Women in Data

iProspect's Belle Cartwright Featured in 20 in Data

Despite the rapid growth in the fields of data and technology, there is a still a huge barrier for women entering and progressing their careers. In 2015, DataTech Analytics uncovered a troubling trend that they were placing fewer women in data leadership roles than 10 years ago, leading to the creation of the “Women in Data” conference. 

Created by The Female Lead, in collaboration with Women in Data UK, ‘20 in Data’ aims to break the stereotypes of what you should be/look like if you work in data. The women in the panel have come from diverse backgrounds and it just goes to show that it doesn't matter where you started out, or where you are currently in life, you can achieve your potential. 

I first heard about ’20 in Data’ when a client nominated me after hearing about my background and route into the industry. To be selected was actually quite an intense process as I had just gone through my operations and wasn’t sure whether I would be able to walk normally. Talking about what I had gone through to a total stranger was terrifying. However, I realised the power of sharing my experience was far greater than the fear of talking about it.

What sold me on becoming one of the 20 was that the project is all about providing realistic and attainable role models compared to the ones portrayed in media. This is something that is really close to my heart because when I left school, most of the role models I had were much older, typically male and a thousand times removed from where I was in my stage in life. I also almost certainly wouldn't have been able to name 10 female leaders in data without having to Google them first. 

The field also shows no signs of slowing down, particularly because as data grows, so does the need to understand it. What I love most about working in data is the fact I get to solve extremely interesting and complex puzzles to understand humans & behaviours on a day to day basis. More data has been created in the last two years than in the entire human history; as a result I believe that data is one of the most exciting and fastest growing industries in the world.

My goal as part of this group is to inspire the next Ada Lovelace, Katherine Goble and Ingrid Daubechies as well as raise the profile and awareness of the amazing work done by women in data every day. As a result I’m pledging to provide mentoring to those who want to start out in the industry as well as provide free coaching sessions based around resilience for those who have already started their careers.

You can learn more about Belle's experience below: