The TIBCO Analytics Forum (TAF) 2021 was filled with innovative and exciting keynotes, panels, presentations, and breakout sessions on the technologies transforming the analytics and data management landscape.
If you weren’t able to attend, you can still get access to all of this year’s amazing content on-demand through June 25th by registering here. Included among these thought-provoking panels was “The Changing Face of Analytics: Better Insights and Outcomes with Women in Tech.”
At TIBCO, we are committed to leading the way on diversity, engagement, and inclusion. The panel at TAF underlined the importance of gender diversity in the world of data and analytics. During this panel, Kate Strachnyi and Vishakha Mujoo, two prominent women working in data science and analytics, sat down for a discussion on “what gender-diverse teams can bring to the table, and how to create a culture that supports innovation, diversity, and equity for better business outcomes.”
Leaders in the Field: An Introduction
The panel began with Strachnyi and Mujoo introducing themselves and how they came into their leadership roles within their respective industries. While Strachnyi began her career in risk management and regulatory compliance, she says it was “definitely love at first sight when I got my hands onto a data tool and some data and started visualizing data.”
Strachnyi fell equally in love with the storytelling possibilities of the data science process and went on to found DATAcated, a company focused on content strategy for companies pushing the boundaries of innovation in data science, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML).
Mujoo, who is currently the Associate Director of the research-based biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences, discussed that she has held a whole wealth of careers in data science, including data scientist, developer, and professor, to name a few. But, she said, there has been one common thread in all these careers, “I love challenges, I love to pursue my passion…being passionate about data, being involved in data analytics, that’s why I’m here.”“I love challenges, I love to pursue my passion…being passionate about data, being involved in data analytics, that’s why I’m here.” Click To Tweet
Be the Champion, Be the Change
On the topic of furthering gender diversity in data analytics and tech, Strachnyi and Mujoo had plenty to say, much of it drawing on their own experiences as women in what is still a very male-dominated industry.
Strachnyi championed a concept that she referred to as “See Her/Be Her,” explaining the idea that seeing someone doing something allows you to believe it’s possible for yourself, especially if you see something in them that’s similar to you. Strachnyi recalls diving into live streaming, which was at first a nerve-wracking experience, but one that she found inspired many other women:
“I have so many messages that people send me privately saying that because they saw me, now they felt like they were able to do this. Or ‘oh, I am a mother of two as well, and I finally decided to take a step and focus on my career.’ All these motivating letters keep pushing me to put myself out there.”
Mujoo spoke specifically about serving as a coach and champion for her teams when attempting to drive innovation and how change is often met with outside force. She talked about how she trains her team to be prepared to deal with change management in the short term:
“You’ve got to be prepared for all the ‘no’s.’ You’ve got to be prepared for all the bricks that will be thrown at you,” she said, “and most of the innovation fails because there are three bricks thrown at you and you just give up. If you take those bricks and you make that change in that small period, in the long run, you will see those benefits.”
Take Charge, Take Action
Finally, Strachnyi and Mujoo offered some powerful parting pieces of advice for women moving forward in the changing landscape of the tech industry:
- Speak up for yourself. You’re the only one in charge of your own career.
- If you want your voice to be heard, it must come from a place of passion and belief.
- Don’t be afraid to express your voice, show off your skills, and communicate your goals.
Kate Strachnyi encouraged panel listeners to take risks about the things they’re passionate about, and remember that the actions we take today help our future selves as well as the next generation, so always think about the people who might be watching you and becoming inspired by your actions.
Vishakha Mujoo advised listeners to take action now, warning that an action delayed is the same as one not taken. Even the smallest acts can make a significant difference when it comes to encouraging equity in the workforce. If someone makes an inappropriate joke, speak up about it right at that moment, don’t just let it pass by. “With every drop,” Mujoo says, “it will change.”
At TIBCO, we stand behind our commitment to and actions on gender equity and couldn’t agree more with the panelists.
Get All the TAF Highlights—On Your Time
Remember, this and all of the richly illuminating TAF content sessions are available on-demand through June 25th. So register now, if you haven’t already, and catch up on the full panel.