When I started secondary school, I was so shy that my teachers expressed concern about the fact that they could not hear me answering questions, even though I was seated in the front row.
Fourteen years later, I moved to London, bringing my shyness and introversion with me. Alone and far from home, I navigated this amazingly crazy city that has so much to offer. But there I was, hiding behind a screen, limiting myself to an unsatisfying job because I was afraid to speak up for myself and could not figure out what direction to take to my career. That’s when it hit me! How could I know where I wanted to be if I had no visibility on what was available to me?
Wanting to discover how data analytics was used in various industries, almost five years ago, I signed up to attend the first ever Women in Data UK event. I was in for a big surprise. Not only did WiD satisfy my curiosity about what was going on out there in industry, it also gave me access to a network of inspiring women who happily share their experience, success stories, failures and do not shy away from giving tips and advice. Thanks to WiD, I’ve had the opportunity to get coached by very senior women such as Helen Hunter and Gabrielle De Wardener, the latter whom after five years, I still meet regularly for breakfast.
Today, WID is a source of inspiration for me. I have started Data Ladies, a meet-up where women working in data analytics and data science can get together in a casual environment, share knowledge and tips and talk about things that matter to them. The very friendly atmosphere of WiD events make it easy to go there alone and meet interesting women. Moreover, they push me to get out of my comfort zone, which comes in very handy in my day to day job.