Category Archives: Women in Analytics

THE FUNNEL TO HIRING MORE WOMEN

funnel to hire more women

Recently, I was discussing gender diversity with a friend in the analytics industry. His organisation certainly doesn’t have anywhere near gender equality, but he vehemently argues that they are “doing everything they can” to hire women, and it’s a “funnel problem”, with only 3% of the candidates who apply being female.

With all due respect to my friend (and we had a long discussion about this!) this is a complete cop-out. This argument suggests that organisations are only responsible for gender diversity as long as candidates are magically delivered to their doorstep. That’s not a commitment to diversity – that’s only agreeing to not discriminate when hiring candidates. Actual commitment to diversity includes expending effort in an attempt to find, hire, train and retain a great, diverse workforce. It involves understanding the various societal reasons why women may only constitute 3% of your funnel, and actively trying to seek out candidates, not to mention changing the funnel for the future. 

There are things that we can do, at every single step of the funnel to increase conversion rate (aka hire more women). Here’s a few practical examples that came to my mind.

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10 tried & tested tips for thriving women (and men who support them) in our analytics community

Some of you might have seen a post by Susan Fowler, a recent engineer at Uber, and her experiences there. I have worked in several male dominated industries, and I share some experiences with Susan. However, I want to focus on the positives, as well as a few things that have worked for me. Here are my ten tips for supporting gender diversity in our analytics community.

  1. Use your connections

Use your connections, and never apologise for it. My sister works in analytics as I do, and she is an industry leader. I am exceptionally lucky to have such a great role model. The point is, your connections might get you an interview, which is what happened to me. But, you will be the reason you get the job. Men are great at using their contacts – so do the same. It’s ok to ask for help via an introduction, a technical question or just career advice. The funny thing is, people love helping others, so just ask!

  1. Find or be a good mentor

Mentors are a huge part of my success. Firstly, because when you are learning the ropes, it allows you to test ideas on someone, before pitching them to your boss. It will also provide a place to vent when you are facing a tough problem. Some mentors even become your biggest advocates, championing you for jobs and promoting you to superiors at your company. I personally believe you can never have too many mentors, as different people will play different roles in your journey.

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