Women of Analytics

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What are the top 2 challenges faced by women in analytics?

Alteryx Community Team
Alteryx Community Team

As a follow-up to a recent Women of Analytics event in Singapore, we thought we'd pose a few questions here in the group. We'd love to hear your thoughts.


What do you think are the top 2 challenges faced by women in analytics?

Leah Knowles
Manager, Global Community Engagement

Chief Customer Officer
Chief Customer Officer

Firstly, do not be quiet about what you see in analytics results.  Power is not in what you know.  Power is in what you share.  Secondly, never stop learning.  Keep building your skills while supporting others on their journey.  You will become a role model and mentor for others as they advance their skills at any age.

5 - Atom

I see there is always a bias that men are better than women in analysis, I know it s cliche but it exists. I personally deal with it in many projects, currently even my project manager is a lady, it gives me that feeling that she relies on my colleague more than me, he is totally smart guy but I know I am better in many fields especially in analyzing. It made me very disappointed but I set some rules for myself:


- develop your skill and do not get scared by  sharing your thoughts even nobody listen to it

- this project will end and you will be on a new one, let s hope this bias wont exist there

- believe in my female colleagues, listen to them and ask questions more often rather than my men colleagues


I think these challenges are faced by all analysts, but I think that men probably tend to have a shorter hill to climb in their regard.

  1. Self-advocacy: Developing a business voice and confidence in their value, work product, and career trajectory is especially difficult for green analysts. One goal for this is to consistently and effectively communicate their ideas, insights, goals, expectations, interests, expertise, value, etc. There is plenty of advice out there for analysts interested in becoming a better advocate for themselves. My advice is that it starts from knowing that they have value to add every day. 
  2. Business acumen: Knowing how their work impacts their business is top order for most analysts. I think that the challenging follow through on this component is demonstrating that knowledge beyond their immediate circle of influence. This ties into self-advocacy in that it usually requires that the analyst have the confidence to seek out projects and invitations to conversations that they, perhaps, would not have been otherwise asked to participate in. Developing relationships and project history by expanding their knowledge and reach through the business nearly inevitably results in positive outcomes.
14 - Magnetar
14 - Magnetar

Completely agree with everything that's already been posted. Many in analytics face the same problems, but as women we need to shout a bit louder to be heard well


So, on that train of thought, and because I like to think in threes (clearly I've been in management consulting for too long):

1. Don't back down, though you might have to approach things differently. Where a male is often viewed as being "solution driven", a female taking the same tone may be viewed in a negative way. Find support and press forward. You shouldn't stop because of these microaggressions.


2. Finding a mentor can be a challenge, but find one anyway. Your mentor need not be in your organization. You may have a lot, or even very little in common with them. My mentors have always been rather different from me, because I don't fit the mold of someone in analytics in my organization. A mentor will help you realize what you want to achieve, and help you map out a plan for success.


3. Don't let perfection get in the way of progress. Don't be afraid to try something and fail, as long as you learn from the experience. A program or idea needn't be perfect before you test it. We have a beautiful phrase - "fall in love with the problem" - thinking in this way gives you space to come up with several solutions to try, instead of trying to find a solution that fits 100% of everything which might not even be possible. Stay away from perfection if it's halting progress.

Looking forward to reading more responses!

Cheers, Esther