get back into the workplace after taking time out to have their children.

We know that it’s progressive thinking like this that really helps to empower women in our industry and we are very proud that Wagada has been recognised by this year’s Working Mums Top Employer Awards. In fact, we’re finalists in not just one but two categories! As you can imagine we are thrilled to be part of such an exciting initiative, and whilst we’ve got our fingers crossed for a win, we’re also looking at the bigger picture, because awards such as these really do spread the word about the importance of helping mums back into the workplace.

The awards ceremony will be held at London’s Soho Hotel on 1st November and is going to involve a keynote address by MPs Jess Philips and Flick Drummond who are joint chairs of the all-party parliamentary group on women and work. We’re really looking forward to hearing these inspiring women talk about the importance of flexibility in the workplace and learning about new government initiatives to help women with young families back into work.

So, let’s take a look at the award categories we have been selected for and we’ll explain why we think Wagada are winners when it comes to supporting women in the workplace.

SME Award – for companies with up to 25 employees

This award category recognises small companies who demonstrate a real commitment to work life balance practices which specifically help working parents. The majority of the Wagada team have young children and so a flexible approach to work is a given! We understand the frustrations of combining motherhood with a successful career and we’re always looking at ways to help team members get the best of both worlds.

This commitment to flexibility in the workplace ranges from team members working school hours so that they can do the all-important school run, to working from home when they have a poorly child or even choosing their working hours to fit around their childcare commitments.

We also know that just because you became a mum it doesn’t mean your brain stops working.  We support all our team in their career development, whether that’s attending industry conferences, getting a new qualification or even learning a new skill or specialism in digital marketing.

Cheryl Luzet, Wagada’s MD comments “I have found that the flexibility I offer my staff, and have championed from the beginning, leads to a much more motivated, productive and happier team who have that much sought after balance between their home and working life.”

Working Mums Champion Award

This is a very special award for stand-out individuals whose efforts have made a big difference to working mums in the workplace, and we are so proud of our very own Cheryl Luzet for making it to the final shortlist!

Cheryl is a woman with a vision and when she started Wagada in 2011 she wanted to provide top quality SEO services for a range of businesses. But she also had another objective. Cheryl could see how much marketing talent there was out there that wasn’t being utilised. She understood that women so often found themselves unable to return to the workplace after having children due to the high costs of childcare, a lack of flexible working and the prospect of hours and employers that weren’t family-friendly.

As a parent of two young children herself, Cheryl knows how important it is for working mums to be able to take time out to watch their child in their first school play or to be there to cheer them on at sports day. She felt there needed to be a solution for women who wanted to spend time with their children and who also wanted a challenging and dynamic role in the workplace – and thus, Wagada was born!

Today, Wagada is thriving and we have a pool of talented local mums who are able to work in the way that suits them best. Being a trailblazer in the digital world, Cheryl understands that technology means that her team can work from both the office and from home, and that the best working practices are about working smarter…not harder.

Cheryl has found that her commitment to supporting mums in the workplace has enabled her to build a successful business with a dedicated and loyal team who love what they do! The proof that flexible working really does work is in the number of very happy clients that Wagada has.

An increasing role for women in the technology industry

Working within the digital industry, it was also particularly rewarding for us to hear that Gillian Nisam, the founder of Workingmums.co.uk, picked up on the fact that in this year’s awards there are an increasing number of women playing vital roles in what have traditionally been male-dominated sectors such as technology. It’s great to know that we are leading the way within our industry and that we can hopefully inspire more women to get involved in our diverse, exciting and challenging business!

Ambassadors for working women

We’re so pleased that working mums are finally getting more support at work and that businesses in a number of high profile industries are reviewing their policies to help make them more family friendly. Wagada have definitely seen the benefits of flexible working and we are proud to be ambassadors for mums in the digital industry.

However we know that there is still work to be done to help change the working culture in the UK and so we’ll always support new initiatives to help with work life balance. We’ve recently been inspired by the #WorkThatWorks campaign run by Digital Mums and we’ll be taking part in National Work Life Week 2016. We’ll keep you updated on how we do in the awards so watch this space to find out if we win!

Wagada have been confirmed as a finalist in the St Albans District Chamber of Commerce Business Awards!

It’s been a scorching summer in more ways than one for the team at Wagada. Not only have we been enjoying all the lovely sunshine, but things have also been hotting up in the office too as we’ve just had the fantastic news that we have been confirmed as finalists for our 3rd award nomination of 2016 – wow!

As you may know we’ve already been named as finalists in the Flexible Business of the Year category in the Mumandworking awards, and we’ve been shortlisted in the Social Media category for the Herts Digital Awards too. So we were super excited to make it a hat-trick when we found out that we are finalists in the St Albans District Chamber of Commerce Business Awards which will take place this Autumn.

More about the St Albans District Chamber of Commerce Business Awards 2016

Wagada are a St Albans based business and we love working in this wonderful, thriving Hertfordshire city. There’s a fantastic business community here who support each other and we have really enjoyed becoming part of this.  The St Albans Chamber is a local hub for networking activity and business advice for companies based in the area. Each year the Chamber look to celebrate and recognise the outstanding contribution of businesses to the community of St Albans District with these awards.

The St Albans Chamber of Commerce Business Awards 2016 are totally unique in that they’re open to all businesses whose strategy is shown to have a positive impact on the St Albans district. This could be projects which bring specific economic benefits, or it could be socially progressive projects that will help the local community.

The Awards will be judged by an impressive panel from the St Albans Chamber and will include a Chamber Director, specialist judge and sponsor. There will be a host of people with a wealth of business knowledge who are well regarded in the local business community and the wider St Albans area.

The Business Growth Award

The category we’re finalists in is the Business Growth Award category, sponsored by the prestigious University of Hertfordshire. There are only 5 finalists in each category and we’re hugely proud to have made it to this stage, despite some stiff competition!

The Business Growth Award recognises businesses who have experienced a prolonged period of sustained and tangible growth and nominees need to be established local businesses which have been trading for at least five years. Wagada needed to demonstrate how our growth has manifested itself, through traditional financial metrics like profit, turnover or balance sheet increases. We also demonstrated our growth story with our increase in employees. We’ve also shown how we are tackling new markets and diversifying our products and services by becoming a full digital marketing agency.

The key things that judges will look for are a tangible demonstration of the growth experienced and how this has been achieved. They will also want to see how the growth cycle is managed and they will want to understand the way that the growth of the winning company has had a positive impact on the business itself. Finally, judges will investigate the beneficial effect that this growth has had on the local St Albans economy.

Wagada goes from strength to strength!

It’s been amazing to look back at how Wagada has grown since 2011. We’ve gone from strength to strength over the last five years and are incredibly proud of the brilliant business we have created and the fabulous team that we’ve built up. It’s also been great integrating our business into the local community and we are constantly amazed by the innovation, experience and support that we have found in St Albans. Being nominated as finalists for this high profile award really is an honour and shows us how far we have come!

The awards ceremony will be held at the stunning Sopwell Hotel on 13th October and we can’t wait! We’re already looking forward to catching up with old friends from the business community and meeting new ones.

So watch this space as we’ll be updating you on all of our award nomination results, and of course we’ll be sharing further information and photos on our social media channels too!

When the Wagada team headed down to the south coast on September 2nd  for BrightonSEO we were delighted to find that the ethos of learning, sharing ideas and communicating in with peers in a warm and welcoming atmosphere remains despite the hugely impressive scale and a stellar line-up of speakers and sessions. With 3500 attendees packing the brightly branded Brighton Centre, it would be easy to assume that BrightonSEO is a far cry from its roots as an industry meet up in a pub, however, by retaining the community feel that we think the event truly thrives.

What did the conference have to offer?

The breadth and depth of topics and content available to learn about and discuss was hugely impressive including SEO, social media, analytics, PPC and so much more with the majority of sessions proving to be accessible enough for all members of the audience with a real range of backgrounds to understand, yet containing enough valuable industry insight to provide new approaches and ideas to the experts.

The organisers of BrightonSEO firmly believe that the event has no place for conference clichés, and this sentiment was shared by many speakers including a debunking presentation from Rice Media on the often stated ‘death of keywords.’ Branded3’s presentation covering why best practice just isn’t enough was another excellent example of the event’s commitment to providing content that encouraged attendees to strive for more and innovate to achieve results.

A theme of many of the talks was what the future holds for search what this means for digital today. Microsoft’s Purna Virji presented on the rise of voice searches and what the implications of this are on the use keywords. With the prediction that 50% of searches will be voice by 2020, it’s clear that the future might be coming a little quicker than anticipated. Christian Ward of Yext also presented on this theme speaking of the importance of data structuring in in light of this trend with an in-depth breakdown of the talk available online.

What if I missed out?

A highlight of the conference was the accessibility and emphasis on attendee experience of the event. In keeping with the inclusive atmosphere of the conference, speakers were more than happy to take extra time out and answer questions. With many of the talks firing inspiration amongst the digital marketers present, there were a huge amount of interesting questions raised and engaging discussions migrating from the auditoriums to the hallways.  With as many as 78 speakers across 7 venues, even those with a highly honed schedule may have found they missed some of the key talks. Ensuring that the headline presentations truly were unmissable all of the main talks were live-streamed and over 9 hours of content can be replayed courtesy of the team at Authoritas.com.

For those who unfortunately couldn’t attend BrightonSEO a wealth of resources has been made available online, both from the speakers themselves via twitter and on a number of marketing blogs. An excellent summary of the key points made in many of the talks is available here on receptional.com with the information often additional to the curated available slides helping to provide a better understanding.

An event that made an impression

After an action packed day full of new SEO ideas and strategies by the sea it’s safe to say that at Wagada we’re already eagerly awaiting next year’s event! If you’ve never visited BrightonSEO and are wondering if the event is for you, it’s a must see, highly accessible and altogether fun conference for anyone with a keen interest in digital.