It is Women’s History Month, and change is already happening. We are actively talking about empowering women - just last week InfoSum hosted its first Women@InfoSum Lunch to celebrate all the inspirational women within our industry. One thing that was clear from that lunch is that we are all determined to pave the way for future generations of females. And a lot of it has to do with the right mindset.
In the latest episode of our Identity Architects podcast, InfoSum’s Senior Manager, Customer Success, Norah Hannel, sat down with Jessica Gottardo, Head of Commercial Data Product at Global, to talk about data, female empowerment, women in tech, and more.
"Just go for it. You've got absolutely nothing to lose by just having that bit of confidence in yourself and putting yourself forward."
It is so important to have the right mindset and - as Jess put it - to just go for it. Boost yourself up and empower others to do the same. A big part of that is attending and networking at events and, importantly, having women on stage at those events.
“Networking is a great way of meeting like-minded people. I think one of the main advantages to networking is realizing that everyone in the room and in the industry is facing the same challenges and hurdles. [...] It's really looking at how as an industry can we move forward and tackle the problems together and so it's less about what I'm doing but more about what can we do.”
Networking and meeting new people is so powerful. Not only does it boost your confidence but it can truly have an amazing impact on you and your career.
“I've met some incredible people through networking which creates a community of people you can reach out to for support or advice. I'd also say that with it being Women's History Month, I've recently been to the Women in Data Conference which was a fantastic place to network and meet other women in the industry to share experiences, [...] and how we can try to overcome that and balance out the scale slightly. I think even if there's kind of a minority representation within an industry, networking really helps to expand your reach, finding like-minded people and looking at how to tackle the problem together.”
That is definitely one really important piece of the puzzle in moving towards a better and brighter future for generations to come. What else can we do to pave the way and empower women in our industry and the world at large?
“It's a really important question and one that isn't asked often enough. I hadn't been to a female data conference before and when I did go it was so empowering. A lot of the information that came out of it was so interesting and eye-opening. I think it's often the case still today that I'll be in meetings with data teams and I am the only woman in the room and that is really not rare, not rare at all.”
So what can we do now to change that for the generations to come?
“The first is being able to reach girls at a young age to help break gender stereotypes.There are plenty of stereotypes out there [...] being the only woman in a room of men can be quite intimidating. And I think sometimes you feel like you need to speak louder or shout louder to be heard in that room [...] It's really just adjusting what those norms look like and I think it's not just explaining what the options are within industries and what's possible, it's explaining that data isn’t just numbers. [...] There is so much more to data than zeros and ones.”
Absolutely. And we could not have said it better than Jess herself:
“Let's try to even the scales and bring more women in. [...] It's about how do we get more women putting themselves forward roles but also giving them the confidence.”
That is so true and such an important aspect of it. It is about looking to those that inspire you, inspiring others and gaining that confidence to put yourself out there. Speaking of inspirational women, we were keen to discover which women have inspired Jess along her journey.
“I think a lot of women along my journey have been role models and especially because a huge proportion of my career has been in data. The women who have been the most inspirational don't feel like they need to play men at their game. They don't need to play by their rules. They play by their own rules. They do it their way and they do it really well. They trailblaze because they're just good at what they do. They don't need to prove a point. [...] They just get on and do it and they do it fantastically.”
As International Women’s Month comes to an end, it’s never been more important to pave the way for future women in tech.
“I'd like to think that in the years to come I can follow the path that others who have motivated me have gone and I can inspire one woman to be confident in herself. If every woman in data can just do this for one other woman then maybe we can start to even out representation within the industry.”
Well said. Let’s lift each other up and inspire the next generation of women in tech.
Thanks for the chat, Jess!