Gender disparity in tech is a big topic for human resources departments in companies of all sizes. In recent years, the technology ecosystem has tried to spread awareness about the importance of having more women in technical roles. But for women on data teams, it can often feel odd – and lonely – to be the only woman in the room.
There’s no shortage of careers in data, as companies prioritize the collection and analysis of the information they need for valuable business insights. And the demand for data scientists is booming – there’s a large gap forming between the amount of open data science opportunities and skilled workers to fill the roles. In good news, the number of women in data is increasing. Women now account for 30 percent of data-related roles, up four percent from 2019.
Are you a woman wanting to kick off a career in data? Here are a few things to think about as you do your research.
Keep an open mind for open opportunities
With such a high demand for skills, there is a great opportunity for women to enter the data field. An ideal candidate for any data job needs great analytical thinking and communication skills, both critical skills for gleaning the right insights and information to solve complex business and operational challenges.
Jeni Lohoefener, a data strategist at Ad Astra Information Systems, advises women looking for careers in data to be open to carving out their own space. You can achieve this by embracing new technologies that enable things like machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data literacy, and always be on the lookout for other emerging technologies. There’s room to explore how to align your skills and interests in the data space.
Seek out mentors and meetups
Our product manager, Laura Malins, says that having a role model and mentor in the field will help answer questions and provide a much-needed perspective on what you can expect in your career. A good mentor can help you navigate potential challenges and share anecdotes from real-world experiences.
Also, consider joining an organization like Women in Data to connect with peers in the technology industry. If you’re interested in learning more about Women in Data, take a look at the resources below:
- Find a local chapter for Women in Data
- Attend (or stream) the Women in Data Science conference
- Become a member of Women in Big Data
Keeping up with the industry
As with any new field or industry, there a lot of buzzwords and acronyms to commit to memory – and more coming every day. Read industry publications, and keep in mind that many software vendors have a glossary or explainer videos that can help you keep up with the latest vernacular.
To find a female voice that resonates with you, take a look at these resources: